The Eight-Year Foundation Program

Young nuns during a study break
Young nuns during a study break

A Five-Year Elementary Program of basic texts and beginner-to-intermediate level Tibetan, Nepali and English prepares nuns for further studies. New nuns enter First Year classes and progress over the years with these classmates. The Elementary Program takes place year round, Monday to Friday with half-day Saturday.

The Three-Year Middle School that follows includes continuing education in Tibetan, Nepali and English, more in-depth Dharma studies and training in ritual arts. Classes begin the third month of the Tibetan calendar (springtime) and are in session for nine months, Monday to Friday and half-day Saturday.

First Year

(3 months): How to Listen to the Dharma by Khenpo Kunzang Palden, a portion of His commentary to Entering the Way of the Bodhisattva and The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Gyalse Togme (Next 3 months): Tree of Eloquence by Yangchan Dorje; (next 2 months): Spelling for Children by Tendzin Namgyal.

Creating ritual offerings (tormas) followed by learning to play the Dharma instruments.
Continuing study of Tibetan, Nepali and English grammar and building vocabularies.

Second Year:

Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa; Verses on the Vows of a Novice by Nāgārjuna; continuation of Tibetan, Nepali and English grammar and vocabulary.

Third Year:

Letter to a Friend by Nāgārjuna; Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche, studied in two parts of outer and inner Ngöndro (preliminary practices); continuation of Nepali and English classes.