Meet our instructors

Executive Director

Wangmo Dixey

Wangmo Dixey was 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 was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya university in Bangkok in 2023.

Dean

Dr. Richard Dixey

Richard Dixey 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.

Senior Instructors

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.

Instructors

Teri Beckman

Teri Beckman leads HIGOL, a boutique coaching and consulting company that works with mission-driven leaders to help them increase their community impact and revenue within their organizations by aligning their human, technical, financial resources with their vision.  She has studied and practiced Skillful Means and Buddhist psychology as presented by Tarthang Tulku for thirty years.  She has a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Chapel Hill and is a graduate of the Body Therapy Institute, Spirit of Learning Teacher Training.

Dr. Jonathan Clewley

Jonathan Clewley was educated at the Universities of Sussex (BSc), London (MSc), and Warwick (PhD); and pursued a career as a Clinical Scientist and Virologist at a public health laboratory in London. He has a lifelong interest in arcane and spiritual knowledge, especially Buddhism, coming to Venerable Tarthang Tulku’s teachings through the practice of Kum Nye. As he lives in England, he has been taking online classes at Dharma College with Robin Caton and Richard Dixey since the opportunity first became available.

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.

Dr. Elon Goldstein

Elon Goldstein is Lecturer in Buddhist Studies at Harvard University's Divinity School where he has taught since 2017 and is Lecturer in Religious Studies at Brandeis University. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Religion at the University of South Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Buddhism and South Asian Religions with training in reading Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. Additionally, he has a master’s from Harvard Divinity School, a master’s in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and a B.A. from Harvard University. In his first career, Elon taught literature and history in California public schools. Elon has been a student of Buddhism since 1988 and a student of Venerable Tarthang Tulku's teachings since 1992. Elon takes joy in parenting his two daughters with whom he and his wife share a vibrant home filled with pets.

Dr. Richard Kingsland

Richard Kingsland 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. Kathleen Lyon

Dr. Kathleen Lyon graduated with a BA in Chemistry (Summa Cum Laude), from Rutgers University (Douglass College), received her MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and her psychoanalytic training from The Psychoanalytic Association of New York (PANY).  She is a Training and Supervising Analyst on faculty at PANY, and the NYU School of Medicine, teaching at both institutions for over 20 years and receiving the Teacher of the Year award in Psychiatry in 2007.  She is also a member of and on the clinical register of the Neuropsychoanalytic Association. A Buddhist practitioner since the 1990s. She is in the full-time private practice of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and psychiatry in New York City.

Dr. Ron Purser

Ron Purser, Ph.D. is a Professor of Management at San Francisco State University. Author of eight books, including McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Penguin Random House/Repeater Books), the Handbook of the Ethical Foundations of Mindfulness and the Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Springer). He writes for such media outlets as Tricycle, The Guardian, Salon, Alternet, Tikkun, Pando Daily and Transformation. He began studying Time, Space and Knowledge (TSK) in 1982.

Dr. William Wright

William Wright holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Computer Artificial Intelligence from the University of California at San Diego, and an M.S. in Artificial Intelligence from The University of Oregon. William has been a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and student of Tarthang Tulku since 1969, and a lifelong explorer in the Philosophy of Mind. For the last 22 years he has lived quietly in his remote forest home near the Summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. He has recently come back down to town and is now fully engaged in the urban world.

Associate Instructors

Angela Bushaway

Angela has been practicing Kum Nye for many years. She has attended annual Kum Nye retreats in the Netherlands and Germany, as well as training programs in California. Angela has also participated in a number of other programs based on the books of Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, including Skillful Means, Knowledge of Freedom, Lotus Trilogy and Dimensions of Mind. She currently teaches Kum Nye classes in Malvern with her partner Roger. Angela is a trained acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner.

Simon Cook

Simon Cook has a Geography Degree from Southampton University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Oxford University. He taught English Language to adults for many years, in the UK and Europe, and has taught Tibetan refugees in India. Simon did the Nine-month Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga Program at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley in 1986/87. He works for the charity Age UK, helping older people. He teaches Kum Nye at a local therapy center.

Dr. Carl Pilcher

Carl Pilcher is retired from a career in space science.  He holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry, the latter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.P.A. in International Relations from Princeton University.  He was on the astronomy faculty of the University of Hawaii for a dozen years before becoming a NASA administrator for almost 3 decades.  His professional arc took him from planetary science to serving as Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute.  He began studying ancient teachings in 2015 with a Hindu teacher and joined the Dharma College community as a student in late 2021.  Central to his interests are integrating ancient wisdom, particularly of non-dualism, with a modern scientific world view.

Thomas Rogowski

Thomas Rogowski has been a student of Buddhism since 1992. He has attended the Human Development Program and the First Teacher Training Program at Nyingma Institute before volunteering at Odiyan Retreat Center from 1996 to 2003. He has worked intensively with Buddhist art and helped build Cintamani Temple. Originally trained as a teacher he returned to Switzerland where he helped raise his daughter Tara while teaching High School and later Vocational College. Following his other passion he has sailed extensively in the Mediterranean as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Bram Williams

Bram Williams is a long term student of yoga and dharma. As an experienced Kum Nye student and teacher he’s attended many programs and trainings in California, as well as annual dharma retreats in Holland and Germany. Bram now practices and teaches in London and Oxford. Currently studying facia focused anatomy, Bram is also an occasional puppeteer and a qualified Lip-Reading Tutor.

Arwyn Wilkinson

Arwyn Wilkinson supports operations at the Ratna Ling Retreat Center and contributesto the Yeshe De Bindery and book distribution project. Concurrently, she has pursued her studies at Dharma College, where she deeply values and recommends the profound insights offered by its classes, enriching both her spiritual practice and understanding of the human experience. Prior to her involvement with Ratna Ling, Arwyn pursued studies in psychology and engaged in work with homeless and vulnerable communities. These experiences have fueled her interest in Nyingma psychology, both personally and for its broader significance in the world

Guest Faculty

Dr. Abbe Blum

Abbe Blum 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. Peter Fenner

Dr. Peter Fenner is a leader in the Western adaptation of Buddhist wisdom. He is a pioneer in the new field of nondual psychotherapy. Peter had the good fortune to meet the Tibetan lama Thubten Yeshe, founder of the Foundation for the Presentation of the Mahayana Tradition, in 1974. Lama Yeshe accepted him as his student, and in 1978 he was ordained as a monk. He was a celibate monk in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions for nine years.  

In 1983 he completed a Ph.D. in the philosophical psychology of the Madhyamika school of Mahayana Buddhism from the University of Queensland

Bob Pasternak

Bob Pasternak was born in Budapest Hungary and came to the US after the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. He Joined the Peace Corps after college and spent 2 years in Nepal After returning to the US he became an attorney and then a psychotherapist. He met Tarthang Rinpoche in India in 1967 and then studied with Rinpoche starting in 1969 in Berkeley.  Bob taught various classes at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley and then was the Director of the Institute in Boulder Colorado. from 1987 to 1992  Bob has now been teaching TSK and Buddhism  since 1981 and continues to do so.

Eric Lichtman

Eric Lichtman’s began his career as a classroom teacher in California; later, he moved to Miami, FL and served as a professor of Higher Education until 2016. His background includes teaching and program design—in Writing, Literature, Speech, Communication, Drama, and Earth Ethics. In 2002, he was appointed to an Endowed Teaching Chair in Environmental Ethics. The Time Space Knowledge vision played a central role when developing a multi-disciplined curriculum for over 400 professors and thousands of students in Miami.

He opened to meditation after reading Gestures of Balance in the mid-1970’s, and became a student at the Nyingma Institute from 1978 - 86. After taking classes in Kum Nye Yoga and Skillful Means, Eric enrolled in a 10-month TSK program. Following this, he joined the faculty of Nyingma Institute, working and living in the community until 1986. Retired now as an academic, he lives in Paris with his husband of 20 years. He loves TSK, and enjoys sharing this rich & unique vision.