The Diamond Cutter Sutra

Ever heard the word “emptiness” and wondered what it meant? We’ll be studying this core concept of Buddhism and learning how to apply it to our daily life. Understanding “emptiness” is the key to unlocking every spiritual practice.

This Course is based upon the Diamond Cutter Sutra (Vajrachedika) by Shakyamuni Buddha, along with the only known native Tibetan commentary, by Chone Lama Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748).


  • What is “emptiness” in a Buddhist sense

  • How the direct perception of emptiness is accomplished

  • What happens after the direct perception of emptiness

  • How understanding emptiness leads to the destruction of mental afflictions

  • How the direct perception of emptiness leads to full enlightenment and paradise

  • Emptiness and the two extremes

  • How empty things function

  • Emptiness and purification

  • The relationship between emptiness and karma

  • Emptiness and the bodies of a Buddha

  • What is non-duality, how a bodhisattva should live

  • The future of Buddha's teachings

  • The perfection of wisdom


This is course 6 of the 18 Buddhist Foundation Courses offered by the Asian Classics Institute (ACI) at Three Jewels. ACI provides 18 courses that progress through the entire teachings of the Buddhist path to enlightenment in the Hinayana and Mahayana schools. The courses are provided generously by Geshe Michael Roach, who translated a large body of texts from Tibetan, and condensed a quarter century's worth of study into a 5 year cirriculum complete with homework and quizzes. It is not required to start at course 1.


Sept 10 - Nov 19
7:30 - 9:30PM


$300 suggested


included with membership

Tuition is 100% tax-deductible. Unlimited memberships are not tax-deductible but help support our mission.


Three Jewels is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. ACI courses at Three Jewels are offered by donation. Your donations are 100% tax deductible and support Three Jewels mission.

Our mission is to get people enlightened through the practice of yoga, meditation, and Buddhist philosophy. Enlightenment is just a fancy word for the state of mind that is at peace and happy. Everything we need to be happy comes from within, and we have the map to navigate that path.

Three Jewels serves over 5,000 students per year, offers more than 50 classes per week, and provides services to the city and internationally by giving free meditation and yoga classes to homeless families, school teachers, children, people recovering from addiction, trauma-sensitive care to refugees and earthquake survivors, and much more. It is also run almost entirely by volunteers! 


Hector Marcel has been studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years. He is a passionate organizational change management consultant helping executives drive transformational change in their organizations through an emphasis on culture, people and service. He is a master teacher of meditation and eastern philosophy, linking ancient Asian ideas to modern western systems for individuals and teams. Hector serves on the board of the Asian Classics Institute, he is the director of the 108 Lives Project and is the president of Three Jewels (the Enlightenment Studio), a New York based studio dedicated to help people reach their highest potential through meditation, yoga, public talks and community outreach. He believes that meditation opens the door to every personal achievement. Hector is treasured by his students for his immense kindness, humor, and generous wisdom.