Teacher Training Program

What is Teacher Training Program?

The purpose of the Teacher Training Program is to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism.

Anyone who feels ready for this type of study and practice may enroll. Generally, it is good to first have at least a basic understanding of foundational Buddhist Sutra topics such as renunciation, bodhichitta, and emptiness. It is also recommended to have participated in Foundation Program prior to enrolling in TTP.

The result of the program is to gain a practical understanding of the meaning of the subjects and to deepen our understanding and experience of the meaning through meditation. Classes include chanted prayers, guided meditations, an explanatory teaching, and paired discussion. Each class covers an assigned number of pages in the book with the emphasis on understanding the deeper meaning, and learning how to apply this meaning to our daily life as well as our meditations.

Course material

In addition to the six texts studied in the Foundation Program, the Teacher Training Program covers the following subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:

  • Ocean of Nectar
  • Clear Light of Bliss
  • The Bodhisattva Vow
  • Great Treasury of Merit
  • Mahamudra Tantra
  • The New Guide to Dakini Land
  • Tantric Grounds and Paths
  • New Essence of Vajrayana

Class structure

In TTP, the class meets twice each week. Prior to class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually a few pages long, and memorize the essential points.

The class begins with chanted prayers and guided meditation. The teacher then reads the assigned section 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.

Commitments

  • Be personally motivated by the three purposes that are outlined.
  • Complete the study of all the subjects without interruption.
  • Attend every class unless extenuating circumstances prevent it.
  • Study and memorize the essential points of each subject.
  • Take the examination at the end of each course.
  • Engage in TTP retreats to the best of your ability.
  • Attend a group puja or a General Program class each week.
  • Maintain the moral discipline of the five lay precepts on the premises.
Featuring the book The New Guide to Dakini Land

The New Guide to Dakini Land is a revised version of Venerable Geshe Kelsang’s original book Guide to Dakini Land.

Vajrayogini is a female enlightened Deity of Highest Yoga Tantra, a manifestation of all Buddha’s wisdom. By engaging in the Tantric practice of Vajrayogini under the guidance of a qualified Spiritual Guide, sincere practitioners can completely purify their body, speech and mind and attain a state of full enlightenment, the ultimate goal of human life.

This comprehensive guide provides a detailed and practical explanation of the two stages of Vajrayogini practice – generation stage and completion stage – and shows how we can integrate these practices into our daily life, thereby transforming every moment of our life into the path to enlightenment. It is a unique guide to becoming a Tantric enlightened being in the modern world.

Building community

Because the class meets weekly, Teacher Training Program students are able to grow and stabilize their connection to the teachings and one another, week by week. This happens formally in class during group discussion and also after classes and during other Center functions.

Class logistics

  • TTP is available both in-person and livestream (for those who qualify – see below).
  • People who are unable to attend the Center in person due to distance from KMC Madison, disability, or illness are eligible to join TTP as a correspondence student online.
  • Please contact [email protected] to express your interest in the program and to find out more.