Discovering Buddhism: The Spiritual Teacher

Wednesdays, November 8, 15, 29, December 6, 13, 20 and January 3 (Optional review session at a private home) from 7pm to 9pm
at Jewel Heart Center

NoteVenerable Amy Miller will be joining us on Nov. 8, 15 and Dec. 13.  Dec. 20 will be a teaching via Skype.

The “guru-disciple” relationship is essential for making progress on the path in Tibetan Buddhism, yet for many students this most important relationship can often seem mysterious. This course will explore the role of the teacher on the spiritual path:

  • The need for a teacher
  • The qualities of a teacher and student
  • How to relate to a teacher for greatest benefit in one’s spiritual life
  • Challenges we face when thinking of entering into a “guru-disciple” relationship and learning how to overcome these skillfully

This is the fourth of a series of 14 modules covering the complete Buddhist path to enlightenment. Even if you did not attend the previous modules, you are very welcome to join, as each module can be studied separately. A daylong retreat will be organized at the beginning of January to integrate learning and practice. This retreat will require a separate registration; more information will be provided in November.

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 Times:

November 8, 15, 29, December 6, 13, 20, and January 3 (Optional review session at a private home) from 7pm to 9pm.


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

Directions260 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. After registering, an online receipt will be sent to the email you registered with. The password will be on the receipt. Please feel free to contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required 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 our 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.

If you are interested receiving credit for completing this module, please indicate your commitment to completing all of the module’s requirements by printing, completing, and signing the first page of this document: DB Certificate of completion requirements, and bring it to our first session on November 8 or email it to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

For more information on the requirements for certification, please email our email hidden; JavaScript is required, Arnaud.

About the Teachers:

Photo by Charles Eshelman

Venerable 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 most recently Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, chapters 1-3. Gus is a clinical psychologist, and currently practices on Long Island.