Ngakpa Lineage

Though it is less widely recognized, Tibetan Buddhism has not only been sustained by monks, but also by the non-monastic, non-celibate lineage of Ngakpas and Naljorpas, or Buddhist Yogis and Yoginis.  The lineage dates itself back to Padmasambhava, the Indian Yogi who is credited with converting Tibet to a Buddhist nation. Since that time, it has passed as an oral tradition from teacher to disciple and has also enveloped visionary revelations known as treasures (gtermas), which have continuously reinvigorated practitioners over the past thousand years. Buddhist Yogis of the Nyingma Ngakpa tradition practiced largely outside institutions, in family lineages and small groups, emphasizing a direct access to esoteric Buddhist contemplative practices. Though these are esoteric practices of a two-thousand year-old Buddhist tradition, they emphasize discovering greater awareness within every experience and every circumstance and do not require renouncing the world. On the contrary, dreams, emotions, mind-states, body and relationships are to be transformed into a domain of Buddhist practice through cultivating awareness and understanding, and integrating these into one’s life. The School for Yogic Buddhism is dedicated to the practice and dissemination of this non-monastic lineage, specializing in the esoteric practices of the tradition known as Nyingma Vajrayana Buddhism. Known for the proliferation of Yogis and Yoginis, as well as non-celibate clergy, the Nyingma lineage is considered the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism. Along with yogic practices, its specialty is the profound view of Dzogchen, which portrays dynamic openness, resilient presence and compassionate creativity as the basis of being and the discovery of this intrinsic state as the focus of all practices.

 


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Aruna Rig'dzin

Aruna Rig’dzin has been studying Tibetan Buddhism with Pema Khandro Rinpoche since 2000.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of Ngakpa International and the Director of the Yogic Medicine Institute. She is also a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner with over 16 years as an Advanced Yoga Teacher, Meditation Instructor and Panchakarma Specialist (CPT). Completing over 250+ hours of ERT (Emotional Repolarization Technique) with clients from over 20 countries around the world, Aruna is passionate about healing, sustainable living and giving you the tools to live a vibrant, healthy and clear life.

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Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. He is the author of Sacred Economics. For more information visit https://charleseisenstein.org/

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Chodpa Kunzang Dorje

Chodpa Kunzang Dorje is a Tibetan Yogi who specializes in the esoteric meditation known as Chod, severing the roots of suffering. He practices and teaches in the Charnel Grounds of Nepal and India and in his center in Boudha, the Khandro Labdron Shije Chod Institute. Since he is fluent in English, he offers a comprehensive training in all aspects of Chod for visitors from all over the world. His teachers are Lama Wangdu Rinpoche, Lama Chodak Rinpoche and Ani-Dawa, “Mo-mo-la,” who is a ninety-year-old yogini living in retreat in Nagakort. Learn more about his activities at his website: http://chodpa.blogspot.com/

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Dr. Harvey Aronson

I pursued professional psychotherapeutic training at the Boston University School of Social Work from 1982 to 1984. I earned a Masters in Social Work, focusing on psychodynamic and self-psychology, family therapy, chemical dependency, and group therapy. During this period I also began my own therapy, which served as an experiential touchstone for much of the material in Buddhist Practice on Western Ground. (Shambhala, 2004). I am a member of the Texas Society for Clinical Social Work, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the National Association of Social Workers, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. I…

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Dr. Jan Willis

Dr. Jan Willis is professor emerita of religion at Wesleyan University and is currently a visiting professor at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She has studied Buddhism with Tibetan teachers for more than forty years and is the author of the memoir Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist.

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Dr. Satya

Satya Shiva has been studying with Pema Khandro Rinpoche since 2001. She is the Chief Operating Officer for Ngakpa International since 2010 and is a member of the Board of Directors. Satya is the Panchakarma Clinic Director of the Yogic Medicine Institute since 2004, a Doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner.

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Drupon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

Drupon Rinpoche received teachings on the Fivefold Path of Mahamudra and Kunsang Lama’s Words of Profound Instruction, Dzogchen’s Great Completion Parting from Samsara and Nirvana, Pointing Out the Nature of Mind, and other teachings from Tulku Nyendrak Gyaltsen Rinpoche. Rinpoche has also received Chakrasamvara according to Drilbupa, including the empowerment, scriptural transmission, and pith instructions from Tulku Thogme Rinpoche. Drupon Rinchen Dorjee joined the Drikung Kagyu Institute in 1993, and has received instruction in philosophy, Gongchig, Theckchen Tenying, Dhagpo Thargyan, and Uttaratantra from Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen and other profound teachers of the Lineage. In 1995 Drupon received full ordination vows…

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Geshe Sonam

After doing his primary education, Geshe Ngawang Sonam joined Sera Monastic University in 1995 to devote his life to intensive study and practice of Buddhism.  In 2008, he was selected by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to become one of the English translators for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since then, he has accompanied His Holiness to various places in India and to around nine countries around the world. Following his more than twenty years of intensive monastic studies on the five major treatises of Buddhism, and upon clearing all the six successive years of examination, in…

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His Eminence Gyaldak Rinpoche

His Eminence Gyaldak Rinpoche is head of Drub Tashi Dhargey Cholkor Dechenling Monastery. In the lineage of the great Yogi Milarepa, Rinpoche was recognized as the tulku (reincarnation) of one of the three main disciples of Gampopa – Dorje Gyalpo. This recognition was conferred by the great Nyingma Yogi Sera Yangtrul, Sakya Dawa Sangpo and Taklung Matrul Rinpoche. Rinpoche lived in Tibet until 1991 and was taught by the Karmapa, the Dalai Lama and Chatral Rinpoche and he came to the US in 2005. Gyaldak Rinpoche’s father was the a Kagyu and Nyingma practitioner who was the student of the…

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Janak Kimmel

Studying with Pema Khandro since 2003, Janak is an electrician by trade, a playwright by night, and a creative and devoted student of the dharma. He is a Discussion Group Leader and a Teaching Assistant in the School.

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Jim Tucker, M.D.

JIM B. TUCKER, M.D. is Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is Director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, where he is continuing the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson with children who report memories of previous lives.  A board-certified child psychiatrist, Dr. Tucker worked with Dr. Stevenson for several years before taking over the research upon Dr. Stevenson’s retirement in 2002. Dr. Tucker was born and raised in North Carolina.  He attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA degree in psychology in 1982, followed by a…

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Julie Rogers

TLC Transitional Life Care provides informal, additional support in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition to those approaching death, and to their families, caregivers, and anyone who wishes to prepare for the end of life transition. TLC’s activities include educational programs, end of life workshops for groups, ‘Deep Chat’ support  groups, their ‘Instructions for the Transitional State’ manual, films, a resource-focused website, and other services. Find them at tlcserves.org, on Facebook, and Instagram. Julie has been a student of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche since 1983. She is the author of TLC Transitional Life Care’s end of life manual ‘Instructions for the Transitional State’,…

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Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche

Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Pema Karpo Meditation Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Having completed thirty years as a monk, fourteen years of teaching experience, and nine years of study at the Buddhist University of Namdroling Monastery in South India, he holds a Khenpo degree, the Buddhist equivalent of a PhD. Gawang Rinpoche came to the United States in 2004 at the invitation of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Shambhala International. He proudly became an American citizen in 2012. Rinpoche is the author of Your Mind Is Your Teacher (Shambhala Publications) and The Sadhana of Shakyamuni Buddha…

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Koshin Paley Ellison

Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, is an author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and Certified Chaplaincy Educator. Koshin co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, which offers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and Zen practice. He has served as the co-director of Contemplative Care Services for the Department of Integrative Medicine and as the chaplaincy supervisor for the Pain and Palliative Care Department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where he also served on the Medical Ethics Committee. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for…

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Lama Lhanang Rinpoche

The teachings of Lama Lhanang Rinpoche are simple, profound and touch the very essence of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche is a Spiritual Teacher and Meditation Master in the Nyingma Longchen Nying-thig lineage. Having studied in Tibet with many great masters, Rinpoche embodies their wisdom in his teachings about happiness and loving kindness. His is a refreshing voice in the chaos of today, focusing on how to find Happiness within. He is an accomplished instructor of Anu Yoga, an artist, a teacher of Feng Shui, cultural and historical studies and a skillful practitioner of Tibetan Medicine. Born and raised in Northeastern Tibet,…

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Myokei Caine-Barret

Myokei Caine-Barrett is the first woman of African-Japanese descent, and the only Western woman, to be ordained as a priest in the Nichiren Order. She is the resident priest and guiding teacher for the Myoken-ji Temple, home of the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas.

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Nechung Kuten-la

Nechung Kuten-la holds a position of great responsibility for the Tibetan Government as the Tibetan State Oracle – a healer and spiritual advisor. Nechung Kuten-la escaped Tibet with his family in 1966. He ordained at Nechung Monastery in 1970 at the age of 12, in Dharamsala, India. He served as a ritual assistant of the previous Nechung Rinpoche. Then after receiving signs, visions and confirmation from HH Dalia Lama – In 1987 he was recognized as the next Nechung Oracle. http://nechungfoundation.org/rinpoche.html

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Pema Khandro

Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, humanitarian and scholar specializing in the philosophy and practice of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Her mission is to make in-depth Buddhist education accessible, to open the doorway to the great treasures of philosophy, meditation, medicine and art contained in Tibetan Buddhism. Pema Khandro is the spiritual leader of the Community of Buddhist Yogis in North America, she is the founder of Ngakpa International, the Yogic Medicine Institute, Dakini Mountain, and Ngakpa House, a charity which supports the education of children and elders in the Himalayas. Pema Khandro is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of…

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Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Thubten Chodron is the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Newport, Washington, and the author of Don’t Believe Everything You Think. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 and received full bhikshuni ordination in Taiwan in 1986.