Introductory Courses

New to Buddhism? Want to see what it’s all about, or just use its teachings to improve your daily life? FPMT’s Introductory Courses are short courses that allow students to learn the basics of Tibetan Buddhism and meditation.

An enrollment key is required to access these courses, which can be obtained via the Foundation Store or which is available as a benefit at certain levels of the Friend of FPMT program.

Instructions for creating a user account and using the site can be seen in the Getting Started Guide.

Buddhist Meditation 101Buddhist Meditation 101 is an introductory course to Buddhist meditation. It is suitable for people encountering both meditation and Buddhism for the first time, as well as for people who have done some meditation in other traditions but would like to know more about how meditation is practiced in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It provides an overview of meditation and basic meditation techniques, including breathing meditation, mindfulness meditation, visualization meditation, and analytical meditation, in the context of the Tibetan Mahayana tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa (Gelug). It includes an explanation of what kinds of skills are developed in meditation and how to apply them in daily life. The course is taught by Ven. Connie Miller, a senior American teacher of Tibetan Buddhism known for her accessible teaching style.

Buddhism in a NutshellBuddhism in a Nutshell is an FPMT introductory course that provides an overview of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice. It is suitable for people encountering Buddhism for the first time, as well as for people who have heard or read some Buddhist teachings but would like a more structured approach to understanding the path to enlightenment as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. It consists of five sessions that cover topics including the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, the four noble truths, and the three principal aspects of the path to enlightenmentrenunciation, bodhichitta, and the right view of emptiness. The course also provides a brief presentation of meditation and five guided meditations suitable for beginners. The course book, Buddhism in a Nutshell: Essentials for Practice and Study, includes teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Thubten Yeshe. The course is taught by Ven. Amy Miller, a senior American teacher of Tibetan Buddhism known for her accessible teaching style.