Tuesday evenings, 7pm to 9pm
See our Calendar page or the Home page for precise dates of upcoming courses.
You are very welcome to join in our Tuesday night classes. This is the entry point for anyone interested in finding out more about this particular style of Buddhism. New topics start approximately every other month. Starting at the beginning of a new topic is best. Don’t worry about the course number.
How to register: You can register when you arrive at class. Course fees are based on a suggested donation of $15 per class or a discount if the series is paid in full on first class.
The reason for the requested donations is that the center needs funds to keep operating. Members of a certain level get courses for free. See more about registration procedures here.
Your generous donation helps to keep programs like this going. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Discovering Buddhism Teachers
Having a long-held interest in the mind's capacity for transformation, Ven. Gyalten Palmo left home to spend 4½ months in India with an enlightened master in the late 1970's. Ven. Palmo started studying Tibetan Buddhism 16 years ago. She has studied closely under Ribur Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Geshe Ngawang Dakpa and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She went on to complete the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition's (FPMT) Basic Program coursework and retreats. In 2012, she was ordained by Choden Rinpoche at Sera Jey Monastic University in India. As an FPMT-registered teacher, she has been teaching Discovering Buddhism regularly at Tse Chen Ling Center in San Francisco since 2013. Ven. Palmo loves studying and sharing the Dharma with others.
Ven. Angie Muir, a Tibetan Buddhist Nun from Scotland, has been ordained for 18 years. During this time she has studied and practiced in the East – India and Nepal – and the West, Scotland and the USA. She has also been centrally involved in serving, teaching and leading meditations at these places. She currently resides in California, serving at Lama Zopa Rinpoche's private residence.
Karuna Cayton has been a student of Buddhist psychology and philosophy for over 40 years. A long time student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he worked for the lamas at Kopan Monastery from 1975-1988. During that time he created and taught the secular studies program for the resident Tibetan and Nepali monks. He also assisted in running the Buddhist programs for foreign visitors and was the co-founder and director of the city center in Kathmandu, Himalayan Yogic Institute.
After returning to the US in 1988 he received his MA in Clinical Psychology from JFK University in 1992. He has worked at the Children's Health Council at Stanford University and trained interns in Narrative Therapy at Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto.
Presently, he is the director of The Karuna Group a coaching and counseling project. The Karuna Group works with individuals, couples and families as well as assists business leaders in transforming their organizations into preeminent enterprises based upon the Buddhist principles of Wisdom, Compassion, and Ethics. Karuna also teaches workshops and classes in the integration of western and Buddhist psychology.
The 14 Discovering Buddhism Modules
- Mind and Its Potential Examine the mind and how it creates happiness and suffering. Learn to transform destructive thoughts and attitudes to create a positive and joyous mind!
- How to Meditate Learn the definition and purpose of meditation, how to sit, how to set up a meditation session, different meditation techniques, and how to deal with obstacles to meditation.
- Presenting the Path Get an overview of the entire Tibetan Buddhist path to awakening. Study the life story of the Buddha and discover a unique system for putting Buddhist philosophy into practice – the lam-rim, or “graduated path to enlightenment.”
- The Spiritual Teacher Investigate the role of the teacher on the spiritual path: the need for a teacher, the qualities of teacher and student, and how to relate to a teacher for greatest benefit.
- Death and Rebirth Explore the process of death and rebirth and its impact on how we live our lives. Learn to fulfill your purpose in life, resolve conflicts, and develop the skills to help yourself and others at death.
- All About Karma Learn the essential facts about the law of cause and effect. Explore ways to deal with life most effectively and take control of your future!
- Refuge in the Three Jewels Find out what it means to take refuge in the Three Jewels and the essential practices of refuge. Learn about the advantage of taking lay vows and their role in enhancing our spiritual growth.
- Establishing a Daily Practice Assemble the tools you need to develop a successful daily practice and find out the elements necessary to generate realizations. Get some tips for making every action meaningful.
- Samsara and Nirvana Investigate what “samsara” is and how we are stuck in it. Find out what “nirvana” is and how to achieve it. Learn how to be free from suffering and empower yourself with practical tools to deal with and eliminate disturbing emotions forever.
- How to Develop Bodhichitta Discover practices that develop our innate qualities of compassion. Learn to apply these techniques to generate the mind of bodhichitta, known as the very heart of Buddha’s teachings.
- Transforming Problems Learn the disadvantages of self-cherishing and the advantages of cherishing others. Learn to employ the special techniques of mind training (lojong) to transform problems into happiness.
- Wisdom of Emptiness The realization of emptiness is crucial for the attainment of liberation and enlightenment. Learn to develop calm abiding and different methods of meditation on emptiness.
- Introduction to Tantra Learn what tantra is, how it works, and why it is a powerful form of practice. Get a broad overview of the four classes of tantra and learn to practice simple Kriya tantric methods. Learn to integrate tantra with lam-rim meditation for optimal results.
- Special Integration Experiences The FPMT Education Department explains:
By undertaking intensive practices of purification and a two-week lam-rim retreat, you prepare your mind in the best way to realize the path to enlightenment. Purification practices include: 100,000 prostrations, 3-month Vajrasattva retreat, and Nyung Nä. This is a great way to seal the blessings of this program!
Module 14 is required in order to receive the Certificate of Completion for Discovering Buddhism, however very few students manage to do so. This is partly due to lack of time in our busy, modern lives. It is also perhaps due to the centers, such as our center, not providing enough information or opportunity. So here, we will provide some leads on where you can to these integration practices. Maybe we can form a sort of support group or club in order to work on the lengthier practices.