Discovering Buddhism Study Group:
Mind and Its Potential

Wednesdays, March 1 (Teaching with Ven. Amy Miller in person), 8, 15, 29, April 5, 12 (Q&A with Ven. Amy Miller via Skype) and 19 (Optional review session at a private home)

at Jewel Heart Center

In this module, we will examine what the “mind” is, what its nature and function are, and how it affects our experiences of happiness and suffering. We will explore the mind’s role in creating our experiences, the differentiation between mind and brain, the implications of possessing a mind that has no beginning and no end, and we will learn methods to transform destructive thoughts and attitudes in order to create a positive and joyous mind.

We will also explore questions such as:

  • What is the nature of consciousness?
  • What accounts for the continuity of consciousness from moment to moment?
  • What are the different levels of consciousness, and what are their respective roles in spiritual practice and realization?
  • What are the different types of consciousness (e.g., perception and conception), and what are the different mental factors that can be involved in each type?
  • What are the root delusions, how do they arise, and how do they function to disrupt our lives? What is the essence of spiritual transformation? Is it possible to completely eliminate delusions from our mind?

This is the first of a series of 14 modules covering the complete Buddhist path to enlightenment and a great opportunity to join the group from the beginning and do the whole cycle. While other modules will have specific DB retreats, for this 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.

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.

Dates and Time:

Wednesdays from 7 to 9pm:
March 1, 8, 15, 29, April 5, 12 and 19 (optional review session at a private home)


Jewel Heart Center: 260 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Directions: 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.


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 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.