Debate Club
with Gus Cutz

Sundays, Apr 30, May 7, 14, 28, Jun 11 & 18*

*This is a continuation of the classes that started in February.

Our debate club is back, welcoming veterans and newcomers alike to join us as we gain what Tibetans have called “the magical key that opens the door to all understanding”!

What Westerners often find most appealing about Buddhism is its insistence that nothing be taken on faith. And yet, few of us in the West are familiar with the sophisticated evidence presented in the Buddhist tradition for such claims as the existence of past and future lives, omniscience, emptiness, and the Four Noble Truths.

Likewise, few Westerners are conversant in the rigorous system of applied logic which in English has become commonly known as “Tibetan debate”—a system for methodically cultivating razor-sharp thinking, clarifying concepts with precision, internalizing logical connections, and uncompromisingly questioning our beliefs, to allow us to arrive at incontrovertible knowledge.

This system, while rigorous and nuanced, is also very practical and highly learnable, just like a new language. In this pilot program, we will be setting off together as we familiarize ourselves with this basics of this method, in keeping with the Buddha’s advice to “come and see” for ourselves.

Basing ourselves on Daniel Perdue’s Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, our sessions will focus on discussions and practice exercises. Materials covered in previous sessions will be reviewed and introduced to those joining us before we continue to explore this system more deeply.

This program is offered jointly by:

Short Video

Gus Cutz discusses the benefits of Tibetan debate “the magical key that opens the door to all understanding”!

Important Note

This is an online-only event that is administered using Zoom.

After registering, the system automatically sends a confirmation and/or a receipt email that contains the Zoom meeting link and/or other instructions. If you don’t immediately receive the system email(s) or you have any other questions, please contact us at

*Zoom is an interactive video-conferencing tool that allows participants to see one another and ask questions. You will need a computer, a tablet or a smartphone with the Zoom application to attend. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.

Registration / Schedule

Suggested: $20 per session, or $108 for all 6-weeks of the course
Other offering options: free, $5, $10, $30

The suggested amount helps support teacher offerings and expenses, direct costs and rent. Shantideva member discounts or benefits will be applied automatically if you have a membership in MindBody. 

Shantideva Center may publish recorded sessions in the public domain (e.g., on YouTube). By registering for this event, you are agreeing to give your consent to this process. To protect your privacy, we recommend being conscious about any personal information you share during the sessions. To further enhance anonymity, you may want to consider turning off video or naming yourself using abbreviations.

Time zone: US Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC-4)

For questions regarding registration, please email for assistance.

Additional Materials


Recordings for Apr 30-Jun 18 classes.

Recordings for Feb 12-Apr 23 classes.

Dana for the Teacher

Shantideva Center makes offerings to our teachers using the funds collected through registration. You can give additional support to the teacher and create a stronger karmic connection by offering dana. Please make sure to select the teacher’s name in the dropdown menu. Dana offered is passed entirely to the teacher, but please note that it is not tax-deductible.

About the Teacher

Gustavo Cutz is an FPMT-certified teacher and has been an active volunteer with Shantideva Center since 2008.  Gus has been the facilitator for Discovering Buddhism since 2012 and he explains complex material with simplicity, making the Buddha’s teachings practical and always accompanied with enthusiasm and a delightful sense of humor.

In addition, Gus facilitates the Debate Club and leads one day retreats. He has also taught Dharma topics at other spiritual centers. He is working on interpreting and summarizing Geshe Thubten Soepa’s teachings on several topics such as the Four Noble Truths, the eight worldly concerns, and the six perfections.  

Gus previously worked as an editor at Wisdom Publications in Boston. Presently he works as a clinical psychologist and practices on Long Island.