The World of Mind & Mandalas and the Great Perfection

Join Dr. B Alan Wallace, Eva Natanya and Ian Baker for a three-part course on Mandalas, Mind and the Great Perfection (Dzogchen)

About This Course

The symbolism and iconography of Buddhist mandalas have evolved through centuries of social transformation in India and Tibet, and their depictions of interconnected worlds resonate with contemporary psychology, physics, and cosmology.

In this seminar, Dr. Ian Baker will explore the ways in which mandalas have developed specifically within Buddhist cultures and yet point to dynamic truths about human existence and the nature of reality as an inter-dimensional whole.

Dr. Eva Natanya will respond to his presentation from the perspective of the Guhyasamaja Tantra, the “King of Tantras,” and Dr. B. Alan Wallace will then expand on this theme by introducing the perspective of the Great Perfection, or Dzogchen, regarded by many as the pinnacle of Buddhist contemplative inquiry into the nature of consciousness and its role in the natural world.

In these Vajrayana contexts, as opposed to the common contemporary view of a single universe composed of matter and energy, in which consciousness plays only a marginal role, here every sentient being is presented as manifesting at the center of his or her mandala, such that an integral totality arises relative to each sentient being in the universe, with consciousness fundamental to the whole of reality.

The theme of mandalas, Guhyasamaja in particular, and the Great Perfection will then be related to insights from quantum cosmology, in which the role of the observer is fundamental to understanding the processes of nature.

Given the current destruction of the ecosphere by societies dominated by materialism, hedonism, and consumerism, we are urgently in need of a paradigm of creative engagement that integrates the deepest insights from the world’s contemplative and scientific traditions.

This course seeks to address this challenge, both in theory and in practice.

Course Format

This course consists of three parts (totalling 4 hours), in video format.

The Teachers


B. Alan Wallace is one of the world’s leading scholars, writers, and teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, and an outspoken advocate for a revolution in the mind sciences, one that will replace the current paradigm of materialist reductionism with a new paradigm based on contemplative methods of inquiry into the nature and potentials of the mind.

With more than 40 years of formal studies in the Indo-Tibetan tradition (including 14 years as a monastic) and prestigious degrees from Amherst College and Stanford, he is uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between modern science and the time-tested approaches to contemplative practice preserved by multiple lineages. A student of the Dalai Lama and many other renowned teachers, he authored and translated more than 40 books on the philosophy of consciousness, Tibetan Buddhism and applied contemplative practice.

Detailed biography: https://www.alanwallace.org/about-alan-wallace/

Books by B. Alan Wallace: https://www.alanwallace.org/writings/books/

Dr. Eva Natanya is a scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, an academic lecturer, writer, translator, and retreat leader.

Following a nine-year career as a professional ballet dancer with both the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet of England, she earned an MA in Christian Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.

For over twenty years, she has studied meditation, yoga, and philosophy in both the Christian and Buddhist traditions with master teachers in the United States, England, and India.

She is the Executive Director and Resident Teacher of The Center for Contemplative Research. A scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Christian theology, and comparative religion, Dr. Natanya has served in many capacities as a spiritual teacher, academic lecturer, translator and editor of Tibetan texts, writer, and retreat leader.

Dr. Ian Baker is a distinguished anthropologist and cultural historian with advanced degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Strathclyde. Recognized by National Geographic as one of seven ‘Explorers for the Millennium,’ he has conducted extensive field research in Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge region, specifically in Beyul Pemakö, the ‘hidden land arrayed like lotuses.’

Baker has authored seven critically acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine, and contributed to various academic publications on subjects like yoga, sacred geography, and entheogenic substance use in Buddhism. Having studied under prominent Tibetan Buddhist luminaries, such as Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, Dudjom Jigdral Dorje Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, he also co-founded The Vajra Path with Dr. Nida Chenagtsang. This platform is dedicated to presenting Vajrayāna Buddhism in the contemporary world, merging ancient wisdom with modern perspectives.

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