Dharma Office Hours
with Elaine Jackson

Thu Feb 23, 9–10pm EST ONLINE

Note: Advanced registration opens to Shantideva Center members on Mon Feb 6, and to the general public on Mon Feb 13.

Each Dharma student enters the spiritual path in their own unique way. The first step may have been taken weeks or decades ago. The seed may have been planted while reading a book on Buddhism, sharing a conversation with a friend or family member, or feeling an inexplicable connection with a holy place or spiritual teacher. Our spiritual paths are as unique as our own minds are.

But it would be mistaken to consider the path a solitary one. The Buddha taught to his friend and attendant Ananda that friendship forms the basis for the whole of spiritual life. As we have come to rely on the Buddha and his teachings to develop our minds and expand our hearts, we see others sharing the same enthusiasm for these methods and come to rely on their steady presence too.

In the Buddhist tradition, teachers are special kinds of spiritual friends, or kalyanamitras, who play a significant role in inspiring, encouraging, and challenging us in our practices. All present understanding of the Dharma has been passed from teacher to student throughout the ages, forming an unbroken lineage that leads directly to the living Buddha himself.

In praise of this amazing network of spectacular minds, Shantideva Center presents a rare opportunity to meet with our skilled teachers directly in a 25-minute one-on-one personal meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to foster a space for Dharma practitioners to bring questions specific to developing Dharma practice. For the session on Thursday, February 23, 2 students will have an opportunity to meet with Elaine Jackson.

Stay tuned for information on registration and times for Dharma Office Hours with teachers such as Guy Newland, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering, Venerable Amy Miller, Venerable Lozang Yönten, Venerable Robina Courtin, Gen Don Handrick, and more!


  1. Bring your most pressing questions to ask. Keep them simple, direct, and about your own spiritual experiences or Dharma challenges.
  2. Be respectful. This program is only possible through the generosity of our teachers, who are committed to sharing the benefit borne of their own dedicated practice.
  3. Be brave. It can be intimidating to share your challenges with your practice, but don’t pass on this rare opportunity to make focused spiritual progress with the consultation of a Dharma specialist!

To read more advice on finding the right questions to ask spiritual teachers, click here.

As a thanks to our members for their invaluable and precious support, the first week of registration is reserved exclusively for supporting members of Shantideva Center, after which registration will be open to all. Registration for all time slots will be confirmed on a first-come basis.

Shantideva Center will make an offering to the teacher (dana) for their generosity in sharing the Dharma in this one-on-one program. Students are welcome to make a donation to support Shantideva Center for all its activities.

Important Note

This is an online-only event that is administered using Zoom.

After registering, the system automatically sends a confirmation and/or a receipt email that contains the Zoom meeting link and/or other instructions. If you don’t immediately receive the system email(s) or you have any other questions, please contact us at [email protected].

*Zoom is an interactive video-conferencing tool that allows participants to see one another and ask questions. You will need a computer, a tablet or a smartphone with the Zoom application to attend. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.

Registration / Schedule

Open donation: none, $5, $10, $21, $35, $50, $108

Your generosity makes it possible for us to share the Dharma and continue working together for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Time zone: US Eastern Standard Time (GMT/UTC-5)

Mar 12 onwards: US Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC-4)

If the registration above didn’t work for you, please try this alternative page, or email [email protected] for assistance. 

Additional Materials

Dana for the Teacher

Shantideva Center makes offerings to all of our teachers using the funds collected through registration. You can give additional support to the teacher and create a stronger karmic connection by offering dana. Please make sure to select the teacher’s name in the dropdown menu. Dana offered is passed entirely to the teacher, but please note that it is not tax-deductible.

About the Teacher

Elaine Jackson is a founding member of Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture located in Boulder Creek, California. She has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1977 and has studied with many of the greatest Buddhist teachers of our time, primarily in the Gelug Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the FPMT.

Elaine has served as executive director of Vajrapani Institute and was also their resident teacher for several years, retiring in 2021.

In addition to engaging in annual month-long solitary retreats for over 20 years, she also completed a three-year retreat in 2014. Currently, she lives a contemplative life off-the-grid in the Santa Cruz mountains, while offering Dharma teachings and meditation support.