Discovering Buddhism

Mind and Its Potential

In this module, we will examine what the mind is, what its nature and function are, and how it affects our experiences of happiness and suffering. We will explore the difference between mind and brain, the implications of possessing a mind that has no beginning or end, and we will learn methods to transform negative thoughts and attitudes, turning the mind to cultivate positive potential.

We will also explore questions such as:

  • What is the nature of consciousness?
  • What accounts for the continuity of consciousness from moment to moment?
  • What are the different levels of consciousness, and what are their respective roles in spiritual practice and realization?
  • What are the different types of consciousness, and what are the different mental factors that can be involved in each type?
  • What are the root delusions, how do they arise, and how do they disrupt our lives?
  • What is the essence of spiritual transformation?
  • Is it possible to eliminate delusions from our mind completely?

This is the first in a series of 14 modules covering the complete Buddhist path to enlightenment and a great opportunity to join the group from the beginning and follow the whole cycle.

Discovering Buddhism is designed for students who wish to deepen their understanding of fundamental Buddhist concepts. The program is designed to provide an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Each module includes teachings, meditations, readings, assessment questions, and a short retreat. For more information on the program, please see Discovering Buddhism.


Wednesdays, September 4, 11, 18, 25, October 2 and 16 (optional review session) from 7pm to 9pm. 


To register, click here.

Course Fee

$100 (or $20/session) to help support direct costs, including space rental, Dharma materials, and administration. Shantideva members: $90 (or $18/session). The optional review session on October 16 is offered by donation. 

If you pay for the entire course at once (not including review session), the discounted fee is $90 and for Shantideva members, $81. 

(Member discounts will be applied automatically if you have transferred your membership to MindBody. If you need assistance doing this, please contact [email protected].)

The suggested offering for events has increased due to the significantly higher expenses associated with our new home. Our management team consists entirely of volunteers, and we are very grateful for your understanding and support.


If you are a registered student, you may access the readings here on our password protected page. After registering, an online receipt will be sent to the email address that you used to register. The password will be on the receipt. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about accessing this page.

Discovering Buddhism Guidelines

The study group guidelines can be accessed here. Please read, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact our Spiritual Program Coordinator.

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 this module, please indicate your commitment to completing all of the module’s requirements by printing, completing, and signing the first page of this document: Requirements for Official Completion of Discovering Buddhism and bring it to our first session on September 4, or email it to [email protected].

About the Teacher

Gustavo Cutz is in the process of becoming an FPMT certified teacher. He has worked at Wisdom Publications in Boston, has been an active volunteer with Shantideva Meditation Center since 2008 and a facilitator for Discovering Buddhism since 2012. He also interprets/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.

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