Lotus Vision

Lotus Vision: The Extraordinary Potential of Being

Investigating body, language, and mind, Tarthang Tulku's Lotus Trilogy offers direct, effective, and powerful ways to understand ourselves. Lotus Vision offers a practical, thoughtful,  and effective series of courses in guided self-investigation that lead to deep insight into one's inner being, uncovering the rich potential that is the birthright of every human being.

Dharma College invites you to join the first group of students who will pursue an innovative and powerful series of courses and practices: Lotus Vision: The Extraordinary Potential of Being. This two-year program will be based on the Lotus Trilogy, in which Tibetan Lama Tarthang Tulku crowns his decades of effort to translate Tibetan wisdom literature and methods into a Western idiom. The program is entirely secular and does not require any familiarity with Buddhist thought.

Since Buddhism was introduced to Tibet over 1200 years ago, direct, powerful, and extremely fruitful methods of self-investigation and internal development have been discovered, preserved, and passed on from master to disciple in unbroken lineages of oral instruction and initiation. Many of these methods have never been publicly revealed. They are highly effective in developing inner harmony, clarity of mind, and a meaningful way of living. The Lotus Trilogy introduces the reader to these methods and offers guidance and counsel in their application to one's inner being.

Tarthang Tulku, one of the last surviving fully instructed and powerful masters, has devoted his life to offering guidance in these methods, developing myriad ways that the West can understand and make use of them. We all experience how stressful, alienating, and even toxic, modern life can be. Lotus Vision offers us direct and compelling ways to gain deeper knowledge and to develop new ways of understanding ourselves and those around us, leading to a balanced, harmonious, and more fulfilling way of living.

For more than a year, the senior faculty at Dharma College has been working with the Lotus Trilogy, practicing ways to guide Lotus Vision participants to the possibility of fully developing our human potential. Senior teachers Abbe Blum and Robin Caton will offer the first classes in October. These teachers will be sharing the result of decades of working closely with these methods directly with Tarthang Tulku. You will be sharing in an unfolding and continuing investigation of how one can fully develop the capacities of the human body and mind.

First Year of the Lotus Vision Curiculum:

1. Introduction to the Lotus Vision

This eight-week course introduces a vision of being and knowing that integrates body, language, and mind, offering a clear path to living a balanced and meaningful life. Based on the Tibetan wisdom tradition—yet presented in a secular way that is open to all—the Lotus teachings guide us to the full flowering of our human potential. As we connect head and heart, learn to communicate skillfully, and touch the silence at the center of mind, our positive way of being shines effortlessly into the world.

  • Week one: A journey to wholeness
  • Week two: The mystery of change
  • Week three: Transforming negativity: emotions as guides
  • Week four: Letting silence emerge
  • Week five: Investigating structures: dialogue and inquiry
  • Week six: Working from an open heart
  • Week seven: Body, language, mind: gateways to knowledge
  • Week eight:  Becoming the vision

2. Being Embodied Beings

What does it mean to be a body, operating in time and space? How can we connect to our deepest feelings so that we integrate all that we know? In this eight-week course, we use Lotus Body as a guide to explore these questions. As we bring ease to the body and richness to our senses, new ways of perceiving and thinking emerge. Time and space become living doorways to positive transformation.

  • Week one: The lotus appears
  • Week two: Space and bodies
  • Week three: Touching the heart of our being
  • Week four: Origins and beginnings
  • Week five: Positions and points
  • Week six: Borders and edges
  • Week seven: Connecting head and heart
  • Week eight: Body of space, body of time, body of knowledge

3. Language, Silence, and Meaning

With words we build the world. So says Lotus Language, our guide to investigating a key aspect of the regime of mind: the formation and use of language.  Here, we examine the way concepts keep us stuck in narrow ways of being, thinking, and acting. Language sponsors the stories mind tells to make sense of our lives, and the abstractions it uses to compare things. Short is ‘short’ in relation to tall; good is ‘good’ only in contrast to ‘bad’. All these words! Yet clear and kind communication is rare. Can that change? In this course, we explore the key question: how can we communicate authentically with ourselves and others?

  • Week one: The power of language
  • Week two: Sound, symbol, and meaning
  • Week three: Naming is creating
  • Week four: Meaning and comparing: the rule of ‘ratios’
  • Week five: Storytelling as our way of life
  • Week six: Making sense, sensing absence
  • Week seven: Listening to silence
  • Week eight: Communicating with ourselves

4. Knowing Mind

If we want to know ourselves well—if we want to be able to sort through our thoughts and feelings wisely and live happy, calm, and purposeful lives—it is essential to know the nature of mind. For mind is central to all of human experience: from what we perceive, to what we think, feel, say, and do. Yet, little attention is paid to mind in Western education. This course investigates the mental structures that limit us, and then points us beyond—to an open field of knowing at the heart of mind.

  • Week one: Mind’s nature: the ‘regime’ and beyond
  • Week two: How does mind know mind?
  • Week three: The per-curious one: who is the observer?
  • Week four: Ripples, waves, and bubbles: the nature of thought
  • Week five: Am I dreaming?
  • Week six: Opening points 360 degrees
  • Week seven: Silence at the center
  • Week eight: A field of clear light