Dr. Stuart Horn has been a student of Buddhism since 1996, and a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche since 2002. In 2002 he entered studies at Nitartha Institute. He holds a PhD in History with a focus on the History of Ideas. He is Distinguished Professor of Humanities at NSU in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he teaches courses on Asian Philosophy and Death and Dying. He served as the Chair of the Board of Nitartha Institute, has been teaching at Nitartha Institute since 2008, and was authorized as a full faculty member in 2010. His passion is the study and teaching of Buddhist philosophical systems and practice.
Stephanie Johnston has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner since 1985 and a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s since 1996—the first year of Nitartha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies. Since then she has been active with the Institute as a faculty member and student, and also with their publications. As a graphic designer and avid practitioner, she trains and supports practice instructors for Nalandabodhi under the guidance of Ponlop Rinpoche, manages its study and practice publications, and works with Nitartha International’s art collection.
Scott Wellenbach has been part of the leadership of Nitartha Institute since its founding in 1996. In 1998, he was appointed Co-Director and serves as head of the Translation Department. A translator of the buddha-dharma from Sanskrit and Tibetan for more than twenty years, and a long-time member of the Nalanda Translation Committee, he served as co-translator and co-editor of the Rain of Wisdom.
Dr. Phil Stanley has been involved in Nitartha Institute since its founding in 1996 and serves as its Dean of Academic Affairs. He is an Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Buddhism and Tibetan language. He is Co-Director of the Tibetan Buddhist Canon Catalog of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library at the University of Virginia, Co-Convener of the Union Catalog of Buddhist Texts, and Vice-Chair of the International Association of Buddhist Universities.
Mark Seibold joined the Nitartha faculty in 2005. A student of both Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his son and dharma heir, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, he is member of the Nalanda Translation Committee. An active member and teacher in the Shambhala community, he lives in Greenfield, MA with his wife, Elizabeth. He is currently collaborating with Lama Tsöndrü Sangpo on a translation of the Padma Khatang, The Chronicles of Padmasambhava. Attributed to Yeshe Tsogyal, the Chronicles recount the life, teachings and enlightened activity of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, as he better known in Tibetan culture.
Mitra Lee Worley was a founding faculty of Naropa Institute where she has taught Performance, Mudra Space Awareness, Buddhist Studies and Contemplative Education since 1976. A student of Chogyam Trungpa, she learned Mudra Space Awareness under his guidance. She holds an MA in Buddhist Studies from Naropa University, was a faculty member of the Ngedon School of Buddhist Studies and, since 1998, is a Vajrayana student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and is one of four Western teachers or “mitras” appointed by Ponlop Rinpoche.
Jirka Hladiš has studied under the guidance of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche since 1997. He joined Nitartha Institute in 2002 and was authorized as a faculty member in 2007. Jirka’s interest is in approaching study, analytical meditation and debate as a unified tool for spiritual transformation. Jirka holds graduate degrees both in engineering from Prague Technical University and in Buddhist studies from Naropa University.
Israel Lifshitz holds degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the National University of Mexico. He is involved with Tibetan Buddhism since 1992 and has studied under Kagyu, Gelug and Nyingma teachers. His teaching activities include courses and retreats in more than 35 cities throughout North, Central and South America and has served as translator into Spanish to more than 25 Tibetan and Western teachers. After meeting DPR, he joined Nitartha Institute in 2005, started teaching there in 2008, was authorized as a full faculty member in 2010, and translated all the texts of the foundational and intermediate curriculum into Spanish.
R.D. Salga is a renowned master of the Karma Gadri tradition of thangka painting. Through the years, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has commissioned Salga-la to paint all of the major lineage thangkas used to support meditation and study at Nalandabodhi, including Padmasambhava, Tara, Vajrasattva, Milarepa, and the “Golden Rosary” of Kagyu lineage masters.
Acharya Lhakpa Tshering received the degree of Acharya, or master of Buddhist Studies upon completing his studies at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India at the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute (KSNI). After graduation, he served as co-librarian with Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche, and worked as a teacher at KSNI, and as an editor for Nitartha Publications in Kathmandu, Nepal. Acharya moved to Seattle, Washington in 2006 and has since been a teacher in the Nalandabodhi Buddhist community in the United States and Mexico.