Lesson series

Gesture of Great Love (Term 1)

Level 200 | Understanding
Fridays, September 13th  – October 18th 2024, 10:00-11:30 AM PST 

All videos are recorded, allowing you to view them at your convenience.
"Full refund if the first class isn't your cup of tea!"
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Mind has the ability to shine like the sun, freeing us from shadows, and lighting the way to meaning, joy, and wisdom. Yet so many people today have the opposite experience: a mind consumed by anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and guilt. In this year-long program based on Tarthang Tulku's seminal book, "Gesture of Great Love", we set off on a wisdom journey that transforms human experience. Closely exploring the mental patterns that bind us, we learn how to harvest the liberating powers of love and peace. Open to all who have taken at least one other class at Dharma College


“I deeply appreciate having been able to receive the Gesture of Great Love teaching online. The pace of the course was perfect and the recordings made it more accessible for me. Symptoms of unwellness are being less treated as objects, embraced more and I've been experiencing more ease and joy.  Some very still silent alive places of being were touched towards the end of the course during the practices together.”
Jacqueline A.
“What a privilege and luxury to be guided thru this very special book by its editor and able interpreter! Than you, Robin, for your thoughtful insights.
Howard H.
“Gesture of Great Love is an inspiring and generous book, now being taught by a generous and inspiring teacher. This course is highly recommended.”
Jonathan C.


Classes meet online for six or seven weeks a term, for 90 minutes a week. Classes are recorded and you will have access to the recordings for six months. Each week, there will be opportunity for close examination of the book, experiential practice guided by the instructor, and class discussion. An online community portal provides an easy and friendly way to become part of a global community of fellow students.

Weekly Topics

Term 1 Sep 13-Oct 18, 2024
Week 1: A Path of Great Love
Week 2: Time, Understanding, and Inquiry
Week 3: Our Situation Now
Week 4: Joy is Essential
Week 5: Sharing Joy
Week 6: Understanding the Regime of Mind    

Term 2 Nov 1-Dec 13, 2024
Week 1: Living in Delusion
Week 2: A Different Way of Being
Week 3: Meet the Gatekeepers
Week 4: Traveling Deeper Within
Thanksgiving Break

Week 5: The Role of Language
Week 6: Is/Is not    

Term 3 Jan 10-Feb 21, 2025
Week 1: Establishing Identity
Week 2: Opening Structures of Self
Week 3: Seeing with Wise Eyes
Week 4: Inviting a Different Reality
Week 5: Mind Magic
Week 6: How the Regime Loses its Hold
Week 7: Revision and Practice    

Term 4 Mar 7-April 18, 2025
Week 1: Offering Hugs and Kisses
Week 2: Play of Light
Week 3: Time and Identity
Week 4: Time's Dynamic
Week 5: Units of Suffering
Week 6: The Immediacy of the Instant
Week 7: Revision and Practice    

Term 5 May 2-Jun 6, 2025
Week 1: Opening Fully
Week 2: Presence
Week 3: The Special Status of the Instant
Week 4: Certainty
Week 5: Unity-Wisdom
Week 6: The Heart of Being

Readings From

Gesture of Great Love by Tarthang Tulku


Robin Caton

Robin Caton holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan and an MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary's College of California. She is an attorney, poet and teacher who has studied Buddhism for many years, both at the Nyingma Institute and under the direction of Founding Head Lama Tarthang Tulku. Her published works include a volume of poetry, The Color of Dusk. Robin was the Director of Dharma College from 2010 to 2017.

Associate Instructor

Thomas Rogowski