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.

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.

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