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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Amy Langenberg 

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Eckerd College Amy Paris Langenberg is a specialist in classical South Asian Buddhism with a focus on monasticism, gender, sexuality, and the body. She also conducts ethnographic research on contemporary Buddhist feminisms, contemporary female Buddhist monasticism, and, more recently, sexual abuse in American Buddhism. She is currently interested in how notions of agency, autonomy, freedom, and consent function in contemporary religious communities, and the role of affect, the body, and emotion in religious life. Her current project is a collaborative book on generative responses to sexual abuse in American Buddhism, to be co-written with Ann…

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Anne C. Klein/Lama Rigzin Drolma

ANNE CAROLYN KLEIN/LAMA RIGZIN DROLMA is Professor and Former Chair of Religious Studies, Rice University, where she developed a contemplative studies concentration for graduate students in the Department of Religious Studies. She is also a Founding Director and Resident Lama of Dawn Mountain Tibetan Temple and Dawn Mountain Community Center & Research Institute. In connection with this work she was named a Dorje Lopon by her teacher Ad.Zom Rinpoche in 2009.Her translation work encompasses both Tibetan texts and oral commentary on them. Her books include Knowledge and Liberation on Buddhist distinctions between intellectual knowing and direct experience; Path to the…

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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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Chagdud Khadro

Chagdud Khadro has taught the meditation of Phowa, transference of consciousness at the moment of death, since 1986. Like many Buddhist practitioners, especially in the Tibetan tradition, her teaching is informed by the writings and oral transmissions of such great masters as Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, and Tulku Thondup Rinpoche. She has had the opportunity to counsel many in situations of dying and death and has listened to many stories.

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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. Ann Gleig

Dr. Ann Gleig is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Central Florida. She is co-editor of Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism and has published widely on contemporary Buddhism. She is the author of “American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity,” from Yale University Press.Gleig received her doctorate in religious studies from Rice University, her master’s in religious studies from Lancaster University, and her bachelor’s in theology and religious studies from Bristol University. She joined UCF in 2012. Her research interests include Asian religions, Asian religions in America, Religion and Psychoanalysis, Religion, Gender, and Sexuality. To…

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Dr. Elizabeth Call

Elizabeth Call, PsyD, formerly a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is currently a sub-investigator and therapist on the FDA phase 3 trials for MDMA assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.  She is in private practice in Cambridge and draws on Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, EMDR, IFS, Mindfulness and trauma-informed therapy as allies in healing.  She has had a committed Buddhist meditation practice for over 30 years. Elizabeth Call, PsyD, interned at McLean Hospital and is a former clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  After graduate school, she was a staff psychologist on an inpatient forensic unit at MGH…

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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. Jim Hopper

Dr. Jim Hopper is an independent consultant and Teaching Associate in Psychology at Harvard Medical School.  His research, clinical and consulting work has focused on the psychology and neurobiology of trauma and how meditation and other contemplative practices can transform the brain to bring healing and genuine happiness. Dr. Hopper is a long-time meditator and co-editor of Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices. Dr. Jim Hopper is an independent consultant and Teaching Associate in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and consultant to the Outpatient Addictions Service of the Cambridge Health Alliance.  For over 25 years Dr. Hopper’s research, clinical…

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Dr. Nida Chenagtsang

Dr. Nida was born in Amdo, in Eastern Tibet. Interested in the traditional healing science of his people, he began his early medical studies at the local Tibetan Medicine hospital. Later he gained scholarship entry to Lhasa Tibetan Medical University, where he completed his medical education in 1996. He completed his practical training at the Tibetan Medicine hospitals in Lhasa and Lhoka. Dr. Nida has published many articles and books on Sowa Rigpa (Traditional Tibetan Medicine). He has extensively researched ancient Tibetan healing methods, and has gained high acclaim in the East and West for his revival of traditional Tibetan external…

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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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Jampa Mackenzie Stewart

Jampa Mackenzie Stewart, MSOM, L.Ac., was born in Rochester, New York in 1951. He took refuge as a Buddhist at the age of 18 under Roshi Philip Kapleau at the Rochester Zen Center. He also studied briefly with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in San Francisco.  Later Jampa was drawn to Tibetan Buddhism, becoming deeply inspired after reading the life story of Milarepa. In 1981 he was introduced to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, the abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, the Karmapa’s American seat in Woodstock, New York, and was accepted as a student in the Karma Kagyu lineage. Not long after, Jampa established…

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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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Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School and is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation and author of Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger. Owens is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Has been published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin,…

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Lama Willa Miller

Founding Teacher, Spiritual Director Natural Dharma Willa B. Miller, PhD is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston, MA and its retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. She was authorized as a dharma teacher and lineage holder in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism after twelve years of monastic training and two consecutive three-year retreats. She has also practiced in the Shangpa and Nyingma lineages. She is editor, author and translator (respectively) of three books: The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work (2012), Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to…

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Mark Epstein

Mark Epstein, M.D., a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, is the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Open to Desire, Psychotherapy without the Self, The Trauma of Everyday Life and Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself.  His latest work, The Zen of Therapy: Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life, will be published in early 2022 by Penguin Press. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University. Photo credit: Larry Bercow

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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 an internationally renowned teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. Ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku, and trained as an academic, her teachings celebrate the dynamic coalescence of tradition and the modern context. She is the founder of Ngakpa International and its three projects: The Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain and the Yogic Medicine Institute. In her work as a Buddhist teacher she is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and was enthroned to carry on the lineage of her predecessor, the first Pema Khandro, an early twentieth century…

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Peter D. Hershock

PETER D. HERSHOCK is Director of the Asian Studies Development Program and Coordinator of the Humane AI Initiative at the East-West Center in Honolulu, as well as adjunct graduate faculty in Philosophy at the University of Hawai`i. His philosophical work makes use of Buddhist conceptual resources to address contemporary issues of global concern. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books on Buddhism, Asian philosophy and contemporary issues, including: Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age (1999); Buddhism in the Public Sphere: Reorienting Global Interdependence (2006); Valuing Diversity: Buddhist Reflection on Realizing a More Equitable…

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Sara Lewis

Dr. Sara Lewis is Associate Professor and Chair of Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology at Naropa University. She is author of Spacious Minds: Trauma and Resilience in Tibetan Buddhism (Cornell, 2019). This ethnographic study in Dharamsala, India explores trauma, memory, and resilience in the Tibetan diaspora where the social and religious landscape encourages those exposed to violence to see past events as impermanent and illusory where debriefing, working-through, or processing past events only solidifies suffering and may even cause illness. Resilience in Dharamsala is understood as sems pa chen po, a vast and spacious mind that does not fixate on…

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Shugen Roshi

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order, abbot and resident teacher of Zen Mountain Monastery, and abbot of the Zen Center of New York City. He first encountered the Dharma and began his meditation practice in 1975. After studying undergraduate mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music (performance and composition), Shugen Roshi began studying with his primary teacher, John Daido Loori Roshi in 1984. He entered full-time monastic training in 1986 and was fully ordained in 1988. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997 and continued his studies and…

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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.