Discovering Buddhism:
A New Cycle Taught by Ven. Amy Miller and Gus Cutz

Wednesdays, from 7:00 to 9:00pm
at Jewel Heart Center

We are thrilled to announce the next cycle of our Discovering Buddhism program, which will incorporate substantial changes to align it as closely as possible with Lama Zopa Rinpche’s vision of an integrative and transformative program of study.

When Does it Start?

Shantideva Meditation Center is completing its third full cycle of the DB modules and will start a new cycle on March 1, 2017. New participants will be welcomed by friendly students who have taken some or all of the previous cycles. The opportunity to explore Buddhism with a kind, respectful, and supportive group is an aspect of the program highly valued by participants. While not a requirement, joining the group at the beginning is a great opportunity to explore the whole cycle.

For more information on the the first module, DB: Mind and Its Potential, please click here. While other modules will have specific DB retreats, for the Mind and Its Potential module, the retreat lead by Ven. Amy at Garrison Institute on April 14-16 will include several of the analytical meditations covered (continuity of mind, precious human rebirth,…) and will be an opportunity for participants to experience integrating the teachings more and build their meditation practice. This retreat require a separate registration. For more information and to register, please click here.

What is Discovering Buddhism?

Discovering Buddhism (DB) is a two-year program that gives participants a solid foundation in the teachings and practice of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. It devotes each of its 14 modules to one of the fundamental aspects of the complete Buddhist path to enlightenment. Although DB is designed for “advanced beginners,” students at all levels are welcome.

DB is designed to provide an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Discovering Buddhism is not designed to serve merely as an academic study of Buddhism; it is intended to change our lives.

How Does it Work?

Each DB module lasts approximately two months, and includes weekly teachings (on Wednesday evenings), meditations, readings, assessment questions, and a short retreat. Students may freely choose some or all of these components to do, according to their interests. Completion cards for each module are awarded to those who successfully complete all of the components of that module. Students may enter the program at any module, and may enroll in whichever modules they wish. Students who successfully complete all 14 modules are awarded a certificate of completion, symbolic of the student’s commitment to spiritual awakening, providing the satisfaction of having completed a comprehensive engagement with the path to enlightenment.

What’s New in this Cycle?

While past DB cycles at SMC used a version of the DB home study program focused on peer discussion based on transcripts of past teachings, we are now thrilled to be able to offer the complete DB program, including live weekly teachings, with Venerable Amy usually teaching the first and last sessions of each module, and Gus Cutz teaching the middle sessions. Guided meditations will continue to be an integral part of each session, and part of each session will still be dedicated to discussion. Articles and portions of books written by great teachers will continue to be assigned. In addition, comprehension questions will be provided to enable those who wish to assess their understanding of the material to do so as they study. A short retreat (usually one day) will be offered at the end of each module to enable participants to experientially integrate the teachings by building their own meditation practice.


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About the Teachers

Ven. Amy Miller

Venerable has been teaching extensively since 1992 and was ordained as a Buddhist nun in June 2000 by the great Tibetan master, Ven. Choden Rinpoche. She has directed several FPMT centers and projects for decades and has completed a seven-month solitary retreat. Her teaching style emphasizes a practical approach to integrating Buddhist philosophy into everyday life. She is happy to help people connect with meditation and mindfulness in an effort to gain a refreshing perspective on normally stressful living. Venerable teaches and leads retreats and pilgrimages around the world. Her teaching schedule and other information can be found at Ven. Amy is the co-author of Buddhism in a Nutshell and a contributor to Living in the Path, a series of online courses produced by FPMT. Photo by Charles Eshelman

Gustavo Cutz

Gus is in the process of becoming a FPMT certified teacher. He has worked at Wisdom Publications in Boston, has been an active volunteer with Shantideva Meditation Center since 2008, and a facilitator for Discovering Buddhism since 2012. He also interprets/summarizes Geshe Thubten Soepa’s teachings on topics such as the Four Noble Truths, the Eight Worldly Dharmas, the Six Perfections, the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, and recently Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, chapters 1-3. Gus recently completed his doctorate in psychology at Long Island University and currently practices as a clinician on Long Island.