Anne C. Klein


Anne Carolyn Klein/Rigzin Drolma, is Professor and a former Chair of the Department of Religion, Rice University, where she helped developed a contemplative studies concentration for graduate students. Co-founder of the Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism. She is a Lama in the Nyingma (ancient) Buddhist tradition.

Her central thematic interest is the embodied interaction between head and heart across a spectrum of Buddhist theories of cognitive and somatic knowing. She participates also in the emerging field of micro-phenomenology where the juxtaposition of philosophical, scientific, and experiential research promises a fresh way of bridging traditional and contemporary cultures’ ways of knowing.

Her seven books include Knowledge and Liberation (translated. into Russian, and Chinese) on Buddhist distinctions between intellectual knowing and direct experience; Path to the Middle: The Spoken Scholarship of Khensur Yeshe Thupten, a study in Tsonkhapa’s Madhyamaka; Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, contrasting Buddhist and Feminist understandings of self and, with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinopche; Unbounded Wholeness, discussion and translation of a Bon Dzogchen text. Buddhist Dzogchen is central to her Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse: A Story of Transmission, with chantable English translations of Jigme Liingpa’s Foundational Practices and Adzom Rinpoche’s condensation of them, and Strand of Jewels, a synthesis of essential Dzogchen instructions from his heart teachers by Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche.

RELI 322/532 Introduction to Buddhism
RELI 333/533 Knowing Body/Glowing Mind
RELI 233; 332/532 Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Tibetan Language, Culture, and Literature
RELI 470/570 Buddhist Wisdom Texts (repeatable)
RELI 399/599 Contemplative Practiccum

2013-present Annual Khyentse Foundation Grants
2014 Hershey Family Foundation
1999-2001 T Ford Foundation Grant
1995 NEH translation grant
1994 NEH summer grant


  • Knowledge and Liberation: Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology in Support of Transformative Religious Experience (Snow Lion:1997; Translated into Chinese, 2009, and into Russian 2009)
  • Knowing, Naming and Negation: A Sourcebook on Tibetan Sautrantika (Snow Lion, 2nd edition, 1999)
  • Path to the Middle: Oral Madhyamika Philosophy in Tibet, The Spoken Scholarship of Kensur Yeshey Tupden (Albany: SUNY Press, SUNY Series in Buddhist Studies) 1994
  • Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists, and the Art of the Self (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995, Reprinted, Show Lion, 2008)
  • Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen, Bon, and the Logic of the NonConeptual (Oxford University Press)
  • Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse: A Story of Transmission (Snow Lion: 2009).
  • Strand of Jewels: My Teachers’ Essential Guidance on Dzogchen by Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche (Shambala Snow Lion, 2015)

Research Areas

Tibetan Buddhist and Indian epistemology. Tibetan texts and language


Ph.D., University of Virginia

M.A., University of Wisconsin

B.A. Cum Laude with Highest Honors in English, State University of New York at Binghamton (Harpur College)


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