Advanced Study Program at Chenrezig Institute

Offering intensive study for serious students and creating FPMT teachers!

The Advanced Study Program offered at Chenrezig Institute is a comprehensive, practice-oriented course of Buddhist Study for both ordained and lay students wishing to extend their understanding of Buddhist thought and to receive a qualification which will enable them to become teachers within FPMT centers.

Currently, we are following the FPMT Basic Program, a five-year course of study designed by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Three full rounds of the subjects have already been completed at the center, as well as an extended two-year study of Madhyamika at the higher Masters Programme Level and various Highest Yoga Tantra retreats.

Teachings are with our resident teacher, Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim, personally chosen for Chenrezig Institute by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, with his experienced interpreter and Basic Program graduate, Ven Kartson (aka Yaki Platt), who is also assisting with tutorials.

Our presentation of the Basic Program is special, and unique in this area since we are able to offer intensive in-house teachings in modules of between four to eight weeks, [although some subjects like the Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra and the Graduated Path to Enlightenment are allocated 2-5 modules]. We offer both teachings and tutorials and complement those with discussion and meditation led by our own students.

It is recommended to attend all subjects in the order they are offered for the best results, but students may attend individual modules. Homestudy packages of all subjects are available in case students wish to complete some subjects in their own time at home.

In line with Lama Zopa’s advice, all students are also recommended to make merit through taking part in regular service and to make their study time joyful and beneficial by applying the teachings to their meditations and behavior. Students are encouraged to stay on site and involve themselves in all the other spiritual practices of a busy dharma center.

It should be clear to all that this program is advanced study. It is for students who have some basic understanding of Buddhist Principles and who wish to apply themselves seriously to the sometimes complex material taught. The teaching assistant and senior students will support newer students along the way as much as possible and materials from previous courses are made available both for preparation prior to attending the courses, and for clarification during the study time.

Geshe Tsultrim

The nine core subjects of FPMT’s Basic Program are:

  • Mind and Cognition
  • Buddhist Tenets
  • A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
  • The Graduated Path to Enlightenment
  • The Heart Sutra
  • Mahayana Mind Training (Wheel of Sharp Weapons)
  • The Sublime Continuum
  • The Fourth Chapter of the Ornament of Clear Realisation
  • The Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra – the Lower Tantras and Highest Yoga Tantra

Plus three supplementary subjects

  • Seventy Topics
  • Death Intermediate State and Rebirth (the Three Kayas)
  • A Highest Yoga Tantra Commentary

In addition, Chenrezig Institute complements these subjects with:

  • Collected Topics
  • Sutra Grounds and Paths
  • Signs and Reasoning


Three Modules of our Advanced Study Program are scheduled for 2018. 

On November 30th, with great rejoicing, we completed the intensive study of Lama Tsong Khapa’s Middle Length Lam Rim, and we shall continue with the study of wisdom in the first two subjects of 2018. During the first six months of the year we are not scheduling any Basic Program Modules due to Geshe Tsultrim and Ven. Kartson being away in the early months and the visits to Bendigo and then Chenrezig Institute of Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche (March through June).

Important news: In 2018 we are making significant changes to our schedule so that more students have the opportunity to attend our teachings and engage in these profound subjects. Our changed formats make this level of study more accessible than ever before at Chenrezig Institute.

MODULE 2 2018 – The Wisdom and Dedication Chapters of the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Part 1 – 21st August to 12 September

Part 2 – 25th September to 10th October

For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide, to dispel the misery of the world.”

The teaching on the bodhisattva’s deeds is based on Shantideva ‘s inspirational verses on Mahayana aspiration and practice, composed more than a thousand years ago and still widely regarded as the most authentic and complete guide for the practitioner dedicated to the enlightenment of all beings.

This module will focus on the final two chapters of this beautiful text, the chapters on the sixth perfection, wisdom, and the dedication chapter. It is, of course, important for those who studied the first 8 chapters of the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life in 2016 but also profound and very important as a standalone subject. It will be offered over 7 weeks (with a break of one week after the initial four weeks).

The schedule for this module will be two full days per week, Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be two teachings each day by Geshela as well as a tutorial and meditation. Students are encouraged to stay onsite and supplement their study with discussion and other community practice.

Facility Fee: $420 book now

Accommodation and meals available separately for purchase. They are discounted by 10% for those attending the full course. 

Online study, with students able to download all audio and data files as they come out and follow the teachings in their own time at home, is also offered at 50% of the in-house course fee. 

MODULE 3 2018 – Transforming Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth into the Path (The Three Kayas)

30th October to 8th November

Death, intermediate state, and rebirth underpin samsara, the condition of repeated rebirth impelled by previous action and delusion. But they are also the three ‘basic bodies’ of Highest Yoga Tantra practice, forming the bases for altruistic transformation into the Truth, Enjoyment and Emanation Bodies of a Buddha. this fascinating subject explains the entire death process and teaches us how to use that process in the best way, ultimately to attain the enlightened state of a Buddha.

This module will be offered three days a week over two weeks

Tuesday 30th Oct 9:30 am – Thursday 1st Nov 5:00 pm

Tuesday 6th Nov 9:30 am – Thursday 8th Nov 5:00 pm

Facility Fee: $200 book now

Accommodation and meals available separately for purchase. They are discounted by 10% for those attending the full course. 

Online study, with students able to download all audio and data files as they come out and follow the teachings in their own time at home, is also offered at 50% of the in-house course fee. 


Sangha are offered these teachings and materials free of charge but are also asked to register their intentions with the coordinator as early as possible.

We are also committed to helping those in financial need to attend. Please contact the coordinator early to discuss any financial issues.

Please contact the coordinator on to be included on an email update list or for further information about the courses.