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: Discovering Buddhism – Transforming Problems on Wednesdays, May 8-Jun 12.

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

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.