What Centers Need to Know
As teacher registration is dependent upon having received a completion certificate in one of the following: Discovering Buddhism, Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Basic Program, Maitripa College, or the Masters Program, centers need to ensure these programs are hosted correctly and in their entirety so students can receive their completion certificates.
As such, Center Directors and Spiritual Program Coordinators need to understand the specific components and requirements of these programs and ensure their teachers are also aware.
Components of the 14 Module Discovering Buddhism (DB) Program
- Teachings on the module topic
- Meditations for each topic
- “DB Readings” (A collection of excerpts from Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and His Holiness the Dalai Lama provided with the program; as well as readings from Liberation in the Palm of the Hand, Wish Fulfilling Golden Sun and a few other required books.)
- Integration Practices, which, aside from the meditations often include a 1-2 day retreat for each module
- An assessment or public exam
For anyone wishing to receive a completion certificate, Module 14 is also a requirement of the program.
Module 14, Special Integration Practices, consists of:
- 100,000 prostrations
- 100,000 Vajrasattva mantras
- 2 week Lamrim retreat
- Nyung Na
Click here for a document which explains the various ways to complete these Module 14 requirements.
The DB for centers package is available on the FPMT Centers Only page of the Foundation Store. The program consists of four binders of materials: Center, Student, Teacher and the text Wish Fulfilling Golden Sun.
Important resources within the Teacher Binder include:
- A Subject Area Summary Sheet for every module which lists the specific teachings, readings, and integration practice requirements for completion certificate students. Click here to view the"SASS" for DB's 14 modules.
- A Sample Course Outline prepared by a senior FPMT teacher which outlines in detail the topics to cover in each session of the module
The required meditations are not provided within the DB binders and can be found on the DB Updates page in the Members Area of the FPMT website.
An assessment or public exam must also be administered at the conclusion of each module for students to receive a completion certificate. Teachers can write their own assessment questions or they can use the questions provided on the DB Updates page. These questions were made for students following the DB at Home program and are, as such, in line with how the DB at Home teacher presented the module. Some modules also have alternate “public exam” questions on the Updates page that have been provided by centers hosting DB.
Centers will need to keep track of their DB students following the program for a certificate. The easiest way to do this is to provide a Completion Card to each student and have the teacher sign the card when a module is completed. Hard copies of these completion cards in English, Spanish, French and Italian can be sent to you from FPMT Education Services or downloaded from the DB Updates page.
When a student has completed all 14 modules the completion card can be sent into FPMT Education Services or the centers can simply inform Education Services and the student will then receive their DB completion certificate signed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The certificate is one criteria needed to become a registered teacher.
In conclusion, any center hosting DB should have:
- The DB for Centers package of 4 binders (Teacher, Student, Center, Wish Fulfilling Golden Sun)
- Familiarity with the DB Updates page which provides a wealth of additional resource material including meditations, assessment questions & answer keys, promotional materials, transcripts of the DB at Home teachings (an excellent resource for new teachers who can use some help preparing their lectures), etc.
- A DB teacher who is fully aware of the vision and resources of the program as well as encouraging of students to follow the program for a certificate. If the teacher is new, please encourage them be in touch with Education Services for more information.
- The Discovering Buddhism DVD which includes ½ hour shows on each DB topic. The DB DVD is subtitled in English, French, German, and Spanish and is available on the Foundation Store.
- For a brief explanation of the differences between the DB program, the DB DVD, and the at Home and Online options for following DB, click here.
Further questions can be addressed to Tom Truty, Education Services Coordinator: Tom@fpmt.org