Thursday Study Program

Begins September 14


Buddhism teaches that to find lasting happiness and meaning in our lives we need to follow a spiritual path. To follow this path, it is important to have a close connection with a qualified Teacher who can give us personal advice and encouragement, to listen to pure Dharma teachings and to be a part of a strong spiritual community. In this way, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of Buddha’s teachings, maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and make genuine spiritual progress.

Vajra Light Center is providing a study & meditation program on Thursday evenings for those who wish to deepen their study of Geshe Kelsang’s book Oral Instructions of Mahamudra. This ongoing series is for those with Highest Yoga Tantra Empowerments or the intention to receive them at the next opportunity. This is a great opportunity to receive a complete transmission of these teachings in greater depth and receive the wonderful benefits from studying in this way.

The Program has two parts:

·      Study Program
·      Meditation Program

Study Program

Classes take place on Thursday Evenings from 6:45 – 9:15pm, and consist of a transmission (reading) of the text by the teacher, along with practical commentary, meditation, and discussion with other members of the program.

As a participant in the Thursday Study Program you agree to:

  • attend all of the teachings and if, for a suitable reason (family, work, or health-related situation), you are unable to attend a class, agree to listen to a download of the class and complete a short summary before the next class.
  • participate in discussion sessions on the course
  • participate in taking turns setting up/taking down the shrine and the meditation room

Taking an exam at the end of the study program is optional, but you are encouraged to do so.

Meditation Program

The Meditation Program is designed to give participants in the Study Program the opportunity to deepen their practice by gaining actual experience of the teachings through the practice of meditation.  One Saturday a month, you will have the opportunity to attend a half-day retreat at the Center consisting of a guided meditation that is relevant to the material being covered in the Thursday evening teachings.

Meditation is the key tool in Buddhist practice. This study program will help students improve their own meditation, become familiar with the essential practices of modern Buddhism and also participate regularly in the spiritual life at the Center, a vital part of our training. These regular retreats will also enable the members of the program get to know one another and develop supportive sangha friendships.

The Book – Oral Instructions Of Mahamudra

Buddha explained many methods to liberate ourself and others from suffering. Of these, the uncommon instructions of Tantric Mahamudra of the Ganden Oral Lineage are an especially powerful way to purify our mind quickly and to reach our fullest potential, the supreme bliss of enlightenment.

The oral instructions of Mahamudra are the heart practice of Kadam Dharma. They include special methods according to Highest Yoga Tantra that lead to the accomplishment of the union of great bliss and emptiness and eventually to the union of Buddhahood–full enlightenment.

The Teacher - Donna Campanelli

Donna is the Resident Teacher at Vajra Light Center. She has been studying and practicing Kadampa Buddhism for over 20 years and is a close disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. As a wife and mother of three, Donna delights in applying Dharma wisdom to her own challenges as a suburban mom. She is a wonderful example of Modern Buddhism – Dharma integrated into daily life. With skill and enthusiasm, humor and kindness, Donna shows her students how to transform day-to-day difficulties into a meaningful life.


How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of the Study Program is $50/month, and includes the Saturday once-a-month retreat days. However, if you are a Study Program student , becoming a monthly Vajra Light member entitles you to attend all Study Program classes, all General Program classes, and any special events held at Vajra Light. The monthly fee for this type of membership is $80. As a member, you will also receive any applicable discounts at nearby Dharma centers for their special events and workshops.

How to Join the Thursday Study Program

If you have a wish to join the Thursday Study Program, or would like more information, please contact Debbie at or call (914) 607-3583.