Ratna Ling Retreats Faculty


Abbe Blum, Ph.D.

Abbe Blum, Ph.D., teaches Tibetan yoga, contemplation, and mind courses at the Nyingma Institute and Dharma College in Berkeley, California, and has helped to edit some of Tarthang Tulku’s books for Westerners. She is also a faculty member in the Psychology program at Saybrook University. She is part of a team that will be offering Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga teacher training for the first time through the Nyingma Institute, based in Berkeley, CA, and offered online…

Andi Egle

Andi Engle received degrees from both the College of Arts of Riga and the Academy of Arts of Latvia. He has been a student of the Tibetan master, Tarthang Tulku, since 2009. During this time, he has created numerous sculptures in the Buddhist tradition, along with studying and practicing various forms of Kum Nye.

Andrew Todhunter

Andrew Todhunter is an award-winning writer and lecturer at Stanford University, where he teaches writing, interdisciplinary creativity and contemplative practice. He is the co-founder and co-director of two programs at Stanford—The Senior Reflection, and the LifeWorks Program for Integrative Learning. His book A Meal Observed won the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction. He is also the author of Dangerous Games and the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller Fall of the Phantom Lord. A longtime…

Annete Kogler

Body Worker   About Rosen Method Bodywork:  Rosen Method Bodywork is a gentle yet powerful massage that uses attuned and compassionate touch to relax chronic muscle tension, calm the nervous system and restore wellbeing and ease. It can help release long held physical and emotional tension and bring awareness to holding patterns in the body. Many clients report states of deep relaxation and increased awareness in body and mind after receiving a treatment.  Rosen Method…

Barbara Belew

Barbara has a Masters’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and a BA in Education, and has provided teaching and psychological treatment services for adults and children for nearly 50 years. She assisted as an editor of the Caring book prior to publication and has participated in the development of the Caring Program curriculum. Barbara has taught several Caring courses and retreats, both in-person and online.

Barry Schieber

Barry graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He began his professional life working in investment banking before becoming a student of Tarthang Tulku in the early 1970’s. From 1988-1993 he was Dean of the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California. In 2002 he founded Silent Moon Books a publishing company to relate stories for children and adults about Moritz, his therapy dog. He has taught Kum Nye (Tibetan relaxation yoga) throughout the world for over…

Baxter Bell

Baxter Bell, MD, has been actively deepening his understanding of the power of yoga since making the stress-reducing move from a career as a busy family doctor to that of a yoga teacher and medical acupuncturist. Baxter is a graduate of the Piedmont Yoga Studio’s 18-month Advanced Studies Program, and served as Director of PYS’s Deep Yoga Program for many years, teaching the Experiential Anatomy, Yoga Technique, and Yoga Methodology portions of that training. Baxter…

Beate Sophia

Beate Sophia is a Yoga alliance certified Yoga teacher who studied with well-respected international teachers: Cheri Rae Russell, Annie Carpenter, Swami Harish Chandra, Sheela & Sreedevi Bringi, Govind Das founder of Bhakti Yoga Shala & Tracee Stanley as well as a team of dedicated teachers at Core Power Yoga and master teachers at the Himalayan Yoga Association in Rishikesh, India. Beate has received 200 hours certifications from Annie Carpenter (Smart flow) Govind Das (Bhakti Yoga)…

Bex Urban

Bex leads classes with enthusiasm, warmth, and a gentle sense of humor. Her students attest to her authentic ability to bring them into the moment, and guide them to a place of focus and greater self-acceptance. She weaves sequences that are safe, creative, challenging and filled with reverence. Bex invites students to set their own intentions, making the practice uniquely their own. She brings spirit, love, and openness to her teaching with the ultimate goal…

Bob Dozor, MD

Dr. Bob Dozor  is the founder of the Integrative Medical Clinic and has practiced Family Medicine for over thirty years in Napa and Sonoma counties. Even before attending medical school, he has held a consistent vision of building a healthy life style as the core of our best health, and applies this in both his professional practice and personal life. With his wife Ellen Barnett they have three children and three granddaughters.

Chelsea Rappel

Chelsea Rappel is Yoga Therapist and Somatic Counselor in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chelsea specializes in weaving together the ancient wisdom practices of yoga and meditation with the latest in modern neuroscience research to provide profound healing to those who struggle with anxiety, depression, substance-use disorder, and traumatic stress. She is the founder of Awakened Recovery, offering sliding-scale, holistic care to individuals, treatment centers, and groups around the country. Chelsea lived,…

Christine DeCristofaro

Christine is a faculty member and co-creator of many of our Ratna Ling Retreat Programs. After nearly twenty years in finance and technology, Christine felt frustrated with corporate business practices and culture.  The financial crisis of 2008 sparked an epiphany.  She decided to change the direction of her life and pledged to live a life of service, vowing to use her skills and knowledge to strengthen wisdom, service and compassion in herself and others. Christine…

Dana Sweeney

Dana Sweeney is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher based in Portland, Oregon.  Her teaching style is modern, uplifting and fun, while rooted in yogic history.  Her background in dance and massage therapy informs a deeper understanding of movement and anatomy in her classes while a lifetime of music appreciation informs her curated and eclectic playlists. With carefully crafted sequencing and diverse musical soundtracks, classes are accessible, transformative, and fun! She is a womxn in recovery,…

Denelle Numis

Denelle Jarro Numis is an advanced yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) and meditation teacher. With a decade of experience, Denelle offers an authentic and intentional perspective to your experience both on the yoga mat and on the meditation cushion. Since movement is her biggest passion, she guides students through an intelligent and exploratory yoga asana sequence while incorporating mindfulness and real-life lessons into the practice. In addition to her yoga studies, she has a B.S., an MBA,…

Dr. Richard Kingsland

Education: Graduated from Stanford University in 1971 (became a TNMC student at Webster Street then Padma Ling starting in 1970). Went to graduate school in Psychology at UC Davis beginning in 1971. Received Master’s in 1974, PhD in 1981 in Social Psychology. Subsequently went to medical school at University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1985, received MD with honors in 1989. Went to Univ of Calif San Diego for residency in Emergency Medicine in1990, completed in…

Ellen Barnett, MD. PhD

Dr. Ellen Barnett is a family doctor who has been practicing in Santa Rosa, CA for over thirty years. A major emphasis of her practice is working with individuals to clarify and support their health goals. She is on the clinical faculty at the Sutter Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and developed the Imagine YOU program of the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation.

Felicia Evans

Felicia is a Body Mind Coach and 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. She guides her students and clients to embrace their own unique individuality, inner wisdom, and strength within. Felicia encourages everyone she works with to embrace who they truly are and step away from the fears of not fitting in. She believes that life is too short to spend it judging ourselves, and instead we should use this human experience to be who we are…

Fiji McAlpine

Fiji McAlpine is an ERYT 500 yoga instructor and teacher trainer who has been teaching for over 20 years, and is one of the founding yoga teachers featured on DoYogaWithMe.com. Fiji’s personal practice and classes focus on vinyasa flow, infused with power, strength and precision. Having trained extensively in California, Costa Rica, and Canada, her classes are often described as a strong practice that allows students to face challenges with support and guidance, inspiring them…

George Wiegand

George Wiegand has been a student of our Founder Tarthang Tulku and a full-time volunteer in Nyingma organizations for more than 30 years, as a chef, baker, kitchen manager, temple builder, book binder, and pressman.  He has a Master’s of Education in Counseling and has worked as an educator and counselor in several high school systems.  His hobbies include bread baking, basketball, and choir singing.

Gloria Baraquio

Born and raised in Hawaii, Gloria has been teaching vinyasa since 2006, studying Tibetan Buddhism since 2004, and singing devotional music since she was a young child.  She earned her 200-hour certificate from Yoga Hawaii and her 300-hour certificate with Raghunath Cappo and Radhanath Swami in India.  Gloria has practiced with spiritual, indigenous, and ancient traditions from Hawaii, Catholicism, Christianity, Baha’i, Agape, Vaishnavism, Hinduism,  Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism.  Her aim is to help each individual…

Gretchen Donovan

Gretchen has been teaching yoga for 20 years. After extensive experimentation and study in the traditions of Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Prajna Yoga, her teaching cultivates a broad range of techniques. She carefully weaves the subtle energies and precision of these disciplines into her teaching, creating a unique style. Her enthusiasm and commitment to helping others access  growth and self awareness (beyond asana) is both accessible and infectious.  She is a Certified Feeding Your Demons Facilitator and…

Heldine Aguiluz

As a Los Angeles native, Heldine has been practicing yoga since 2010 and teaching since 2016. She earned 500 hours of yoga certification with Shivakali Yoga, studying alignment-based vinyasa and elemental tantra. She started taking pole, twerk, and aerial dance classes in January 2017.  Heldine sees yoga and dance as meditative ways to deepen awareness about one’s body and thoughts and hopes to give others the tools they need to find deeper self-love.

Hugh Joswick, Ph.D.

Hugh Joswick, Ph.D., has been studying and practicing at Nyingma Institute under Tarthang Tulku’s senior students since the mid-1990’s. He has also co-edited several books under the close direction of Tarthang Tulku, including Caring and the Lotus Trilogy books. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, and a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has taught philosophy at the university level and is currently the Managing Editor of Mangalam Press, the publishing…

Jack Petranker

Jack Petranker holds degrees from Stanford, Yale Law School, and the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a student of Tibetan teacher Tarthang Tulku for more than 40 years, and has worked for the Nyingma organizations as an editor, writer, and teacher. A past Dean of the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, he is Director of the Mangalam Buddhist Research Center and the Center for Creative Inquiry, and has taught mindfulness for decades.

Janet Smith

Janet has a Bachelors degree in Education and a graduate certification in Special Education. She has been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s teachings for 40 years and has lived within the Nyingma community since 2006. Janet is currently studying and teaching the Caring courses and retreats. She is a resident of the Odiyan community where she is a member of the Sacred Art sewing team.

Jason Bowman

Jason Bowman leads teacher trainings, retreats, and guest lecture series both around the US and internationally and is strongly influenced by years of Ashtanga Yoga and Vipassana Meditation practice. www.jasonbowmanyoga.com

Jenn Russo

Jennifer Russo, M. S., Certified Yoga Teacher, Massage Therapist and Health Coordinator, began her yoga studies in San Francisco in 1997. Having a background in Kinesiology, Anatomy and Massage therapy, teaching yoga came very natural to her. She immediately fell in love with the flow of the practice and the strong connection to her ‘center’. Jenn has studied with many teachers and in many traditions of yoga. She finds a strong connection to Vinyasa Yoga,…

Jonah Willihnganz

Jonah Willihnganz is the Bruce Braden Lecturer of Narrative Studies at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Storytelling Project, an arts program that explores how narrative craft and practices can deepen natural human capacities such as courage, empathy, and gratitude.  He has published fiction, essays, and literary criticism, and has taught literature and creative writing for more than 25 years. As co-director of the LifeWorks Program for Integrative Learning, he also teaches courses that…

Karin Meyers, PhD

Karin received a Ph.D. with distinction from The University of Chicago Divinity School in 2010, and since then has taught Buddhist Studies at several colleges and universities in the US and abroad, including Kathmandu University and Rangjung Yeshe Institute’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, where she directed the master’s program in Buddhist Studies until returning to the US in 2017. Karin’s scholarly work focuses on bringing Buddhist perspectives to bear on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary…

Kat Shotz

Kat is a Marriage and Family Therapist and a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. As a teacher, she offers an integrated class to cultivate strength, balance and flexibility. She believes that practice brings deeper sense of knowing and listening to our authentic self. As a therapist, she encourages you to find stillness and peace within so that you can experience more happiness and less stress. As a human being on this life path, she offers love…

Kayleen Asbo

Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D is a cultural historian and spiritual director who has taught   on the faculties of Dominican University, Sonoma State University, the Osher Lifelong learning Institute at UC Berkeley the  Mythological Studies faculty of the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara  in the fields of women’s studies, mysticism and the arts. The Director of the Mythica Foundation,  Dr. Asbo leads retreats, pilgrimages and workshops on the contemplative traditions throughout the world. www.kayleenasbo.com

Ken McKeon

Ken McKeon, M.A., a student of Tarthang Tulku since the 1970’s, is a highly regarded poet and a devoted High School teacher. His love of both the English language and the possibilities for human growth inherent in explorations of meaning, led him early on to become first a student, and then a teacher of the Time, Space, and Knowledge vision. Ken brings a sense of wonder and delight to his classes at the Institute, as…

Kimberly Millard

Kimberly Millard, 500 RYT, discovered yoga when she was living in chronic pain and emotionally lost.  She believes one must descend into the deep and dark places of the soul to find the light.  Based on this, her classes are built from a foundation of compassion and encouragement to discover the mysteries that lie within. She teaches with the intention to serve and aim to anchor the ancient teachings of yoga into modern life so…

Lama Palzang

Lama Palzang is a Nyingma lama who was born in the Gyarong region of Tibet, where from a very young age, he was trained in the dharma under Jigme Tenpa Dargye Rinpoche. He was formally educated at Minyak Lhagang Monastery in Kham and trained in the Longchen Nyingtik tradition under his root teachers, Khenchen Chodrak Rinpoche and Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche. He completed a traditional three year retreat under Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche in Beyul Yolmo, Nepal. …

Leigh Deering

Leigh has been a student of Tarthang Rinpoche’s teachings for almost 20 years. She has worked with people from around the world as volunteer coordinator for TNMC centers in Berkeley, and at the country centers of Ratna Ling and Odiyan in Sonoma County, CA. Currently she lives and works at Odiyan at volunteer recruiting and coordination, studying and teaching the Caring program, gardening and sublimation sacred art and text production.

Linda Copenhagen

Linda Copenhagen holds a degree in accounting from San Francisco State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She has studied Tibetan Buddhism in the Nyingma lineage since 1996.  For the past several years she has been a CFO and financial consultant in the non-profit sector. Formerly, she has held roles as Director of Corporate Accounting at Art.com, Inc, Senior Director at Leapfrog Enterprises and Controller/Director of Finance in several technology startups. Linda now brings both her Buddhist studies…

Loren Altura

With over 1900 hours of training hours, Loren has been teaching yoga for over a decade and practicing for over two decades. Teaching a blend of the “ha” (sun) and “tha”  (moon) practices, Loren teaches an alignment based yoga practice which often includes pranayama techniques, mantra, music and yoga philosophy. By focusing on precision, Loren creates a container where freedom can be found through focus. Loren teaches public yoga classes in Marin/S.F. as well as…

Lydia Hwang

Lydia Hwang is a Sound and Color vibrational healer using different sacred instruments, color essences, silks and her voice. She channels  divine energies in her private sessions and has a dedicated practice in Woodside, CA at the Spirit House. Her journey began when she was searching for her own healing, and this led to intensive training with Sound master Fabien Maman, color teacher  Patricia Janusz and ordained Druid priestess Nicole Bertolucci in South of France and…

Maria Helena Kubrusly

Maria Helena is a founding member of the Nyingma center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An Odiyan resident since 1999 who works closely with Tarthang Rinpoche, Maria Helena has taught several online courses from Odiyan and has conducted numerous programs and retreats in Brazil and Europe.

Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson, J.D., LL.M., currently works full-time on sacred art projects with the Nyingma Mandala of organizations as a project manager and has helped create over one hundred thousand prayer wheels. He first encountered several great masters of the Nyingma lineage in the mid-1970s and is an avid student of Buddhism, with great appreciation for its vast and rich collection of texts. In his professional career, Mark was a practicing attorney, recognized by the California…

Melina Meza

Melina Meza is a pioneer in the field of yoga, nutrition, and Ayurvedic Health, sharing her knowledge with yogis around the world for more than 25 years. She is the creator of Seasonal Vinyasa Yoga, a holistic practice that features lifestyle, diet, and yoga practices tailored to the rhythms of the four seasons to help people stay healthy as they age. Her passion for Nature, the five elements, beauty, and humor forge the foundation of…

Nikki Estrada

Nikki has more than 20 years teaching experience and has been leading 200 and 300-hour teaching trainings for more than 17 years. She is YA500hr E-RYT and was Director of Trainer Development for YogaWorks for more than 7 years where she supported and mentored teacher trainers. She leads intensives, immersions and workshop series in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. She contributes to Yoga International where you can find her articles and videos. She also…

Olivia Hurd

Olivia Hurd, B.F.A, is a textile artist and retired children’s publisher. She was a co-founder of the Peaceable Kingdom Press, a children’s publisher featuring art from children’s books, which she ran for many years. She is a long-time meditation practitioner and has been a student at the Nyingma Institute since 1997. Olivia says, “In my years studying at Nyingma Institute, my life has taken a wonderful turn. I’ve increased awareness of whatever activity is at…

Patricia Becker

Patricia Becker is a Yoga, Breath and Diet Coach with 30 years experience of study, practical experience and coaching. Certified Yoga Alliance RYT®  E-RYT®.  Patricia has a Yoga TV Show, YouTube Channel, Live Online Programs. She was a Yoga Instructor for Stanford’s Health Improvement Program for 11 years. Learn More at https://yourhealthandjoy.com/

Pauline Yu

Pauline Yu is a full-time work-study volunteer and staff member at Nyingma Institute. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in Art History, minoring in Philosophy, encountered meditation in 2006, and has worked full-time in the Nyingma Mandala community since 2007 on graphic design, film projects, and as a jack-of-all-trades. She has also been studying and practicing under Tarthang Tulku’s senior students since 2007 and completed Nyingma Institute’s 1,200 hour Path and Practices of…

Pema Gellek

Pema Gellek, M.A., is a disciple of her father, Tarthang Tulku, and Chadral Rinpoche, and studied Tibetan Buddhism at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal. Working within her father’s mandala of organizations, she serves as a bridge between dharma in the East and West and has helped carry out Tarthang Tulku’s dharma activities in Asia for the past 20 years. Pema is also a filmmaker and director of Guna Foundation and has been a faculty member of Dharma College. She is…

Richard Dixey

Richard Dixey holds a Ph.D in Biophysics from London University, an M.A. with distinction in the history and philosophy of science from London University, and a B.A in Cell Biology from Oxford. In 1979, he was appointed the Director of the Bioelectronic Research Unit at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London, a position he held for fourteen years before founding and becoming the Chief Executive of Phytopharm PLC, a biotechnology company that listed on the London…

Robin Caton

Robin 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.

Robin O'Brien

Robin O’Brien, musician and sound healer, has recorded six albums of music, leads contemplative chanting circles in Sonoma County and accompanies labyrinth walks at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Sierra Vandervort

Sierra is a writer, modern mystic & community builder. She’s been practicing yoga for nearly a decade & got certified to teach in 2018. She teaches all about connection: connection to the body, to nature & to the universal love that holds us all together. She also loves blending witchy practices like moon magic & the wheel of the year into her classes. Sierra’s global community network – The Mystic Members Club – helps women deepen their…

Sriya Bhattacharyya

Sriya Bhattacharyya, PhD, is a Bengali-Indian American psychologist working at the intersection of social transformation + creative healing. With a background in community development, yoga, and art therapy, she teaches, researches, designs programs, and provides individual services to dismantle systems of oppression, uplift community voices, and liberate all beings. Her facilitation style is compassionate, curious, and playful. Sriya was introduced to yoga and meditation through her family,  a mix of Hindu priests and Freedom Fighters who…

Sue Ellen Parkinson

Sue Ellen Parkinson, artist and ritual specialist, was a long time practitioner of Buddhism before she began painting icons of Mary Magdalene in 2010. See her vast portfolio of images of the Sacred Feminine at https://www.sueellenparkinson.com.

Tara Ristau

Tara has been a volunteer for the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Centers since 2007.  She began her journey along the Buddhist path at the Yeshe De bindery making sacred texts to help preserve the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of wisdom. Since then, she has worked in a wide variety of capacities within the organization including Volunteer Coordinator and Operations Manager at the Ratna Ling Retreat Center.  She applies Skillful Means in her daily work while also engaging…

Tracey Graves

Tracey is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Zambia in 2018. It was there, leading her first yoga session to a group of village girls that she realized how universal the language of Yoga is, and how it was her duty to share it with as many souls as possible. She holds a degree in Sociology. She’s Reiki 2 certified and a registered Yoga 200-hr teacher. She promotes breaking free of how we…

Wangmo Dixey

Wangmo Dixey, born in Berkeley, California, in 1969, is the eldest daughter of Venerable Tarthang Tulku. In addition to her role to 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…

Yvonne Kingsley

Yvonne Kingsley, E-RYT500, is deeply committed to living wholeheartedly and sharing the timeless teachings of yoga. She approaches the practice from a holistic perspective – weaving together mindful movement, breathwork, meditation and philosophy – and encourages each person to discover their own path to clarity, steadiness and ease. Based in San Francisco, Yvonne offers public and private classes, meditation courses, teacher trainings and retreats. www.yvonnekingsley.com

Rosalyn White

Rosalyn White has studied meditation and Tibetan art under the guidance of the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Tarthang Tulku, for over forty years. She holds a BFA in Fine Arts from the California College of Art and a teaching credential from UC Berkeley. She is currently Co-Director of Ratna Ling and has been teaching classes in meditation and sacred art for over 25 years. The depth and breadth of the Tibetan teachings have had a profound influence on her…