The Foundation of Buddhist Thought is a two-year course which most students study online. Its special quality is that Geshe Tashi draws upon the depth of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy to show how Buddhism can make a real difference to the way we live our lives today.
Although Geshe Tashi uses material from other Buddhist traditions, it is important to know that this course introduces Buddhist thought from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, and from amongst the Tibetan schools, from a Gelug point of view.
The two years are broken into 6 four-month modules, with three months of active study and discussion, and one month of reflection to do the final review and final essay for each module. The first year you will study the Four Noble Truths, Ultimate Truth and Relative Truth, and Buddhist Psychology, which are the basis of Buddhist Philosophy. During the second year you will cover The Awakening Mind, Emptiness and An Overview of Tantric Paths and Grounds, which focus on the practice aspect of Buddhism.
Students receive over eighty hours of teachings by Geshe Tashi that relate to the six subjects in the Foundation of Buddhist Thought which are published as books by Wisdom Publications. You can listen to the audio material as downloads from the website or as MP3 CDs. Each topic is divided into two-week segments, with reading, listening, meditating and discussing.
You are a member of a moderated learning group of around 10 to 15 students. Your moderator will send you discussion questions and comment on the essays and review question answers you write. All of the online interaction takes place in the FBT study centre, where you will also find extra reading resources and links to useful websites, videos, etc. To find out more about the activities for each module and studying online, please visit: Study Experience
In order to receive a completion certificate, students must participate in the discussions and complete all the written assignments. To fully participate in all the aspects of the course you should allow between 4 to 6 hours a week. Note that the certificate is only to show that you have completed the course. It does not entitle you to teach the course.
If you would like to read a more in-depth description of the content of each of the modules, please click here: Content of the modules.