The Call to Wisdom:
Geshe Kelsang Wangmo on Recognizing My Mother

Sat Oct 2, Sat–Sun Oct 9–10 & Sat Oct 16, 10:30am–12pm EDT ONLINE

This lunatic child,

who lost his old mother long ago,

is about to realize by chance

what he has not recognized:

She has been with him all along!

–from Recognizing My Mother, Changkya Rölpai Dorjé

Knowing the ultimate nature of reality–the wisdom of emptiness–is a central pursuit on the Buddhist path. Yet clear understanding can seem difficult to access: subtle, hidden, beyond the realm of conceptual thinking. Geshe Kelsang Wangmo brings her years of Dharma scholarship to Shantideva Center, in a series of four teachings on the inspirational text Recognizing My Mother. Written in the 18th century by Changkya Rölpai Dorjé this concise text is a lyrical expression of what it feels like to uncover the nature of reality. Brimming with philosophy, it also points to how we ourselves might arrive at that understanding. Join Geshe Kelsang Wangmo as she teases out the philosophy from the wisdom lineage encoded in Recognizing My Mother, while admiring its lyrical beauty. Geshe-la is the perfect guide to this subject: having studied for two decades at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Geshe Wangmo completed her thesis on the topic of dependent arising–after which she was awarded the first geshe degree given to a nun in 2011.

Important Note

This is an online-only event that is administered using Zoom, as the center is currently closed due to COVID-19. 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.

After registering, the system automatically sends a confirmation and/or a receipt email that contains the Zoom meeting link or other instructions. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login a few minutes earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.

If you don’t immediately receive the email(s) with the Zoom information, or you have questions about Zoom or accessing the class online, please contact us at [email protected].

Registration / Schedule

Suggested: $20 per session
Other offering options: free, $5, $10, $30

The suggested amount helps support teacher offerings and expenses, direct costs and rent. Shantideva member discounts or benefits will be applied automatically if you have a membership in MindBody. 

Shantideva Center may publish recorded sessions in the public domain (e.g., on YouTube). By registering for this event, you are agreeing to give your consent to this process. To protect your privacy, we recommend being conscious about any personal information you share during the sessions. To further enhance anonymity, you may want to consider turning off video or naming yourself using abbreviations.

Time zone: US Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC-4)

For questions regarding registration, please email [email protected] for assistance.

Additional Materials


All recordings will be available soon.

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

Geshe Kelsang Wangmo was the first—and until 2016 only—woman to be awarded a Geshe title, considered equivalent to a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy.

She is also the official German translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and online.

Geshe-la was born in Germany and took ordination as a nun in 1991. She later enrolled in the traditional Geshe curriculum at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala (a program that has run for 17 years) and was awarded the Geshe title in 2011. Since 2004, Geshe Kelsang Wangmo has been teaching Buddhist philosophy classes in English in Dharamsala, following the curriculum of the IBD.

During His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Hamburg/Germany in 2014, His Holiness announced Geshe Kelsang Wangmo as the first female Geshe.

You can see Geshe Kelsang Wangmo’s schedule and recorded teachings on her website.