Dharma College, based in Berkeley, California, has announced four new multi-part Dharma-based study courses scheduled to begin in early January, each of which can be accessed online.
The revered Nyingma lama Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche (b. 1935), one of the first traditionally trained Tibetan lamas to settle in North America, founded Dharma College in 2011 with a group of Dharma teachers. The college’s mission, as neither a traditional college nor a traditional Dharma center, is to “connect authentic Buddhist wisdom to the search for meaning in the uncertainty of everyday life,” cultivating the insight to turn everyday circumstances into opportunities for spiritual growth. Its interactive and discussion-based programs blend aspects of psychology, philosophy, spirituality, and science. Today the college thrives under the direction Rinpoche’s eldest daughter, Semo Wangmo Dixey.
“The purpose of Dharma College is to stimulate the expansion of knowledge by encouraging individuals to extend their own knowledge . . . and I believe the wisdom tradition of the Buddha has a unique role to play in this regard,” Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche said in 2012. “Certain preliminary ideas about the Dharma have been circulating in Western culture for several decades, creating some familiarity as well as some expectations about this ancient path of wisdom. My approach begins with the unexpectedly simple and moves toward deeper understanding through a sustained process of dialectical investigation.”
Dharma College will offer four new online courses beginning in January:
Mindful Working: Transforming Negativity; Finding Goodness in Every Act
Six one-hour sessions, 9–13 January
“We often start a new job or project with high levels of awareness, enthusiasm, willingness, and commitment,” Dharma College explained. “Why does this inevitably fade over time, causing us to take our opportunities for granted? How does negativity seep into our work and significantly decrease our ability to accomplish something of value? Join us as we explore how to open to the field of possibilities again. As we learn to rebalance our internal resources, full potential can begin to be unleashed. Work becomes deeply fulfilling.” (Dharma College)
The course, led by Buddhist psychologist Teri Beckman, will cover six main topics: Recognizing Negative Patterns; Challenging Negativity; Waking up to Goodness; Opening Time through Awareness; Welcoming Fulfillment; and Developing Concentration.
Treasuring the Senses
Six one-hour sessions, 18 January–22 February
“We often fail to notice the beauty that resides within our senses and minds,” Dharma College said. “Viewing a brilliant sunset, smelling the first flowers of spring, or hearing the sound of a loved one’s voice, our senses can become direct pathways to the heart of our being, enriching our lives with delight and joy. In this course, we’ll learn simple ways to appreciate the senses, as we begin to explore mind’s role in creating our inner world. The more we experience the richness of everyday life, the more inner resources we have to share with others.” (Dharma College)
The course, led by Buddhist teacher Robin Caton and assisted by Buddhist scholar Dr. Elon Goldstein, will cover six topics: Opening Body, Breath, and Mind; Appreciating the Senses; Expanding the Senses; The Experience of Joy; Mind and Perception; and Sensing, Knowing, and Being.
Heart Talk: Two Medical Doctors Talk About Caring
Six one-hour sessions, 12 January–16 February
Dharma College announced: “This class will touch both head and heart. Bob Dozor MD and Richard Kingsland MD will explore how caring can allow students to open into direct communication with self and others. These doctors present participants with the fact that they have more control of their health than they might think. Studying ‘Caring’ will facilitate improving one’s healthy lifestyle and will include experiential practices to open the heart. Times are hard. This class will evoke healing at both societal and individual levels by promoting communication between head and heart. Caring begins with self-care and then opens into helping others.” (Dharma College)
The curse will cover six weekly topics: Sharing Caring, Community Healing; Wisdom of Caring Part One – Relaxation and meditation techniques; Wisdom of Caring Part Two – Relaxation and meditation techniques; Caring from the Heart, Caring for the Heart, Reducing Cardiovascular Risks; Knowing to Care – Food, Supplements, and Health; Review and Summary.
Gesture of Great Love (Part One)
Six one-hour sessions, 10 January–24 February
“Come join us for a series of three six-week courses, as we study and practice ‘Gesture of Great Love, Light of Liberation’ the newest teachings presented by Tibetan Lama Tarthang Tulku. The ideas he offers here first emerged some 50 years ago, taking shape as the Time, Space, and Knowledge vision. Through guided exercises and clear, accessible language, these transformative teachings penetrate heart and mind to uncover the depths of our being. As we face suffering honestly, cultivate emotional well-being, and actively inquire into the nature of identity, language, and time, we find we inhabit a new inner home. Rich with joy and appreciation, emotions lighten, life situations become easier to deal with, and we begin to dance creatively with whatever arises.” (Dharma College)
The course, led by Buddhist teacher Robin Caton, will include lectures, experiential exercises, and large and small group discussions, with the optional ability to meet and dialogue with fellow online.
Dharma College also offers a range of other onsite and online Dharma and wellness courses, scheduled retreats, as well as study and support resources.
“At Dharma College, our mission is to translate ancient wisdom into everyday life,” the college shared. “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 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.” (Dharma College)
There is a global shortage of joy, inner peace, and the kind of deep caring for self and others that heals the heart and inspires creative action. How sad this is! For at the very heart of being is the open instant, a boundless source of Great Love.(Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche)