About Dharma College
Letter from Director
At Dharma College, our mission is to translate ancient wisdom into everyday life. Using whatever circumstances we encounter as an opportunity for growth, we begin to manifest the extraordinary potential of being. These uncertain times provide perfect conditions to discover what is holding us back from an ever-available freedom. As we come to understand mind and self more deeply, we can open awareness, engage more closely with experience, and find a rich source for inner development.
This mission governs all of our work here at the College. As both a place for learning, and a community of those who share similar interests, Dharma College is creating a vibrant environment, a place for work and serious inner and outer study.
Inviting wisdom into our lives depends on our taking the first step when the right conditions arise. We open our gates to you with the wish that we may take this journey together.
Connecting East to West for more than a decade
The story of Dharma College begins in Tibet. Born in 1935,
Tarthang Tulku was one of the last traditionally trained Lamas in the Nyingma
tradition. He received transmission of important Tibetan Buddhist lineages from
nearly 40 masters, including such extraordinary luminaries as Jamyang Khyentse
Chokyi Lodro, Adzom Gyalse Gyurme Dorje, Zhechen Kongtrul, and Tarthang
He has written over 34 books that have been
translated into various Western languages and adopted for class use by universities
around the world.
Dharma College is housed in an outstanding
landmark building in the heart of downtown Berkeley, California. Designed by architect
Walter Ratcliff, the building was first occupied in 1923. Within walking
distance of the University of California and the Berkeley BART station, Dharma
College intends to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds. With
newly-renovated classrooms that are suited for both large lectures and small
seminars, a spacious reading room where students and faculty can work between
classes, numerous staff and faculty offices, project rooms, and a generous
dining room in which we serve wholesome, vegetarian meals, Dharma College is
conducive to peaceful individual study and alive with vibrant ideas.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Bob Dozor 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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