Foundation Program

(Oak Park)


5pm - 8pm


This class meets September through June, with occasional breaks.

New students can join at any time. We also offer FP on Tuesdays in Wicker Park

*Normally in Oak Park; currently being held online.

The Foundation Program (FP) is one of the three levels of study in Kadampa Buddhism, and gives you the opportunity to engage in a structured study and meditation program on the essential teachings of the Buddhist spiritual path.

Buddhism teaches that to find lasting happiness and meaning in our lives we need to follow a spiritual path. To follow this path it is important to have a close connection with a qualified teacher who can give us personal advice and encouragement, to listen to pure Dharma teachings, and to be a part of a strong spiritual community. In this way we are able to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of Buddha's teachings, maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and make genuine spiritual progress.

The secret of the Foundation Program's success lies in the manageable commitment made by the student and in the clear structure of study. Students sign up to study a book or part of a book, agree to attend every class, learn the material, and to take a test at the conclusion of the study. Class meets once a week. If for a suitable reason a student is not able to attend the class in person, he or she agrees to catch up by listening to an audio recording of the class.

Each class begins with chanted prayers and guided meditation. The teacher then reads from the book while giving commentary to the text, after which the students divide into pairs to discuss the material. The teacher and students conclude by deciding what to meditate on in the next class and how to practice during the coming week.


Try two classes for free. If you decide to join, the cost is $80 per month, year-round. Advance arrangements are required, including to arrange a trial period. For more information or to set up a trial, please contact us using the form at the end of the page.




by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

A clear and comprehensive explanation of the entire path to enlightenment. We all have the potential for self-transformation, and a limitless capacity for the growth of good qualities, but to fulfill this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey. With this book, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso offers us step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices that will lead us to lasting inner peace and happiness. With extraordinary clarity, he presents all Buddha's teachings in the order in which they are to be practiced, enriching his explanation with stories and illuminating analogies. This is a perfect guidebook to the Buddhist path.

This class is currently studying the third section of the book, covering the Great Scope: meditations on love, compassion, concentration & wisdom.