Activating Wisdom

Unfolding body, language, and mind.

Upcoming Courses


We will experience the healing power of communicating with the heart through readings in the Lotus Trilogy, and gain access to multiple evidence-based modalities and practices to improve our own health and well-being. In the Activating Wisdom program you will
1. Relate to your mind in ways that allow more choice
2. Learn to pause, relax, and begin each moment freshly
3. Let go of a sense of inner constriction and limits.
4. Experience the joy of creative dialogue and play
5. Gain access to knowledge that brings richness and meaning to life
6. Have the flexibility of mind to deal with everyday challenges
7. Develop tools to bring spaciousness and practical wisdom to life
8. Learn to experience the joy of creative dialogue and play, and the richness of inquiry


Human beings can unfold like the petals of a lotus, revealing the beauty within. We are encouraged to learn a “new way of being”—of complete wisdom and fully embodied learning. The knowledge expressed must be activated in the knower, approached through an examination of the way experience arises. We may discover that the heart of being is an open field.


The Lotus Trilogy is offered over a varied number of terms of the volumes Lotus Body, Lotus Language, and Lotus Mind. Each six-week course consists of a weekly 90-minute class that engages in inquiry, explorations, and performance of dialogues. It includes additional self-directed study and exercises, as well as exchange through the online community portal.

Practicing Embodiment, a weekly one-hour class for students who have taken Level 200 courses, provides an ongoing format for stimulating a knowing quality through exploration, contemplation, and dialogue during class and via the online portal. March 2023 will begin three terms of Keys of Knowledge.

Advanced courses in the Time Space and Knowledge (TSK) vision, an inquiry that that Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche began in 1977, will also complement these offerings.
active wisdom

Mastery Courses

If you have completed Level 1 and Level 2 courses (or with the permission from Executive Director), there are a wide range of Level 3 courses to choose from:

301: Lotus Body

Here, we’ll consider how we manifest in the world. We’ll look at the relationship between appearance, space and time. By exploring borders, we can open new connections.

302: Lotus Language

Examine how words and meaning impact our human experience. How can language be engaged to encourage authentic communication?

303: Lotus Mind

Everyone has the capacity to fully develop their abundant human potential. Through dialogue and active inquiry, we investigate the “weather”—all the conditions of mind. We may find that mind is indistinguishable from calm clarity; we may glimpse that sharing at bottom mind is the same unity: all lila—all play—inimitable and inexpressibly beautiful manifestations of mind.

304: Practicing Embodiment

During this one-hour weekly class, students of  Lotus Trilogy engage in contemplations and activities that help unbind and unwind the regime of mind’s production process. What is it like to settle into a home in which knowledge is integrated into our lives? As we activate wide-angle seeing, as deeper senses open up, changes in understanding and experience materially affect our conduct. This is an active, practical, practice-oriented class that also, however, takes on the conceptual and opens dialogue. Examples and inspiration regularly come from what inspires in daily life

Practices and dialogues will be drawn from Lotus Mind through February of 2023. Keys of Knowledge will be the focus for three terms from March 2023 – September 2024. Students who have studied The Lotus Trilogy are welcome. The class will open to those who have taken 200 Level Revelations of Mind when Keys of Knowledge study begins in March 2023.

305: Time, Space and Knowledge: A New Vision of Reality

In this course, we will engage in a new kind of inquiry, using Tarthang Tulku’s seminal book, Time, Space and Knowledge. We will explore Time, Space and Knowledge as fundamental facets of human experience, offering visionary pathways for expanding our natural intelligence, intrinsic freedom and direct nourishment of our humanity. The course will utilize weekly readings, discussions and practice of exercises.

Urban Retreat

 Introduction to the Lotus Vision (Dates to be Determined)

Body, language, and mind are our vehicle, our basic tool. Only through this trio, this trilogy of expressive stories, can we transmit and transform what we have, what we are, and what we can know.

Lotus Trilogy is a path of inquiry, a shining, working model for understanding mind and heart. This retreat introduces Tarthang Tulku’s vision of being and knowing that integrates body, language and mind. 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 our mind, our positive way of being shines effortlessly into the world.


  • “This program challenged me to keep looking—through questioning and seeking answers. Now, both my psychology and my world seem to have changed. I'm amazed how quickly I can now put those answers to the test and free myself from 'dis-ease.'”
    -Dharma College Student


Wangmo Dixey

Wangmo Dixey (Executive Director, Instructor), born in Berkeley, California, in 1969, is the eldest daughter of Venerable Tarthang Tulku. In addition to her role as Director of the College, she is Executive Director of the Light of Buddhadharma Foundation International and President of the International Buddhist Association of America. She has been awarded many international accolades for her work in Asia. She holds a BA in International Relations from UCLA and an MA in International Development from American University. Married to Dr. Richard Dixey, she has two children. She just recently received an honorary Ph.D from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya university in Buddhist Studies.

Robin Caton

Robin Caton (Instructor) 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.

Dr. Abbe Blum

Abbe Blum (Instructor) holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from Cambridge University in England, where she was a Marshall scholar, and a Ph.D. in English literature from Yale University. As an Associate Professor at Swarthmore College, she taught Shakespeare and intensive writing seminars. She currently teaches in the School of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry at Saybrook University. She has been studying Buddhism since the 1970’s, and has taught at various TNMC locations since 1998.

Dr. Bob Dozor

Bob Dozor (Associate Instructor) is the  Medical Director of the Integrative Medical Clinic of Santa Rosa and 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.  He has been a student of Buddhism since the 1960’s and a student of Venerable Tarthang Tulku since 1972.

Dr. Richard Kingsland

Richard Kingsland (associate instructor), holds a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California, Davis, and an M.D. with honors from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He completed a residency in Emergency Medicine from the University of California, San Diego, and served as an emergency physician in San Diego County for many years. He has traveled frequently to India and Nepal and has been a student of Venerable Tarthang Tulku since 1970.

Dr. Richard Dixey

Richard Dixey (Instructor) holds a Ph.D. from London University, an M.A. with distinction in the history and philosophy of science from London University, and a B.A. Hons from Oxford. He was director of the Bioelectronic Research Unit at St Bartholomew's hospital in London for fourteen years before founding and becoming the Chief Executive of Phytopharm PLC, a biotechnology company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Richard has been a student of Buddhism since 1972 and has traveled extensively in the Himalayas, India and South East Asia. He is currently an advisor to the Khyentse Foundation.

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