Study Programs

Within the beautifully diverse population of New York City, Shantideva Meditation Center offers students various methods for spiritual development on the path to enlightenment. Our study programs are based on the advice given by Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche for FPMT study groups, and follows a tradition that guides students through study, purification, accumulation of merit, and reliance on spiritual guides. The study programs we provide are Discovering Buddhism Study Group, Basic Program, and Meditation 101.

Discovering Buddhism Study Group

Discovering Buddhism is FPMT’s beginner-level program in Buddhist philosophy and practice, aimed at giving students a solid footing in the practice of Mahayana Buddhism. By engaging in this program, students gain a theoretical and experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings, meditation, and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Discovering Buddhism is designed not only as an academic study of Buddhism—it is meant to change our lives.

This 14-part series includes all the major topics of Buddhism: Mind and Its Potential, Death and Rebirth, Refuge in the Three Jewels, Establishing a Daily Practice, Samsara and Nirvana, Bodhicitta, Transforming Problems, the Wisdom of Emptiness, and more.

Discovering Buddhism Certification:

FPMT certification is available for those who complete all the components of the course. The completion certificate confirms the satisfaction of having accomplished a comprehensive engagement with the path to enlightenment and is symbolic of your commitment to spiritual awakening. For more information on the requirements for certification, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required, Arnaud.

Basic Program

Basic Program provides a practice-oriented transmission of the Dharma to committed students ready to progress beyond an introductory­ level of study and practice. Its five-year curriculum covers the entire Buddhist path from sutra to tantra through studying fundamental texts and commentaries, such as Lama Tsong Kapa’s Middle-Length Lam-Rim, Maitreya’s Ornament and Tathagata Essence, and Dharmarakshita’s Wheel of Sharp Weapons. It consists of teachings by experienced and knowledgeable teachers certified by FPMT, discussion group meetings, recommended readings and meditations, and a commitment to ethical practice.

Meditation 101

Suitable for students of all levels—including newcomers to Buddhism and the FPMT—this meditation series includes brief explanation, group practice, and opportunities to ask questions. The class begins with a guided meditation to calm the mind and reduce stress and distraction. This is followed by a brief explanation of one of the Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques (calm abiding, vipassana, visualization, or analytical meditation), followed by group meditation using that technique.