Lesson series

Keys of Knowledge Embodied Knowing

Level 300 | Wisdom
Thursdays September 19th to October 24th 10:11:30 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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This one year program is seminar based for Dharma College members who have worked with some 100 and 200 level materials. Over a one year period we will work through Keys of Knowledge, a book Tarthang Tulku dedicated Keys to his students and to the living possibility of a Western Dharma tradition. He is completely aware however of the obstacles Westerners must overcome:

I discovered that it was rare for Westerners to feel comfortable within their own skins. I encountered chronic forms of mental suffering that took shape as skepticism, disappointment, and frustration, and specific cognitive and cultural patterns that often led to interpersonal tension and deep dissatisfaction with the self, ‘the one who’ seems to architect all the pain within.

Prologue: Mind Holds the Keys 
Keys of Knowledge 4

Practical and practice oriented, he points out a better way of operating our minds: To solve these problems, we will need to provide a new atmosphere; we will need to change the internal conditions under which the mind operates.

In order to do that, we need to understand them.
Prologue: Mind Holds the Keys 
Keys of Knowledge 7
The kind of ‘understanding’ required is more closely aligned with ‘direct experience’ than with ‘conceptual knowing.’ Direct experience – embodied knowing - is the ‘internal change’ that allows us to discover the magical chariot, the Dharma of the Dharmadhatu (Keys of Knowledge 14).


"The instructors bring in their ideas and the class members interact.  We do exercises together and play with the dialogs that Rinpoche has offered in the book ...as a starting point.  Putting all this together ( the content of the book, the instructors, the class participants) leads to very rich experiences and opportunities to see from new perspectives that offer more opportunities when dealing with challenging situations. Thank you!"
Jane C.
"Very expansive, provocative and exciting- always genuine and wise. I look forward to more."
Suellen E.
"Very precious  teaching ,  a lesson in Compassion. I am at a loss to say  how much I appreciate."
Marianne P.


This seminar based class is for advanced students at Dharma College.  Classes meet online for five terms, six weeks each term, 90 minutes a week.  There will be close work with the text of Keys of Knowledge, limited lecture material on Western and Buddhist theory, discussions, and contemplative exercises. Classes are recorded and accessible for six months. An online community portal gives you the option to meet and be in dialogue with your fellow students.

Weekly Topics

Week One: Prologue: Mind Holds the Keys
o   A mission for Western mind
o   The mind’s bias

Week Two: Prologue: Mind Holds the Keys
o   A life shaped by the Dharma
o   A Buddhist perspective on mind
o   Shantarakshita’s knowledge of mind
o   Padmasambhava’s Mantrayana power

Week Three: Prologue: Mind Holds the Keys
o   Manifesting Bodhichitta
o   Knowledge relevant to the West

Week Four: Chapter One: Going
o   Being Present
o   The rhythm of experience

Week Five: Chapter One: Going
o   Presenting experience to mind
o   One or many experiencers?
o   Always forward

Week Six: Chapter One: Going
o   Stuck with Models
o   Only loops
o   The ‘hows’ of instrumental knowledge What’s the point?

Readings From

Keys of Knowledge - Tarthang Tulku

Ancillary Texts:


Dr. Bob Dozor

Bob Dozor is the Medical Director of Lotus House - the Nyingma Senior Retreat Center at Ratna Ling. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago in the History and Philosophy of Science and an MD from the University of California, San Francisco, after which he practiced Family Medicine for 40 years. He has been a student of Buddhism since the 1960’s, a student of Venerable Tarthang Tulku since 1972, and a student and then instructor at Dharma College since 2018.