Founders and Guiding Teachers


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Anne C. Klein and Harvey B. Aronson, PhDs in Buddhist Studies with a long history of learning from the highest Tibetan lamas, founded Dawn Mountain in 1996. As scholars, translators and gifted teachers, they serve Western seekers of all stripes and have fostered a strong community of advanced students that reaches from Houston to Portland, Berkeley, Bloomington, Ithaca, Zurich, and beyond.

Anne Carolyn Klein/ Rigzin Drolma, Lama, is Professor of Religion at Rice University and a Founding Teacher at Dawn Mountain Tibetan Buddhist Temple, both in Houston. Her Buddhist study and practice in three of Tibet’s five great traditions took place at the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin, and Geshe Wangyal’s Retreat House in the US, as well as several years in  India and Nepal, punctuated by short visits to Tibet.

In 1970, she began two-plus decades of close study and practice with the most eminent Geluk scholar-masters of their generation, including Lati Rinpoche, Denma Locho Rinpoche, and Kensur Yeshe Tupden. Her Nyingma Dzogchen training began with the late Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche of Nepal in 1974 and continues currently with A.dzom Paylo Rinpoche, whom she met in Tibet 1996 and who named her Dorje Lopon in 2010, asking her to teach his own Treasures (gTer) in 2016.  In addition, Nyingma masters important in her training include Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and Lama Gonpo Tsayden. Likewise, she met Bon Dzogchen through Yongdzin Rinpoche in 1989 and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in 1991; she studied and practiced closely with them for nearly a decade.

Her dharma teaching in the US and Europe is enriched by all the above, and focuses especially on Heart Essence Dzogchen traditions, with emphasis on Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa’s Heart Essence, Vast Expanse tradition, and recent Treasures revealed by A.dzom Rinpoche. Through Dawn Mountain she and Harvey (Dorje Lobon Namgyal Dorje) offer ongoing teachings and conversations, in person and online, with special emphasis on presence in the body and a gentle process of knowing and making friends with all of our own lived experience.

Dawn Mountain’s innovative and authentic Dzogchen Cycles program, also available online, shares essential elements and sacred revelations of this path. (Applications invited here).

Her seven books, which include extensive scholarly and practical oral teachings from iconic Tibetan masters, are:

Knowledge & Liberation

Knowing, Naming and Negation

Path to the Middle: Oral Madhyamaka in Tibet

Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists and the Art of the Self

Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse: A Story of Transmission with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen, Bon, and the Logic of the Nonconceptual with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Strand of Jewels: My Teachers’ Essential Guidance on Dzogchen by Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche (see great reviews on Amazon!)

Harvey Aronson (Lama Namgyal Dorje) holds a BS in Chemistry from Brooklyn College, an MSW from Boston University, and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin. He has studied extensively with prominent teachers in the Geluk, Dzogchen and Theravada traditions in Asia and the United States. Harvey is the author of Buddhist Practice on Western Ground and Love and Sympathy in Theravada Buddhism and is a recognized scholar of the intersections between traditional Buddhist practice and Western therapeutic modalities.

In 1974 Anne and Harvey began studying with Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche, who was born in central Tibet in 1920. He was asked in 1960 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to lead the school of the Nyingma tradition in Japan, which he did for 10 years while teaching in Japanese universities, then returned to India to found a school to educate Tibetan monks in the Nyingma tradition.  He is the author of a 13-volume history of all of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and taught extensively in Asia and the West until his death in 2009.  In 1999 Anne and Harvey began studying with Ad.zom Rinpoche and Jetsun Wangmo, who formally recognized them in 2010 as Dorje Lopön (Vajra Study Masters) and empowered them to provide support to advanced students immersed in traditional Buddhist practices.

Anne and Harvey married in 1976 and have been traveling the path together since they met in Wisconsin in 1969.  Together they have been involved in the practice, translation, and study of Heart Essence (Nyingthig, especially Longchen Nyingthig)  teachings for over 40 years. During this period they also developed the acute awareness that as modern persons raised in secular culture, we need a range of supports for practice that were not explicitly part of traditional Tibetan training.

Our Dzogchen Cycles program provides support through mentoring, continuous teacher input, and online community, as well as carefully addressing the very personal import of the teachings themselves.  In order to create the kind of community which nourishes deep practice,  we attend to maintaining genuine relationships with ourselves and others.  This community-support aspect of our program draws deeply on Harvey’s  extensive knowledge and clinical experience working with the human conditions  we all share and  that inevitably get mixed up with our spiritual orientation.  


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