Mon-Fri 12am to 9pm

Stages of the Path to Enlightenment: Middle Length Lamrim of Lama Tsongkhapa, An FPMT Basic Program Course


INTERMEDIATE: Most suitable for practicing Buddhists and non-Buddhists already familiar with foundational Buddhist concepts; registration is recommended to participate fully from the beginning, but walk-ins and those joining mid-course are also welcome


WHEN: Classes are held on Saturdays (approximately 1 - 3 times per month) from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM starting May 2015. Three-hour meditation practice sessions will also be held periodically. Please see details below and check Calendar to confirm.


Upcoming Classes in 2020:


Saturday, February 22nd

Saturday, March 7th

            • Saturday, April 11th

           Saturday, April 25th (Mini Retreat on Bodhichitta 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM)

           Saturday, May 9th (Mini Retreat on Emptiness 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM) This will be the final and graduation class for this course!

            Meditation mini retreat followed by rejoicing at completing this series of teachings and dedication of merits!

            After that folks who have time can join to go out to lunch to celebrate and enjoy together.


WHERE: The Guhyasamaja Center, Professional Center of Fairfax Building, 10875 Main Street, Unit 108, Fairfax, VA


TEACHER: Dr. Lorne Ladner, Ph.D.


From a Buddhist perspective, there is nothing more valuable in the universe than these amazing moments of your precious human life. The Buddha describes 18 unique qualities of a special, human life which particularly grant us freedom and opportunity to practice the spiritual path. It's up to us: we can use our lives to create more suffering for ourselves and others or we can use them to practice the spiritual path in order to gain good future rebirths, achieve liberation from samsaric suffering, or progress along the path of compassion towards full enlightenment for the welfare of all sentient beings.


During this series of classes on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, we'll study, contemplate, and meditate together on many different meditation techniques which are taught in a gradual sequence to help us progress from where we currently are forward along the spiritual path towards full enlightenment. 


We're now cover the section of the Middle Length Lamrim in which Lama Tsongkhapa presents an in-depth teaching on how one cultivates special insight. In this section, he goes into great detail on a correct understanding of and approach to meditating on the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) school's view of emptiness as it was taught by Arya Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that Lama Tsongkhapa's teachings on emptiness are particularly profound and provide a guide to understanding the great Indian treatises on emptiness. This section of the the Middle Length Lamrim is famed as one of Tsongkhapa's 5 great teachings on the topic of emptiness. We will go through this sometimes challenging section of the text slowly and in detail in order to help students gain the understanding required to then meditate deeply on this profound topic!


The spiritual path is an inner path which entails transforming our own minds and hearts. Texts in the Stages of the Path (Lamrim in Tibetan) tradition provide clear, accessible guidance along this inner path. Our study for these classes will mainly be based on Lama Tsongkhpa's classic text, the "Middle Length Lamrim", supplemented by materials from "The Easy Path" by Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen. Our plan is for this series of classes to go on for some time as we very slowly work together to go deeply into these meditations.


Each class session will include preliminary prayers done (in English) according to the Stages of the Path Tradition, guided meditations, and study of specific lines of the text. Lines that we study in a given session will be the subject of our meditation in the next session.


There will also be a special 3-hour practice session for each major meditation topic when we finish that topic. These special practice sessions will include a group practice of the preliminary practices (using various different versions of the preliminaries over time to give people a sense of their range of options for practice) and then will include guided meditations on the meditation subject recently completed in class. There will also be time for questions and discussion.


The intention of these practice sessions is to give participants more opportunity to get the feel for analytical and fixed meditations on the stages of the path. Also, participants are encouraged to then meditate regularly on the topic covered until the next practice session. In this way, participant will learn the meditations on the stages of the path while also developing some inner experience through their own practice.


Information regarding what you can expect when visiting the center, Dharma etiquette, the center's sacred artwork, and more can be found on our Resources page.


For directions, accessibility information, parking instructions, and other details you may find helpful for your visit, please visit our Contact page.


Questions? Please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Participants have several options ... You can register to participate fully in the entire series from the beginning (details below). You're welcome to sit in on sessions periodically without registration. And you can also join in the classes more fully at any point. However, do be aware that the teaching approach will mainly be aimed at those who are fully engaging in the course.


Fully participating in the course involves reading ahead in the text, attending most sessions in person, watching any sessions you've missed on YouTube, and engaging in the meditations between class sessions. There will also be occasional homework for those participating as Basic Program students (click here for more information about FPMT's Basic Program).


Questions? Please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Registration to fully participate in the course from the beginning has passed (the deadline for registration was April 24th, 2015). But walk-ins and those joining mid-course are also welcome! Please E-mail our Spiritual Program Coordinator, Ven. Dondrub, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you're interested in joining the series already in progress and would like to participate more fully.


For those already registered and who opted for the center to provide the text and printed materials, a materials fee in the amount of $50 can be paid on the first day of class when you pickup your items; check or cash only, please.


The center can also provide digital copies of the text and materials at no charge so that you may print them yourself, as needed. Please e-mail Ven. Dondrub at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request digital materials.




We humbly offer you the opportunity to practice generosity by helping to make the Buddha's teachings available in our community. If you're able, please make a donation for classes and other events — it's even tax deductible!


Suggested donations for both members and non-members are listed below, but please — only give what you're comfortable with!


Members: $8 each class

Non-Members: $10 each class

You have the option of dropping cash or check into the donation box onsite (don't forget to grab a tax receipt!). You can also make a one-time donation online using the button below; repeat as often as you like! All donations made to The Guhyasamaja Center via our website are processed by PayPal. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the center's Privacy Policy and Donation Payment Terms & Conditions.



Don't forget to rejoice in your good deeds and dedicate the positive potential generated to the completion of something spiritually meaningful to you!

If you'd like to contribute but are unable to make a financial donation, please don't worry — no one will ever be turned away for financial reasons! And there are many other ways you can help support the teachings.


For more information about all our funds and special projects in need of financial support, The Center's donation policy, tax deductible information, membership details, volunteer opportunities, and other ways you can support The Center, please visit our Practicing Generosity page.



Rinpoche 2020

lamrim-basic 2




The Guhyasamaja Center is affiliated with The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition; Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director



hhdl lzr 

We follow the Gelug tradition, the same lineage as His Holiness The Dalai Lama


Contact Info


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


(703) 774-9692


The Guhyasamaja Center
Professional Center of Fairfax Building
10875 Main Street, Unit 108
Fairfax, VA (Directions)


Mailing Address:

The Guhyasamaja Center

P.O. Box 1511

Centreville, VA 20122 USA


FedEx and other deliveries must be arranged ahead of time: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Please visit our Contact page for additional details, including info on our Board Members and management




The Guhyasamaja Center is open for classes and events and sometimes silent meditation


There are also visiting hours (by appointment only)


For more information, please check our Home page, Classes & Events pages or Calendar, or contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tax-Deductible Generosity




Donations to The Guhyasamaja Center are tax-deductible!


We are registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization: Tax ID# 550881124


To make a donation or discover other ways you can support the center, click on the green button above or visit our Practicing Generosity page


Site MapPrivacy Policy Terms of UseGrievance ProceduresCopyright © 2018 The Guhyasamaja Center. All Rights Reserved.