Exploring Buddhism: Exploring Common Prayers and Practices
with Venerable Amy Miller, Gen Don Handrick & Venerable Lozang Yönten

Exploring Buddhism is a new program currently being developed by FPMT to serve as a bridge between Discovering Buddhism and The Basic Program. It is designed to help students of Buddhism delve more deeply into a broad array of topics that form a solid foundation for furthering one’s study and practice. The program will initially be run as a pilot program in FPMT centers to further test and refine the curriculum.

If you combine listening to, reflecting on, and meditating on

The essence of the teachings of Victorious Lozang Dragpa into one,

Supported by effort in collecting merits and in purification,

Buddhahood will be at your fingertips.

– Gungthang Jampai Yang

In order to make progress on the spiritual path, we must support our practice of study, contemplation, and meditation with the practices of accumulation of merit and purification of negative karma. In this module of Exploring Buddhism, we will examine the need for prayers, dedications, as well as various other practices and pujas, and investigate how they are meant to affect the mind and bring about the realizations of the path to enlightenment. Teachings will be given on how to do the main prayers, practices, and pujas that are commonly performed by FPMT students on their own and also conducted in our centers.

Please note that, while this module does contain general instruction on some tantric pujas, students are not expected to have received a highest yoga tantra initiation, nor will they be taught the meaning of the pujas in terms of tantric practice.


This module on Common Prayers and Practices will be offered as a self-study course interspersed with live online Q&A sessions with Ven. Amy Miller and Don Handrick.

All the recordings for this module are available on the password protected page so students can listen to the recordings at their own pace. Students may send questions related to this material to info@shantidevanyc.org at any time and we will forward them to Don Handrick or students may ask their questions during the live online Q&A sessions.

This course consists of:

  • 15 pre-recorded video teachings by Ven. Lozang Yönten (approx. 45minutes to 1:00 hour with PDF access to slides)
  • Optional additional resources for further learning

Please check the Registration Receipt for the password to access the recordings.

Previous study of at least some modules of Discovering Buddhism, either in a center or online is highly recommended before enrolling in this program. 

Please review the syllabus before registering for the course.

This program is offered jointly by:

About the Teachers

Venerable Amy MillerVenerable Amy Miller has been teaching extensively since 1992 and was ordained as a Buddhist nun in June 2000 by the great Tibetan master, Venerable Choden Rinpoche. She has previously 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 www.AmyMiller.com.

Venerable Lozang Yönten is an American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun in the Gelug Tibetan tradition who was ordained in 2003. Her (merely labeled) pronouns are she/her and she is a fully ordained Bhikshuni/Gelongma in the Dharmaguptaka tradition.

Buddhist since her teenage years, Ven. Yönten moved to Chenrezig Institute in QLD, Australia when she was 19 and studied intensively under Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering (Lharampa Geshe from Sera Je Monastery and former Abbot of Gyü-me Tantric College) for seven years, completing their Buddhist Studies Program (including FPMT’s Basic Program as well as other advanced topics) and retreats.

She then continued to study, retreat and offer service at Dharma Centers in India and Taiwan as well as Australia and New Zealand, becoming an In-Depth Registered Teacher within the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in 2012.

Ven. Yönten was then the Resident Teacher of Kunsang Yeshe Retreat Centre in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia from 2012 – 2015 and then at Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity in New Zealand until 2018. She continues to offer classes and retreats at both Centres annually (unless there is a global pandemic).

Ven. Yönten also offers Buddhist classes 4–5 months a year in Israel. With FPMT’s Shantideva Study Group and also, from a secular perspective, for a seven-year postgraduate program called Human Spirit which is a Buddhist Psychoanalytic Training Program.

Gen (Tibetan for “elder”) Don is a touring teacher for the FPMT, sharing the Dharma with centers and study groups in North America and other parts of the world, both in-person and online. He connected with Tibetan Buddhism in 1993 through the teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

In 1996 he commenced formal study at Tse Chen Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, the FPMT center in San Francisco. In 1998, he entered the FPMT’s Masters Program of Buddhist Studies in Sutra and Tantra, a full-time seven-year residential study program in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Geshe Jampa Gyatso. After the completion of his studies, Gen Don moved to Northern New Mexico and in 2005 and began teaching for the FPMT.

In 2015, he had the honor of being selected by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to lead the renowned November Course, a one-month teaching and meditation retreat held annually at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Gen Don has received teachings from many esteemed lamas in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, and Khensur Jampa Tegchok.

Students appreciate his humble, compassionate demeanor and his capacity to explain profound ideas with precision, contemporary examples and humor.

Visit his website at https://www.donhandrick.com.