The mind is easily the single most important phenomenon in our lives. It is the only thing we are constantly and directly engaged with. And yet it is one of the things most of us understand the least. In fact, most of the time we are as utterly unaware of it as a fish is of water.
To help us gain clearer understanding of our lives and experiences and greater control over our destinies, the Buddha taught extremely powerful and sophisticated methods for us to gain direct experiential and empirical knowledge of the nature and functioning of the mind, as well as “psychological technologies” for us to change our minds as we wish to increase our happiness, wisdom, and compassionate lovingkindness. For this reason, Buddhism is often described as a science of the mind.
In accordance with Venerable Robina Courtin’s specific advice to our group, we have created this course as a companion to Discovering Buddhism, to provide students with an opportunity to take a deeper look into the Buddhist teachings on the mind. This has been designed as an introductory course on the Buddhist teachings about the mind, including Buddhist psychology (the study of the parts that make up the mind, and how they function and interact to bring us happiness and unhappiness), Buddhist epistemology (the analysis that answers the question of how do we know what we know with certainty), and Mahamudra (the most profound and direct teachings of the Buddha on the ultimate nature of the mind, phenomena, and ourselves).
In this course, we will better understand the mind and its functions, as well as of several key points of the Buddhadharma, such as why we can find certainty in the Buddha’s teachings, even regarding things like rebirth, karma, and emptiness; how karma actually works; and how we can decrease delusions.
If you are a registered student, you may access the readings on our password protected page. After registering, an online receipt will be sent to the email address that you used to register. The page link and password will be on the receipt. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions about accessing this page.
About the Teacher
Gustavo Cutz has been an active volunteer with Shantideva Center since 2008 and previously worked as an editor at Wisdom Publications in Boston. He was the facilitator for Discovering Buddhism until 2012 and has taught the course since 2017. He is in the process of becoming an FPMT-certified teacher. Gus also interprets and summarizes Geshe Thubten Soepa’s teachings on topics such as the Four Noble Truths, the eight worldly concerns, 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.