FPMT Study Programs on Tibetan Buddhism
In the West, it is nearly impossible to study Buddhism in the same way as monks and nuns in the traditional Buddhist monasteries, as our living conditions are quite different. To provide a way to learn how the major subjects were studied in the Tibetan Gelugpa monasteries, the FPMT developed an extensive study program.
The program of the Maitreya Institute encompasses several levels of the teachings in accordance with the FPMT study program, in order of difficulty:
- Buddhism in a Nutshell (introductory, regularly in Amsterdam and Loenen, but not always in English)
- How to Meditate (introductory, regularly in Amsterdam and Loenen, but not always in English)
- Discovering Buddhism series over 14 modules, in Amsterdam in English, in Loenen in Dutch
- Basic Program (in Amsterdam partly in English, in Loenen partly in Dutch and English)
Besides studying classic texts, much attention is given to questions, discussions and the internalising of the materials by meditation. Only with a proper understanding, we can sensibly meditate to achieve deeper understanding and realisations on this path of inner evolution.
"In Buddhism, both learning and practice are extremely important, and they must go hand in hand. Without knowledge, just to rely on faith, faith, and more faith is good but not sufficient. So the intellectual part must definitely be present. At the same time, strictly intellectual development without faith and practice, is also of no use. It is necessary to combine knowledge born from study with sincere practice in our daily lives. These two must go together."
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama