Study Programmes

There are three reasons why we need to study and practise the teachings of Buddha: 1) to develop our wisdom, 2) to cultivate a good heart and 3) to maintain a peaceful state of mind.

Developing wisdom
If we do not strive to develop our wisdom we will always remain ignorant of ultimate truth – the true nature of reality. Although we wish for happiness, our ignorance leads us to engage in non-virtuous actions, which are the main cause of all our suffering.

Cultivating a good heart
If we do not cultivate a good heart, our selfish motivation destroys harmony and good relationships with others. We have no peace, and no chance to gain pure happiness. Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible.

Maintaining a peaceful state of mind
If we do not maintain a peaceful state of mind we are not happy even if we have ideal external conditions. On the other hand, when our mind is peaceful we are happy even if our external conditions are unpleasant.

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche has designed these three special Study Programmes for the systematic study and practice of Modern Buddhism that are especially suited to the modern world: the General Programme, Foundation Programme, and Teacher Training Programme. See below for details.

The Benefits of Foundation Programme and Teacher Training Programme 

The following is a transcript of a talk given by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche on the occasion of the inauguration of the Foundation Programme at Tara Centre, England, October 1990.

"Beginning the Foundation Programme at a centre presents us with a great opportunity because this programme fulfills both our own and others’ wishes.

How does the Foundation Programme fulfill our own wishes? By increasing our wisdom and our experience of Dharma. With wisdom and Dharma experience we can solve all the problems we encounter in daily life and we can protect ourselves from danger in the future. Since beginningless time we have had strong, bad habits that arise from our self-grasping and self-cherishing.

We all want to better ourselves and to be happy and successful in life but our bad habits lead us in the opposite direction. Instead of finding happiness we create the cause of more suffering. None of us wants to suffer and yet, because of our bad habits, we are continually strengthening our deluded minds, which are the cause of all our suffering.

With wisdom and Dharma experience we can bring our deluded minds under control. We can reduce our attachment, anger, jealousy, and so forth, and subdue our self-grasping and self-cherishing. By controlling our deluded minds we will come to experience permanent peace day and night. We will bring about a permanent cessation of human problems in particular and of samsaric problems in general. In this way we will become our own protectors.

With wisdom and Dharma experience we will also become our own doctors. Whether we are young or old, rich or poor, famous or of humble origins, without choice we all have to experience mental pain. Within one day we experience mental pain and discomfort many times, sometimes due to unpleasant circumstances and sometimes due to other people, even our friends. Sometimes for no apparent reason unhappiness, disappointment, dissatisfaction, or pain arise naturally due to the ripening of karmic imprints.

We need a remedy for this pain. No one else can give us medicine that will relieve this type of pain, we have to become our own karma-doctor and cure ourselves through Dharma experience. By increasing our wisdom and Dharma experience we will gradually solve all our problems and eventually we will achieve the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment, the bliss of Buddhahood. This is how the Foundation Programme can fulfil our own wishes.

Teacher Training Programme

Sunday 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Monday 7:00 - 8:45 am
with Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab

The Teacher Training Programme was designed by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche to train qualified teachers of modern Kadampa Buddhism. It is taught by Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab, Resident Teacher at Tara IKRC.
The core of the programme is the study of 14 books written by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
The purpose of the study component is to enable students to gain an understanding of the deep meanings of Buddha’s teachings and learn how to apply them to modern daily life. The purpose of the meditation component is to enable the students to gain practical experience of the meaning of the teachings. Qualified teachers need both.

In addition there is a Teaching Skills component in which two students offer short teachings followed by video-feedback and discussion on how to improve and deliver effective teachings.

Foundation Programme

The Foundation Programme provides an opportunity for everyone to engage in systematic study and meditation on the essential subjects of Kadampa Buddhism based on six books by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. The emphasis in the classes, which consist of teachings, meditation, and discussion, is on gaining practical experience of Buddha’s teachings that you can apply to your daily life.
Studying in this way is a tried and tested method 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. If you have been coming to classes regularly and have been getting a lot out of your General Programme classes but feel you want to go deeper with your study and practice - the systematic study of these essential Kadampa texts on the Foundation Programmes may be a perfect next step for you.

Monday Foundation Programme

Monday 7:00 - 9:00 pm
with Kelsang Pagma

Studying Joyful Path of Good Fortune with senior teacher, Kelsang Pagma.


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 fulfil this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey. With this book, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche 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 practised, enriching his explanation with stories and illuminating analogies. This is a perfect guidebook to the Buddhist path.


Kelsang Pagma, studies the Teacher Training Programme at Tara IKRC and has been ordained as a Kadampa Buddhist nun for many years. She shares her wealth of meditative experience with joy and clarity, and explains how to apply Buddha’s teachings practically to daily life.

Sunday Foundation Programme

Sunday 3:00-5:00 pm
with Gen Kelsang Losel

New Book from 5th May: Universal Compassion


Universal Compassion provides practical instructions showing how to transform even the most difficult daily life experiences into opportunities for spiritual growth through developing and enhancing minds of universal love and compassion.

The heart of Buddha’s teachings is unconditional love and compassion. In this inspiring explanation of the popular Buddhist poem Training the Mind in Seven Points, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche reveals powerful and far-reaching methods for us to develop these altruistic states.

Ancient meditative techniques that have been tried and tested for centuries are brought alive and made relevant to our everyday experiences.

Transforming daily problems
Also included is a practical explanation of how we can transform our day-to-day problems – even the most demanding and difficult conditions – into opportunities for personal and spiritual development.

By pointing the way to an unchanging freedom and happiness, this immensely readable book challenges us to grow, and will have a remarkable impact on our life.


Gen Kelsang Losel is an experienced teacher who is well respected and has been a close disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for thirty years. She has a wealth of meditation and teaching experience. Her teachings are clear, light-hearted and insightful, demonstrating a practical approach to all aspects of the Buddhist spiritual path, Gen Losel is greatly cherished by students for her warmth and compassion.


These programmes are not weekly drop-in classes and can only be accessed after an enrolment procedure. If you are interested in further information and to enrol please contact the Education Programme Coordinator at

The cost is £35 per month for both FP and TTP though you may only join one of these at a time - it isn't possible to be on two programmes simultaneously.