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Foundation Program

(Wicker Park)


6pm - 9pm

Wicker Park

This class meets September through June, with occasional breaks

New students can join at any time. We also offer FP on Sundays in Oak Park.

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 below.




by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

This book offers us 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 class is currently studying Part 2 of the book, which explains in exquisite detail the various types of mind according to the Buddhist psychological tradition.  

By understanding our mind so thoroughly, we can effectively change our mind from doubt and confusion to the profoundly tranquil and powerful wisdom of a fully awakened mind, which is capable of bringing unsurpassed benefit to all.  

The text concludes with a detailed explanation of meditation, showing how by controlling and transforming our mind, we can attain a state of everlasting joy, independent of external conditions.