Ratna Ling Retreats Faculty


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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…

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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.

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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.

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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)…

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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.

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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…

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Claire Bainer

Claire Bainer M.A.Edu. has run BlueSkies for Children for 25 years and been a teacher of young children and adults for 40.  BlueSkies for Children enrolls approximately 100 children from birth to 6 years. Designed to support the women’s movement and provide children with high quality care while parents work, it remains the only Nationally Accredited  Program for the Education of Young Children  (NAEYC) in Oakland California. Claire is an expert in Child Development teaching at…

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Deviyana Livneh

Devi has been practicing moving meditations for twenty years. She started with Yoga and Kung Fu and later found her way to Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Her teacher, Master Nzazi Malonga, inspired her to teach and pass the art forward. Together they published two books: “Breath”- Qi gong for wellness, and “Walking on Air”- Tai Chi life practice. Devi started working with people as an MFT therapist.  Fascinated by the mind-body connection, she shifted…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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, Tantra, Kundalini, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism.  Her aim is to help…

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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…

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Heldine Aguiluz

A Los Angeles native, Heldine has been practicing yoga since 2010 and teaching since December 2016. She earned 500 hours of yoga certification with Shivakali Yoga, studying alignment-based vinyasa and elemental tantra. She started taking pole and twerk 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. More info: trainersvault.com/heldinea

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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…

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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.

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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.

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Kamali Minter

Kamali is passionate about helping people restore connection where it has gone missing, both in their relationships and their bodies.  She completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Shivakali Yoga, her Tantra teacher training with Embody Tantra, and is a certified Sacred Feminine facilitator through Tao Tantric Arts and the Universal Tao, and is a trained Reiki Master.  Her approach to healing is about making ancient wisdom relevant to our modern lives by guiding practices that have been…

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…

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Kate Vogt

Kate Vogt is a teacher and writer.  Her offerings focus upon giving voice to the wisdom within sacred poetry and nature. She believes lasting systemic social change is supported by attuning our personal inner perspective toward wholeness, reverence, and beauty.  Her books include Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, and Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems.  For more information, please visit katevogt.com

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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…

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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. …

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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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…

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Ritch Addison

Ritch Addison, PhD, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, and the Behavioral Medicine Director at the Sutter Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. He maintains an independent clinical practice as a licensed psychologist specializing in seeing physicians and other health care clinicians. He has led both Personal and Professional Development groups and Balint groups for physicians and other health care…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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Will Marsh

Will Marsh has been a dedicated student of the sitar since 2006. He was initiated into the rich classical tradition of North Indian music by Ustad Aashish Khan (eldest son of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) while a student at the California Institute of the Arts. His commitment to this art form has made Will a member of a new generation of serious Indian musicians from the United States. He has also had the privilege of…

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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…