Spiritual Program

Areas of Study and Practice at The Buddhist Center, Thubten Norbu Ling, Santa Fe

Our five areas of study and practice cover the entire spectrum of teachings and meditations required of someone who wants to achieve the final goal of enlightenment, buddhahood.

The etymology of the Sanskrit word “buddha” tells us clearly the job to be done:

Bud implies the utter eradication from our mind of all ego-based states such as attachment, anger, depression and other neuroses – the causes of suffering – that Buddha has found from his own experience are not at the core of our being and thus can be removed.

Dha implies the development to perfection of all positive states of mind such as intelligence, love, empathy and the rest – the causes of happiness – that are our true nature.


 Every being, Buddha says, has this potential.

It is said that a bird needs two wings: wisdom and compassion. By removing delusions (bud) we achieve the wisdom that sees things clearly and cuts the separation between self and other. And with the compassion gained by developing all our goodness (dha) we will never give up helping others achieve the same goal.

At Thubten Norbu Ling, our classes, meditations, and ceremonies, held several times a day each day of the week, are taught and guided by a team of FPMT teachers and facilitators, headed by our resident teacher Geshe Thubten Sherab.

Our center has reopened and we are embracing a hybrid digital model with some classes being taught by a teacher at the center, while some classes are only available on zoom. We are utilizing this model to bring you the most qualified teachers available, wherever they might be in the world.

Heart Curriculum

Our Heart Curriculum, which covers the entire range of the Buddhist worldview, includes five courses, the last four of which are taught at increasingly advanced levels. All four have several modules.

HC1 Be Your Own Therapist
HC2 Buddhism Made Simple
HC3 Discovering Buddhism
HC4 Living in the Path
HC5 Exploring Buddhism
HC6 Basic Program: Advanced Buddhist Studies

Supporting Curriculum

Our Supporting Curriculum expands on and deepens the students’ knowledge gained in the Heart Curriculum.

SC1 Our Heart Lamas
SC2 Dharma Toolkit
SC3 Vows and Commitments
SC4 Lamrim: The Sutra Path
SC5 The Tantric Path


The entire process of transforming the mind from delusions to virtue – the job of being a Buddhist – involves first listening to the teachings, reflecting on their meaning, and, finally, gaining experience of their reality in meditation. The courses are:

M1 Express Meditation
M2 Concentration Meditation (shamata)
M3 Lamrim Meditation (vipasana)
M4 Visualization Meditation
M5 Secular Meditation


In order to achieve realizations of the teachings we study and meditate on, we need to prime our minds by purifying our deeply ingrained deluded tendencies, which are the obstacles to the realizations, and by nourishing our virtues.
We accomplish this by participating in various practices that involve visualizing different buddhas, making offerings to them, and making requests for their protection and blessings.

C1 Guru Puja and Tsog
C2 Medicine Buddha Puja
C3 Tara Puja
C4 Vajrasattva Tsog
C5 Protector Pujas
C6 Sutra Recitations

Universal Education

Buddha’s teachings describe his view of reality. He is not a creator, so he’s not asking us to merely believe him but to prove it for ourselves. If what he describes is indeed reality then it can be expressed in universal terms, beyond dogma, beyond religion.

UE1 Foundation for the Development of Compassion and Wisdom
UE2 Children and Teens
UE3 Interfaith
UE4 Science and Spirituality
UE5 Social Justice
UE6 Movement