Discovering Buddhism Study Group:
How to Meditate

Wednesdays, May 10 (Teaching with Ven. Amy Miller in person), 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14 at Jewel Heart Center and June 28 (Teachings with Ven. Amy Miller via Skype) , July 1 ( Daylong retreat led by Gus Cutz) and July 5 (Optional review session at a private home).

Note: For more information and to register for the daylong retreat on July 1, please click here. If you would like the address to the review session on July 5, please email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

In this module, we will discuss the definition and purpose of meditation and learn basic meditation skills, including how to sit properly, how to set up a meditation session, the different types of meditation techniques, and how to recognize and deal with obstacles to meditation.

We will also explore questions such as:

  • What do motivation and dedication mean, and why are they important elements of meditation practice?
  • What are the antidotes to such obstacles to meditation as restlessness, distraction, sleepiness, expectations about the practice, and regret?
  • What is the meaning of impermanence according to the Buddhist teachings, and how can understanding of this be used to counteract afflictions such as attachment and anger?

This is the second of a series of 14 modules covering the complete Buddhist path to enlightenment. Even if you did not attend the first module, you are very welcome to join, as each module is separate. A one-day retreat will be organized on July 1st to integrate learning and practice. This retreat will require a separate registration; more information will be provided in May.

Discovering Buddhism (DB) is geared for students who wish to deepen their understanding of fundamental Buddhist concepts. It is designed to provide an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Each module includes teachings, meditations, readings, assessment questions and a short retreat. For more information on the Discovering Buddhism modules, please click here.

Shantideva Meditation works with a version of the DB home study program, which includes transcripts of teachings by qualified Western teachers, presentations by a facilitator, discussion among peers, and guided meditations.

Dates and Times:

Wednesdays from 7 to 9pm:
May 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14 , 28 (Teachings with Ven. Amy Miller via Skype), July 1 ( Daylong retreat led by Gus Cutz) and July 5 (Optional review session at a private home).


May 10- June 14 at Jewel Heart Center. June 28 (optional review session) at a private home.

Jewel Heart Center: 260 West Broadway is just below Canal Street. The entrance is in the St. John’s Lane alleyway that runs parallel to and between Varick Street and 6th Avenue. Here is a map showing the location of Jewel Heart Center.

Subway Transportation: 1 to Franklin St.; A, C, E to Canal St.; N, R to Canal St.

Suggested Donation:

Fee: $60 (or $10/session) to help support direct costs, including space rental, Dharma materials, and administration.
Shantideva Meditation Members: $54


Online registration is closed. Walk-ins are welcome.

For more information and to register for the daylong retreat on July 1, please click here.


If you are a registered student, you may access the readings here on our password protected page. Readings for session one (to be read in advance) will be included in your confirmation email. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about accessing this page.

Discovering Buddhism Guidelines:

The study group guidelines can be accessed here. Please read and if you have any questions feel free to contact email hidden; JavaScript is required, Arnaud.

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.

About the Teachers:

Ven. Amy Miller 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.

Gustavo Cutz has worked at Wisdom Publications in Boston and has been an active volunteer with Shantideva Meditation Center for the last five years. He has been 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 A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, ch. 1-3.