Teacher Training Program

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The Teacher Training Program (TTP) is designed for people who wish to train as authentic Dharma Teachers within the New Kadampa Tradition or who simply want to engage with Buddha's teachings in the deepest possible manner. In addition to completing the study of fourteen texts of Sutra and Tantra (see below), students are required to observe certain commitments with regard to behavior and way of life, and to complete a number of meditation retreats. Through a deep and continuing commitment to the program of study, meditation, discussion, and retreat, we can gain deep experience of Buddha's teachings, establish a strong meditation practice, and become a qualified Kadampa Teacher.


For those that have already been enrolled in Foundation Program and want to observe a TTP class before deciding whether to commit, please email us to learn more about TTP class.

Twelve Subjects

The program comprises the following twelve subjects, based on Buddha's Sutra and Tantric teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:

  • The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune
  • Training the Mind, based on the commentaries Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness
  • The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary Heart of Wisdom
  • Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold
  • Types of Mind, based on the commentary Understanding the Mind
  • Guide to the Middle Way, based on the commentary Ocean of Nectar
  • Vajrayana Mahamudra, based on the commentary Clear Light of Bliss
  • The Bodhisattva's Moral Discipline, based on the commentary The Bodhisattva Vow
  • Offering to the Spiritual Guide, based on the commentaries Great Treasury of Merit and Mahamudra Tantra
  • Vajrayogini Tantra, based on the commentary Guide to Dakini Land
  • Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, based on the commentary Tantric Grounds and Paths
  • The Practice of Heruka Body Mandala, based on the commentary Essence of Vajrayana

Current Book

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This semester the Safety Harbor TTP class is studying Ocean of Nectar by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. This book is the first complete explanation in English of the renowned Indian Buddhist Master, Chandrakirti's Guide to the Middle Way, a precious Mahayana scripture which to this day is regarded as the principal presentation of Buddha's profound view of emptiness, the ultimate nature of reality. Through studying and practicing the profound meanings within this text we can deepen our understanding and experience of how things exist and be guided along the Bodhisattva’s path to full enlightenment.

The Teacher

Kadam Michelle Gauthier

This class is taught by Resident Teacher Kadam Michelle Gauthier. Kadam Michelle is a disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, and has been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 25 years. She presents Buddha's teachings with beautiful clarity, warmth and sincerity, skillfully guiding people from all walks of life to find inner peace and lasting happiness.

Further Information

Teacher Training Program (TTP) is for those students who wish to become qualified Kadampa Buddhist Teachers. Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment (or a sincere intention to receive this empowerment at the next possible opportunity) is required to study. The Teacher Training Program is a structured study program to help students deepen their own study and practice of Buddha's teachings as well as learn how to teach others. Regular meditation retreats throughout the year are built into the program for the students' personal development as well as teaching skills classes and discussions.