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Foundation Program

(Oak Park)

Ready to go deeper?

Try Foundation Program 

with Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Zamling 

Sundays, 12 - 3:30pm

In Oak Park

(online option still available for those outside Chicagoland)

Classes Resume Feb 5

12:00 - 3:30pm in Oak Park

(or livestream, if outside Chicagoland)

12 - 2pm: Teaching and meditation

2 - 2:30pm: Break & social time

2:30 - 3:30pm: Become inspired with group meditation prayers

Try it for free!

Unique Benefits


  • Learn from an experienced teacher with over 20 years of experience

  • Develop confidence and skill in your meditation practice 

  • Connect with a supportive and inspiring spiritual community, open to everyone

  • Gain skills to apply what you learn in class to everyday life

  • Develop comprehensive understanding of the Buddhist spiritual path

  • Created by renowned Buddhist master, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, based upon traditional meditation & study programs used for centuries.

Venerable Geshe Kelsang ASSET5cwnt3zprwuh3p x800.jpg

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche


Foundation Program students during meditation prayers

Unique Format


Unlike our drop-in (GP) classes, FP is a year-round, enrollment-only class; we meet each week during term times and have regular term breaks and a longer break in the summer.

Each student makes the personal commitment to attend weekly classes and meditation prayers (pujas), and to study a small section of the text before each class. Every 4-6 weeks, we have group discussion classes facilitated by students.

Weekly Sunday schedule:

12 - 2pm: Study Class

includes guided meditation, in-depth teaching, and discussion

2:30 - 3:30pm Group Meditation Prayers (Puja)

to empower our spiritual progress



Inspiring Solutions for Difficult Times

by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

We are studying the book Universal Compassion: Inspiring Solutions for Difficult Times, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, in which we learn how to:

  • enhance our understanding and personal experience of love, compassion, and wisdom.

  • transform difficult situations into opportunities for authentic spiritual growth

  • make our meditations powerful and effective

  • train in the spiritual path practically in daily activities


Copies of the book are available in our bookstore or directly from Tharpa Publications.​




The program fee of $80* per month includes:

  • All weekly Foundation Program classes

  • All drop-in General Program classes

  • 50% off half-day retreats and workshops

  • All meditation prayers (pujas)

* Financial accommodations can be made for those in need.  Please contact our Administrative Director for details: or 312-767-1898 (call/text)

How to Enroll

  • Contact our Education Program Coordinator to arrange a free session at your convenience: or 312-767-1898 (call/text)

The Origin of Foundation Program


Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, created this specially designed study and meditation program based upon traditional methods passed down in an unbroken lineage for generations since the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.  

The Program includes the study and practice of six authoritative texts covering the entire scope of Buddha’s Mahayana teachings, which generally takes several years to complete.


Its modern format makes it possible for anyone to develop authentic spiritual experience while living a busy, modern life. It is very blessed and powerful, and easily leads to quick and authentic spiritual development.


The program comprises the following five subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:

  1. The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune

  2. Training the Mind, based on the commentaries Universal Compassion and The New Eight Steps to Happiness

  3. The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary The New Heart of Wisdom

  4. Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold

  5. Types of Mind, based on the commentary How to Understand the Mind

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