Kadampa Buddhist Centres offer several educational programmes to students of Buddhism. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to take the opportunity to engage in Foundation Programme will have encountered the requirement on all students to attempt to memorise a summary of the book being studied, and perhaps the root text upon which the book is based. The summaries of the books are known as ‘outlines’, and present a condensed version of the book.

I have found that this commitment can sometimes present significant challenges to FP students. They often find it difficult to learn and remember the outlines and root texts. This can become a cause of concern for them, leading to them feeling unhappy about this aspect of their study.

I believe that, unaddressed, this risks becoming a significant problem for students. This is because there is a danger of developing negative feelings towards the texts, towards FP, our teachers and perhaps the formal study of Buddhadharma in general. Given the very special opportunity that Foundation Programme offers us, I think it is extremely important to overcome any such problems. We should understand that we can all engage in the practice of memorisation with sincere joy and experience a very special sense of fulfilment by doing so.

In this series of posts I will examine the process of memorisation of outlines and root texts on Foundation Programme, looking at the reasons why it is included in the syllabus, some ways of approaching the task and then reviewing some practical methods which can be used by everyone.

Stay tuned for the next post, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts, suggestions and experiences.

Love Vide.