Ancient Wisdom Engaged

AWEIn winter 2020, Namchak launched year one of the Ancient Wisdom Engaged (AWE) program. This multi-year, non-residential study program offers students an introduction to the Vajrayana path of Tibetan Buddhism and to a unique form of personal leadership. While the full scope of the program encompasses three years, students are invited to sign-up on a yearly basis.

Designed around the Three Jewels of Tibetan Buddhism, the program will give you experiences and tools so you can progress on your journey home to who you truly are. The Three Jewels—Buddha (the practices), Dharma (the context for the practices), and Sangha (the community)— are equally important in creating harmonious inner and outer lives. However, in the West, to our detriment, we have historically overlooked the importance of skillfully being in relationship with others and building healthy communities.

We bring all three elements into this program, taught by master teachers. Namchak Khen Rinpoche and Lama Tsomo of the Namchak Foundation will lead the Buddha and Dharma work, sharing time-tested practices to bring students out of contracted states of confusion and into ever-larger experiences of their true nature and of wholeness. Aaron Stern, president and founder of the Academy for the Love of Learning, and his team will lead the Sangha element, teaching ways to integrate and sustain internal experiences using the Academy’s transformative “Learning as a Practice” approach. These practices will help you stay open as your internal identity shifts, creating inner fluidity and the ability to forge new and healthy patterns in relationships.

Together, these Three Jewels transform both the inner and outer experience of life. By taking part in this pilot program, you will emerge with a deeper understanding of yourself along with tools to can use to engage in healthy community.

Awe Teachers

AWE Teachers (clockwise): Tulku Sangak* Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche, Aaron Stern, and Lama Tsomo.

Core Pilot Program Elements


Retreats will take place with Namchak Khen Rinpoche, Lama Tsomo, and Aaron Stern. Occasional teachings will be offered by Tulku Sangak Rinpoche*.

Coaching Calls

Coaching calls with Lama Tsomo and Aaron Stern are an integral part of the program, along with participation in a Learning Circle with your pilot group.

Healthy Sangha

Personal and shared leadership are key aspects of this program. Leadership training and unique activities to foster self-awareness will be offered by Aaron Stern and the Academy for the Love of Learning Leading By BeingTM Foundation Programs.

Independent Practice

Guided by written teachings and trainings, you will advance your practice through independent study and daily meditations. In order to fully integrate the lessons, daily practice and reflection will be essential. The expectation is for up to an hour of daily practice in order to build your skills and help bring your practice into the world around you. In addition, you will be asked to take at least 10 days of personal retreat over the course of the program (either as one retreat, five weekend retreats, or a combination of your choosing.)

Participation in this program will prepare you with the potential to join the second year of the AWE class in 2021, mentor Learning Circles in your area, engage in teacher training, and possibly work or volunteer with Namchak on an ongoing basis.

Is this program for you?

This program is designed for those with an established daily meditation practice. We also ask that you complete the Always Smiling eCourses (either prior to or at the beginning of the program), and commit to attend six of eight retreats that compose the Namchak annual program calendar.


Learn More

 If you’re interested in learning more about the Ancient Wisdom Engaged program or curious about applying, please send an email to [email protected]

* Sometimes spelled “Sang-Ngag”