Study Programs

An introduction to our three study programs

In the New Kadampa Tradition, we have three spiritual programs: General Program (GP), Foundation Program (FP) and Teacher Training Program (TTP). These programs, designed by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for the systematic study and practice of modern Buddhism, are especially suited to today’s world.

All classes at KMC Colorado provide practical methods for improving our human nature and qualities through developing the capacity of our mind. The programs are open to everyone of all backgrounds and traditions.

"By participating in them we can improve our wisdom and Dharma experience and use Dharma to solve our daily problems. We can become our own protector by protecting ourselves from danger and suffering, and our own doctor by curing our mental pain with Dharma medicine. We shall be able to set a good example for others to follow and help others by giving teachings and advice. Eventually we will be able to give extensive teachings and benefit others in many ways by organizing special programs and so forth. In this way we will make both our own and others’ human lives extremely meaningful." ~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

These three study programs help us fulfill our highest potential

Buddha’s 84,000 teachings of Sutra and Tantra are precious wisdom insights that can open the door to a profoundly rich and meaningful life and lead us to lasting happiness. To extract their full meaning, we need to systematically familiarize our minds with these insights until we have penetrated so deeply into their meaning that they become our own.

The study programs at Kadampa Meditation Centers throughout the world are designed to enable us to do this.

The method for taking these teachings deep into our hearts is centered around three key activities: listening, contemplating and meditating. Our study programs are structured to support the development of these three wisdoms.

As we train our minds, it is important to have a close connection with qualified teachers who can give us personal advice and encouragement, to listen to pure Dharma teachings, and to belong to a strong spiritual community. These enable us to maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and to make real and lasting change.

"To increase our wisdom arisen from listening we need to listen to correct instructions from fully qualified Spiritual Guides, read authentic Dharma books and discuss what we have heard. Wisdom arisen from contemplation arises from reflecting again and again upon what we have heard and understood, and wisdom arisen from meditation arises from meditating on what we have heard and contemplated. We need to keep increasing these three wisdoms continuously until we attain enlightenment." ~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune

The General Program

All classes at KMC Colorado other than our Sunday evening Teacher Training Program and Thursday evening Foundation Program classes are General Program (GP) classes.

The General Program is open to all — and encompasses not only drop-in classes — but also special courses, retreats, chanted meditations, outreach programs, and Tantric empowerments & practices.

Weekly ‘GP’ drop-in classes are are suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners alike, and are designed to help those looking for Buddhist wisdom to help with stress relief and relaxation, as well as those interested in exploring the nature of the mind and pursuing the Buddhist path. Everyone is welcome regardless of background or belief; and you do not need to be Buddhist to attend.

Classes explore the basic themes of Buddhist teachings and meditation and explain how to use Buddha’s advice practically in our daily lives to solve our problems and find deeper peace. All General Program classes are based on commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

A typical class consists of a guided meditation, a teaching based on the meditation topic, a “turn-and-talk” discussion, and final meditation. Although classes are given as a series around one specific topic, they can also be taken individually, as each class is also self-contained.

Classes last between one hour to 1.5 hours. Both chairs and meditation cushions are available at the center. No special clothing is needed, just dress comfortably. There is no physical exercise, yoga, or stretching involved. No pre-registration is required.

Our drop-in GP classes are complemented by additional weekend courses, short guided meditations and in-depth retreats which generally cover related content, perfect for those who are new or experienced.

Everyone is welcome!

Weekly General Program Classes

Sun Morning
Meditations for World Peace
(In Person & Online starting July 4th)

Sundays | 10:30am-12:00pm
with Kadam Lucy James

Tues Evening
The Roots of Happiness
(In Person & Online starting July 4th)

Tuesdays | 7:00-8:30pm
with LJ Aaen

WeD Evening
Fulfilling Our Human Potential 
(In Person & Online starting July 4th)

Wednesdays | 7:00-8:15pm
with Kadam Lucy James

The Foundation Program

Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering an interim Foundation Program, please visit this page for more information and enrollment.



How to Understand the Mind 

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s acclaimed book explains Buddha’s life-changing insights into the nature of consciousness and how our minds work.

When we resume regular programming, you will be invited to join us for an enlightening exploration of our minds, becoming inspired to create a life of happiness, confidence and wisdom by mastering and transforming our thoughts.

Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30pm (during term times)

Take your meditation practice to the next level!

If you have been coming to meditation classes for a while and want to take your practice to the next level, Foundation Program (FP) is for you. This systematic and comprehensive study of five essential subjects (six books) is an ideal next step. In operation since 1982, FP has been successfully helping thousands of students worldwide.

Foundation Program (FP) is a tried and tested way to help people gain a deeper understanding of Buddhism, develop a consistent steady meditation practice, and make genuine spiritual progress within the context of their modern life — all with the support of the program teacher, Kadam Lucy James, and fellow practitioners.

Students enroll for one section of the book at a time, committing to regular attendance during term-time and study of the text. The 2-hour class includes guided meditation, prayers, a reading and commentary to the text, and individual & group discussion. Class includes regular term breaks and a long break in the summer.

Recommended but not obligatory is attendance at a weekly puja (chanted prayers) and/or GP class.

If you have questions or if you’d like to let us know you’re interested, please e-mail [email protected]

About the book

How to Understand the Mind by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is an enlightening exploration of what our mind is and how it works. Through this we can create a life of happiness, confidence, and wisdom by mastering and transforming our thoughts.

This extraordinary book offers a deep insight into our mind and shows how an understanding of its nature and functions can be used practically in everyday experience to improve our lives.

The first part is a practical guide to developing and maintaining a light, positive mind. We learn how to recognize and abandon states of mind that harm us and to replace them with peaceful and beneficial ones.

The second part describes different types of mind in detail, revealing the depth and profundity of the Buddhist understanding of the mind. In particular it reveals the process we go through in abandoning wrong and mistaken minds and eventually attaining qualified spiritual realizations.

The book concludes with a practical explanation of fourteen meditations that comprise the Buddhist path to enlightenment. You can order the How to Understand the Mind from Tharpa here, or download it as an ebook.

Teacher Training Program

Sundays, 4:30pm – 8:30pm (during term times)

The Teacher Training Program (TTP) offers the perfect opportunity to train as an authentic teacher of Kadampa Buddhism. This committed study program covers twelve of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche’s books on Sutra and Tantra, and includes a series of meditation retreats. TTP is the perfect basis for transforming our minds and swiftly progressing on the spiritual path. With this deeper understanding and clarity we can become fully qualified as a teacher in the New Kadampa Tradition.

The current text that we are studying on TTP is Great Treasury of Merit. This book provides a full explanation of how to practice Offering to the Spiritual Guide (Tib: Lama Chöpa), one of the most important meditation practices of Kadampa Buddhism. A work of unparalleled profundity and clarity, it contains a wealth of accessible and practical instructions on stages of the path (Lamrim), training the mind (Lojong), and Tantric Mahamudra, the very essence of Buddha’s teachings. It is an indispensable handbook for all those who wish to accomplish the swift path to enlightenment.


There are two sessions per week, both on Sunday, and students are expected to try to attend both. If you have to miss a week, you can do a catch-up class at home within two weeks, filling in a study summary. Each class includes preparatory practices, guided meditations, teachings, commentary, and discussion.

4.30-6.30 | Session 1
6.30-7.10 | Dinner break
7.10-8.30 | Session 2

TTP students are also encouraged to come to a weekly puja at the center and to attend as much as they can the four TTP retreats on the four preliminary practices for Tantric practice held throughout the year.

© 2021 KMC Colorado is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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