We’re excited to announce  the first-ever FPMT Basic Programme at Jamyang Leeds! This is a rare opportunity to study classic texts from the Tibetan Buddhist canon such as “A Guide to The Bodhisattva Way of Life” by Shantideva and “Middle Length Lamrim” by Lama Tsongkhapa. See below for the list of subjects studied. This study programme is one of the most in-depth and comprehensive education programmes created by FPMT. It is suitable for those with a good foundation of Buddhist knowledge. There will be an option to follow the program online.

Starting on 25 September 2021, the Basic Programme will be taught by Venerable Tharchin, a senior monk at Nalanda Monastery. 

Venerable Sonam Tharchin is a senior monk at Nalanda Monastery in France, and a very capable and approachable Western teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.

He studied the Basic Programme, completing it in 2012, and has since completed the Masters Programme. He has previously taught at Leeds (and elsewhere in the UK) in 2019, and has also taught in France, Germany, and Romania.

He was ordained in 1999 and joined Nalanda Monastery the same year. In 2002 he went to Dharamshala, to the translation programme established by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and graduated from that two years later. Venerable Tharchin has served as translator at Nalanda ever since, and is now the main translator for Khen Rinpoche Geshe Jamphel, the Abbot of Nalanda Monastery.

If you have been attending Geshe Jamphel’s ongoing teachings on Atisha’s Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment at Jamyang Leeds, you will have met Venerable Tharchin in his role as translator.

At this stage, we are invited potential participants to express interest, and more about recruitment will follow soon

Register your interest here

Overview of what the programme will look like at Jamyang Leeds:

  • Text-based: Study and practice of sutra & tantra jewels from the Tibetan Buddhist canon

  • Presented by a qualified Western teacher and teaching assistant

  • Including study, conduct, practice and retreat, and service and training components

  • Regular tests, reading materials, online support, subject completion cards and BP full completion certificate

  • 9 weekends a year, plus retreats

  • Designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

  • Offering 10 subjects, over 5 years

  • Suggested donation: £450 per year (£150 per term, 3 weekends per term). No one will be turned away for financial reasons, please contact us to discuss.


Since the programme itself will not begin until September 2021, Jamyang Leeds Buddhist Centre will be running a series of six Foundation Days. These days will provide a series of preparatory teachings prior to the Basic Programme. The days are open to and suitable for anyone with the level of experience described above, regardless of whether you decide to continue and enrol in the Basic Programme. The days will provide a coordinated programme of study in themselves and will be led either by Kerry Prest or David Midgley.

See more details about the foundation days here.

Basic Program study includes:

  • Stages of the Path: the stages of the path to enlightenment of beings of low, middling, and great capacity
  • Heart Sutra: emptiness and the phenomena qualified by it
  • Mahayana Mind Training: Wheel of Sharp Weapons: the law of actions and results, or karma, and the states of mind that shape our future experiences
  • Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds: the six perfections—generosity, morality, patience, joyous effort, concentration, and wisdom—and how to practice them in everyday life
  • Mind and Cognition: the way the mind knows phenomena and the mental factors that constitute the basis of our daily experience
  • Tenets: the philosophical systems, or tenets, of the four main schools of ancient Buddhist thought
  • Ornament for Clear Realizations and Seventy Topics: the 173 aspects of the omniscient mind and the practices that enable to achieve them
  • The Tathagata Essence: the buddha lineage or tathagata essence that exists within every sentient being
  • Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra: the four classes of tantra with emphasis on highest yoga tantra
  •  The Three Basic Bodies: Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth: These states underpin samsara, but they are also the three ‘basic bodies’ of Highest Yoga Tantra practice, forming the bases the truth, enjoyment and emanation bodies of a buddha.