Discovering Buddhism

Discovering Buddhism is FPMT’s foundational program in Buddhist philosophy and practice, aimed at giving students a solid footing in the practice of Mahayana Buddhism. By engaging in this program, students gain a theoretical and experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings, meditation, and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Discovering Buddhism is designed not only as an academic study of Buddhism—it is meant to change our lives.

This 14-module series includes all the major topics of Buddhism: Mind and Its Potential, Death and Rebirth, Refuge in the Three Jewels, Establishing a Daily Practice, Samsara and Nirvana, Bodhicitta, Transforming Problems, the Wisdom of Emptiness, and more.

Each module lasts approximately two months and includes weekly teachings, meditations, readings, assessment questions, and a short retreat. Students may freely choose some or all of these components to do, according to their interests. Completion cards for each module are awarded to those who successfully complete all of the components of that module. Students may enter the program at any module, and may enroll in whichever modules they wish.


Our current module will be Discovering Buddhism: Tantra, which will be on Wednesdays, Jan 19—Mar 2, 2022. 

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 in receiving credit for completing each module, please indicate your commitment to completing all of the module’s requirements by printing, completing, and signing the first page of this document. You can bring it to the first session of the module or email it to [email protected].

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.