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Wisdom Rising with Bob Thurman, Nina Rao & Lopön Chandra Easton | 04/25/2021


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

This program is offered ONLINE only | Sunday April 25; 6-8PM EST

About this Event


General:$20/Members:$18 and For those of you who are experiencing financial hardship at this time, please contact [email protected] for a reduced rate to participate in this program.

This program is offered ONLINE only | Sunday April 25; 6-8PM EST


In this month’s Wisdom Rising, Chandra and Nina are so happy to welcome Tenzin Bob Thurman to share teachings on the wisdom of goddess, Tārā. He will give us a bit of history of her worship from 7th century India to current-day Tibet and also her association with Indian goddesses such as Durgā. In the second half of the program we will be led in Tārā meditation and sing chants for Tārā and Durgā.

Come celebrate the goddess in her many forms through stories, meditations, and chanting/kirtan. Chandra and Nina have known each other for many years and share a deep interest in the complementary wisdom and devotional traditions of Tibet and India honoring the divine feminine. They will weave together mystical stories, visualizations, meditations, mantra repetition, and singing chants. Chandra will guide us through the intricate and fascinating tapestry of practices of Five Wisdom Dakinis and the 21 Taras. Nina will share prayers to goddess from the Chandi Path and kirtan invoking and opening to the Great Mother, Ma. While each program in this series varies as we explore aspects of the many pathways, you can join at any time and no experience is required.

Program materials will be provided for you to download prior to the zoom meeting and time is also set aside for questions & responses. A recording of the program will be available to registrants for replay. This program is offered in conjunction with Tibet House US.


Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Buddhist teacher and translator, studied Buddhism and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB’s religious studies department at which time she co-translated Sublime Dharma, A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published by Vimala Publishing, 2012. From the very beginning of her Buddhist studies, Dorje Lopön Chandra recognized the profound need to bring forth the voice of the sacred feminine in Buddhist theory and practice. Due to this, in 1999 during her first pregnancy, she met and then later began to study with Lama Tsultrim Allione, pioneering female Buddhist teacher, national best selling author, and founder of Tara Mandala Retreat Center. Dorje Lopön Chandra is the Assistant Spiritual Director and Lead Authorized Teacher at Tara Mandala Retreat Center. She serves on the Tara Mandala Board of Trustees, develops programs and curricula for Tara Mandala, as well as teaches nationally and internationally. In September of 2015, during the final day of the White Dakini Drubchen, Dorje Lopön Chandra was enthroned as the Dorje Lopön (Vajra Teacher) of Tara Mandala under Lama Tsultrim Allione and given the name Lopön Yeshe Dawa Zangmo by H.E. Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche who presided over the ceremony with Lama Tsultrim. Dorje Lopön Chandra has had the good fortune to study with many Tibetan and Western Buddhist teachers such as H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, Jennifer Welwood, B. Alan Wallace, Gyatrul Rinpoche, A.dzom Paylo Rinpoche, and Lama Pema Dorje. Lopön Chandra is currently on the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee, through which she teaches and organizes events in the San Francisco Bay Area. She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her family. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com or www.taramandala.org for more info.

Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das business manager and assistant, often touring with him playing cymbals and singing. In 2007, she recorded the track ‘Nina Chalisa’ on Krishna Das’ CD “Flow of Grace” and in January 2013, she released her debut album, “Antarayaami – Knower of All Hearts“. She released her second album “Anubhav” in 2018. You can find her interviews on a number of podcasts, online courses, and documentary films on Bhakti Yoga, kirtan, and chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. Nina regularly leads retreats, kirtan, and chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York and beyond. When Nina met Lama Tsultrim she felt immediately drawn to the stories of the wisdom women in the Tibetan tradition and the Five Dakini Wisdom mandala practice. Tara Mandala is one of her most favorite sacred lands ever visited, reverberating with beauty and depth of practice. For more information visit NinaRaoChant.com

Bob Thurman, known in the academic circles as Professor Robert A.F. Thurman, is a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings and the first Westerner Tibetan Buddhist monk ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

A charismatic speaker and author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, Bob was named by The New York Times the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism, and was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2020, for his help in recovering India’s ancient Buddhist heritage. Time Magazine chose him as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.”

Bob served as the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University for 30 years, until 2020. A very popular professor, students always felt his classes were “life-changing”. Bob is the founder and active president of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture, and of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific Tibetan treatises.
His own search for enlightenment began while he was a university student at Harvard. After an accident in which he lost the use of an eye, Bob left school on a spiritual quest throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He found his way to India, where he first saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1962. After learning Tibetan and studying Buddhism, Bob became a Tibetan Buddhist monk and the first Westerner to be ordained by the Dalai Lama. Some years later, however, he offered up his robes when he realized he could be more effective in the American equivalent of a monastery: the university, returning to Harvard to finish his PhD.
As part of his long-term commitment to the Tibetan cause, at the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama, Bob co-founded Tibet House US in 1987 with Tenzin Tethong, Richard Gere, and Philip Glass, a non profit organization based in New York City and dedicated to the preservation and renaissance of Tibetan culture.

Inspired by his longtime good friend the Dalai Lama, Bob takes us along with him into an expanded vision of the world through the prisma of Tibetan Buddhism. He shares with us the sense of refuge in the Dharma, which unfailingly helps us clear away the shrouds of fear and confusion, sustains us with the cheerfulness of an enriched present, and opens a door to a path of realistic hope for a peaceful, kind, and wise future.  Visit website bobthurman.com