Mon-Fri 12am to 9pm

Discovering Buddhism Module Two: How to Meditate


INTRODUCTORY/OPEN TO ALL: No prior knowledge or experience required; no registration required


WHEN: Regular and retreat classes start in January, 2018, classes are two hours long from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; retreat will be held after each module; please check Calendar to confirm


 Upcoming Classes:


• January 7th (regular class); 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

• January 21st (regular class); 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

• January 28th (regular class); 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

• February 4th (regular class); 10:00AM - 12:00 PM; pot luck lunch 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

• February 4th (retreat); 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


WHERE: The Guhyasamaja Center, Professional Center of Fairfax Building, 10875 Main Street, Unit 108, Fairfax, VA




Studies have shown that meditation has both psychological and physical benefits. Done consistently, meditation can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and contribute to one's overall sense of well-being. This module introduces the purpose of meditation and how to set up a meditation session. We practice several types of meditation and learn how to recognize and overcome obstacles to meditation. For instance, some people find meditating on the breath uncomfortable. We discuss different approaches to meditating on the breath to make it a relaxing experience. In addition, we practice alternative placement and analytical meditations. Meditation is not difficult and once you learn how to meditate, you'll never forget it. It's an essential life skill.


Discovering Buddhism is a fourteen-module course designed to be completed over two years. Students can choose to participate on a casual basis or to pursue a certificate of completion for each module by participating in retreats, meditations, reading translations and texts, and in class lectures and discussions. Those who complete all the components receive a completion card for that course. When all fourteen modules have been completed, students receive a certificate of completion. This program is not designed as a purely academic study of Buddhism but is intended to change a person's life.

Opportunities to study Discovering Buddhism in person are rare. The last time Discovering Buddhism was offered at Guhyasamaja Center was from 2011-2014. Click here to read about where Discovering Buddhism falls in the larger FPMT educational curriculum. Each module wraps up with a half-day meditation retreat and a quiz. There are no pre-requisites for any of the modules, everyone is encouraged to join. If you are interested in obtaining the certificate of completion, please speak to Ven. Tendrol.


Students are welcome to attend any module, earlier modules in the series are not a pre-requisite.


Information regarding what you can expect when visiting the center, Dharma etiquette, the center's sacred artwork, and more can be found on our Resources page.


For directions, accessibility information, parking instructions, and other details you may find helpful for your visit, please visit our Contact page.


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For those students who wish to receive a certificate for module one or simply engage with the material on a deep level, there are some required readings.


Discovering Buddhism Module 2: How to Meditate (in pdf)

Wish-Fulfilling Golden Sun (https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/wish-fulfilling-golden-sun-mahayana-thought-training)
How to Meditate by Kathleen MacDonald (paperback, 2015 edition)


For students who wish to delve deeper into the concepts presented in this material, here are a few optional additional reading suggestions.


Spiritual Friends: Meditations by Monks and Nuns of the International Mahayana Institute
Open Heart, Clear Mind, by Thubten Chodron (Snow Lion Publications, 1990)
The Mind and its Functions, by Geshe Rabten Choeling, Translated and Edited by Stephen Batchelor (reprinted 1992)




We humbly offer you the opportunity to practice generosity by helping to make the Buddha's teachings available in our community. If you're able, please make a donation for classes and other events — it's even tax deductible!


Suggested donations for both members and non-members are listed below, but please — give what you're comfortable with! 


Members: $8

Non-Members: $10

You have the option of dropping cash or check into the donation box onsite (don't forget to grab a tax receipt!). You can also make a one-time donation online using the button below; repeat as often as you like! All donations made to The Guhyasamaja Center via our website are processed by PayPal. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the center's Privacy Policy and Donation Payment Terms & Conditions.



Don't forget to rejoice in your good deeds and dedicate the positive potential generated to the completion of something spiritually meaningful to you!


If you'd like to contribute but are unable to make a financial donation, please don't worry — no one will ever be turned away for financial reasons! And there are many other ways you can help support the teachings.


For more information about all our funds and special projects in need of financial support, the center's donation policy, tax deductible information, membership details, volunteer opportunities and other ways you can support the center, please visit our Practicing Generosity page.



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The Guhyasamaja Center is affiliated with The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition; Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director



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We follow the Gelug tradition, the same lineage as His Holiness The Dalai Lama


Contact Info


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


(703) 774-9692


The Guhyasamaja Center
Professional Center of Fairfax Building
10875 Main Street, Unit 108
Fairfax, VA (Directions)


Mailing Address:

The Guhyasamaja Center

P.O. Box 1511

Centreville, VA 20122 USA


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Please visit our Contact page for additional details, including info on our Board Members and management




The Guhyasamaja Center is open for classes and events and sometimes silent meditation


There are also visiting hours (by appointment only)


For more information, please check our Home page, Classes & Events pages or Calendar, or contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tax-Deductible Generosity




Donations to The Guhyasamaja Center are tax-deductible!


We are registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization: Tax ID# 550881124


To make a donation or discover other ways you can support the center, click on the green button above or visit our Practicing Generosity page


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