Home Study

Homestudy Options Available

As well as offering our Advanced Programme teachings fully online since the beginning of 2020, Chenrezig Institute offers two levels of study which can be accessed at home through homestudy packages, carefully prepared so that students can follow the teachings through audio files, transcripts and other teaching aids, charts and review questions.

  1. Discovering Buddhism is offered for those who have an interest in learning about the Buddhist path according to our tradition. It is an intermediate-level program in Buddhist philosophy and practice, with the aim to give you a solid foundation in the practice of Mahayana Buddhism. It consists of 14 modules covering all the major topics of Buddhism. Each module involves listening to teachings, reading related texts and doing short meditation retreats. It is offered on-site on a monthly basis at Chenrezig Institute and for those who are unable to attend in person FPMT offers both online and hardcopy home study options. (Chenrezig Institute does not offer its own home study for Discovering Buddhism subjects.)

Learn more on FPMT’s website here. https://shop.fpmt.org/Discovering-Buddhism-at-Home_c_165.html

  1. The Basic Program (Advanced Program) – Designed by FPMT’s spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Basic Program is a comprehensive, practice-oriented transmission of the Buddhadharma for committed students who wish to progress beyond an intermediate level study and practice. The FPMT has set main subjects and Chenrezig Institute may offer some additional subjects to complement those. Online study of the Basic Program is available through FPMT, as well as directly from Chenrezig Institute (below).

Chenrezig Institute Basic Program Homestudy Packages

The Advanced Study Programme at Chenrezig Institute (Sunshine Coast Queensland) has offered intensive study of subjects of the FPMT Basic Programme here at the centre since 1998 – taught by highly qualified Geshes assisted by excellent tutors and various senior students. Some years ago, with many students studying these subjects for the second time during the second and third rounds of the 5 year programme, we were able to put together reliable homestudy packages for almost all of these subjects. These contain the audio teachings of the resident Geshe at that time, Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering, edited transcripts of his teachings, revision questions, tests and answer sheets, as well as additional materials which include charts and other commentaries helpful to the study. All teachings, tutorials and written materials, (ie transcripts, review questions charts, etc.) are made available through an online storage facility and students are able to download them in their own time and study at home.

Students are recommended to utilize both the audio and written materials which can now be downloaded from an online storage site – a link will be sent by the course coordinator.  They should then listen to the teachings directly, study them through the edited transcripts, revise them using the revision questions and other materials and even test themselves regularly using the tests provided.

Although students may study any of the courses offered, it is recommended that they start with one of the following:

The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life – the foundation of our Mahayana motivation and the basis for all our study, Mind and Awareness, the study of the different aspects of our minds which enable us to achieve enlightenment, Buddhist Tenets – the views of the different schools of Buddhism – on which many of the philosophical teachings are based or Lam Rim Chen Mo – an extensive study of the entire graduated path to enlightenment.

 

For further information, to discuss orders for any of our homestudy packages, or to be placed on an email list in order to receive further updates, please contact the Advanced Programme Coordinator (Kathy Vichta) on  [email protected] 

 

HOMESTUDY PACKAGES NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR ONLINE DROPBOX  (UPDATED 2020)

GUIDE TO THE BODHISATTVA’S WAY OF LIFE

Shantideva’s beautiful and inspiring text may be deceptively simple but His Holiness Dalai Lama says it is so important that he reads chapters of it every morning and his favourite prayer comes from these wonderful words. It teaches how to develop the precious mind of enlightenment (bodhicitta), and how to maintain it through the practice of the perfections. It is the basis of the Mayahana Path and a perfect motivation for all further study and practice.

BUDDHIST TENETS 

These teachings on the assertions of the four main schools of Buddhism are the basis for the kind of study undertaken in our advanced study programme. This is therefore a good course to start with since it provides a firm foundation in the concepts and terminology that are used on a daily basis in the study of further subjects.

GROUNDS AND PATHS (Sutra)

This important subject covers the entire paths of the hinayana and mahayana practitioners outlining the progress each type of practitioner makes as they progress towards their individual goals of lesser, middling and highest enlightenment. It identifies and explains clearly the concepts of renunciation (genuine intention to definitely emerge from samsara), bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment with the two aspirations) and the state of mind that allows these states to arise and leads one towards the perfect enlightenment of a buddha.

THE BODHISATTVA’S WAY OF LIFE

“For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide, to dispel the misery of the world.”

This teaching on how to follow the bodhisattva’s path is based on Shantideva’s inspirational verses on Mahayana aspiration and practice. Composed more than a thousand years ago, this text is still widely regarded as the most authentic and complete guide for the practitioner aspiring towards the attainment of enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

The package includes teachings from Geshe Tashi Tsering as well as tutorials with his assistant teacher, Geshe Lobsang Jamyang.

The subject was taught in two parts with the profound chapter on the perfection of wisdom taught in its own three-week module.

4TH CHAPTER OF THE ORNAMENT OF CLEAR REALISATION & 70 TOPICS 

This fundamental text, composed by Lord Maitreya and brought to this world by Arya Asanga, is the source of all our teachings on method, on thought transformation and the stages of the path to enlightenment. 

The 4th Chapter, Complete Preparation,  covers the whole mahayana path, teaching in practical terms what is practised by bodhisattvas at the various stages, all the way to enlightenment. On the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, there is special emphasis on the 37 Aspects of Enlightenment which include the development of concentration through the practice of the Four Close Placements of Mindfulness, the Four Correct Abandoners (eliminating what has been determined as necessary to reject) and the results of concentration, the four Limbs of Miracles.

REASON AND LOGIC 

In order to comprehend hidden phenomena such as selflessness/emptiness, we must first attain valid inference based upon correct reasons. The understanding of reasons and logic is therefore essential to our study and practice. This module investigates the 3 types of correct reasons and the various incorrect or pseudo reasons as well as training us to apply clear reasoning to the stages of the path.

LAM RIM CHEN MO 

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment by the Precious Lord Lama Tsong Khapa is the very basis of all our study and practice within the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. These teachings take the practitioner from the foundational teachings on relying on the teacher, the root of the path, right through to extensive in depth teachings on the development of wisdom, the realisation of the true nature of reality. 

Originally planned to be taught over three 8 week modules by Geshe Tashi Tsering, this course was extended to four modules and is available to download in the four separate modules.

Homestudy students will need to purchase the texts used for the course separately. These are the 3 volumes of  The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment from Snow Lion and are available widely.

THE HEART OF WISDOM SUTRA

A short, pithy course of seven teachings from Geshe Tashi Tsering (with interpreter Ven Lozang Zopa) on this condensed teaching on the nature of reality.

Geshela gave this four-day course for BSP students as well as the general public over the Easter Weekend 2005, during a break in the teachings on the Insight Chapter of the Lam Rim Chen Mo.

DEATH, INTERMEDIATE STATE AND REBIRTH – The Three Kayas of the Ground 

A clear explanation of the stages of death and rebirth so important for our daily meditation practice as well as our understanding of the practice of tantra. These teachings by Geshe Tashi Tsering are based on the text found (and commented on) in Death Intermediate State and Rebirth by Lati Rinpoche and homestudy students will need to purchase this text separately.

12 teachings in audio and edited transcript form with revision questions and a final assignment.

 

THE STAGES OF THE TANTRIC PATH – MODULE 1 – THE LOWER TANTRAS

The course gives an overview of the practices of the three lower classes of tantra with special emphasis on Action Tantra. In explaining the paths of Action Tantra, Geshela gave a wonderfully clear, in depth commentary on the Chenrezig Nyung Nay practice. 

These teachings are available ONLY to those who have received a Tantric Inititation.

 

THE STAGES OF THE TANTRIC PATH – MODULE 2 – HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA 

This profound subject is available only to those who have highest yoga tantra initiation. It completes the explanation of the theory and practice of the four levels of tantric practice begun with the module on the lower tantras. 

This second 8 week module is devoted exclusively to the practice of highest yoga tantra, both the generation and completion stages. Geshe Tashi Tsering believes it is extremely important for his western students to have a clear understanding of this aspect of Buddhist practice, so often misunderstood, and explains even the most esoteric points fully and clearly.

These teachings are available ONLY to those who have received Highest Yoga Tantra Inititation.

 

COMMENTARY ON THE PRACTICE OF YAMANTAKA VAJRABHAIRAVA – 2006

Ven Geshe Tashi Tsering taught extensively over seven weeks on the Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Yamantaka, during the second round of our Buddhist Studies Programme.

These clear and inspiring teachings are now made available as a homestudy package for those who have received this initiation and wish to understand the practice well. Geshela also gave valuable instructions on how to prepare and setup for the Yamantaka retreat.

We have previously offered a package of the commentary given in 2001 during the first round of our programme. We believe that this second package is clearer and the materials better laid out for your study, but in order for all students to receive all possible information on this important practice, we now include the entire commentary from 2001 along with this second package.

These teachings are available ONLY to those who have received Highest Yoga Tantra Inititation.

 

LAM RIM RETREAT COURSE 2007 with Geshe Tashi Tsering and Ven Lozang Zopa. For many years Chenrezig Institute has offered a retreat course in January focussing on the Graduated Path to Enlightenment, the Lam Rim. This was the final course taught by Geshe Tashi Tsering who was our resident teacher for 18 years, with his excellent interpreter Ven Lozang Zopa. It was transcribed and edited making a wonderful study course and we added to the teachings, the meditations led by our then western teacher Ven Tenzin Tsepal during a three day strict retreat which followed the course.

 

LAM RIM RETREAT COURSE 2018 with Geshe Tsultrim and Ven Kartson

Especially for those students who have now made a connection with our current resident teacher Geshe Tsultrim, this lovely course was transcribed and lightly edited offering students the opportunity to go through the materials at home. It includes audio files of the teachings as well as lightly edited transcripts to read.

 

For further information, to discuss orders for any of our homestudy packages, or to be placed on an email list in order to receive further updates, please contact the Advanced Programme Coordinator (Kathy Vichta) on  [email protected]