The Discovering Buddhism (DB) two-year course emphasizes an authentic yet culturally relevant presentation of the Buddha's teachings. Taught by FPMT registered teachers and facilitators, the classes lay a strong foundation of the entire Tibetan Buddhist path including how to integrate study and practice. This is an excellent “next step” for students who have taken the Buddhism in a Nutshell class and want to learn more. There are no pre-requisites or fees, although donations are appreciated.
We ask that new students starting the course to start only on the first week of each module, which typically begins the first Monday of a given month, when we'll have volunteers ready to explain how the course works and how to access online teachings. This makes the transition easiest for new students, and we've found that attending the entire module is the least confusing for everyone (rather than starting in the middle, not having clear instructions, and finding the topic difficult after missing the early classes). The 2016-2018 cycle begins Sept 12, 2016. Please see our calendar for when modules begin. Supporting materials for each module can be found on the Discovering Buddhism Material page.
The two-year curriculum covers thirteen of the fourteen modules in the course. The 14th module, Special Integration Practices, is a practicum including a two-week lamrim retreat and purification practices such as 100,000 prostrations, a 3-month Vajrasattva retreat, and Nyung Nä. Residential FPMT centers periodically offer these opportunities. Students are encouraged to apply for a certificate of completion from FPMT if they complete all the course requirements, including the Special Integration Practices.
For questions, please email here.
There's a lot of benefit to seeking certification for the course, including the commitment to learning the material and trying the practices recommended by our spiritual founder, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. If you finish all the required readings, meditations, and quizzes for all 14 modules, you can receive a certificate showing that you completed the DB series. If you want to qualify for the DB Certificate, you will need to submit provided completion forms signed by the course leader and submit them to the Spiritual Program Coordinator. Please pay particular attention to the 14th module, Special Integration Practices, since it helps to start some of these practices during the course rather than wait till the end. Please ask any of the DB teachers or the Spiritual Program Coordinator if you have any questions.