Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Published Research by Alejandro Chaoul and/or Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Video: Alejandro Chaoul talks about research on Bön Buddhist practices

Milbury K, Chaoul A, Engle R, Liao Z, Yang C, Carmack C, Shannon V, Spelman A, Wangyal T, Cohen L. Couple-Based Tibetan Yoga Program for Lung Cancer Patients and their Caregivers. Psychooncology. e-Pub 5/29/2014. PMID: 24890852.

Cohen L, Warneke C, Fouladi RT, Rodriguez MA, Chaoul-Reich A. Psychological adjustment and sleep quality in a randomized trial of the effects of a Tibetan yoga intervention in patients with lymphoma. Cancer 100(10):2253-60, 5/2004.

Leal I, Engebretson J, Cohen L, Rodriguez A, Wangyal T, Lopez G, Chaoul A. Experiences of paradox: a qualitative analysis of living with cancer using a framework approach. Psychooncology. e-Pub 5/16/2014. PMID: 24831084.

Biegler KA, Chaoul MA, Cohen L. Cancer, cognitive impairment, and meditation. Acta Oncol 48(1):18-26, 2009. PMID: 19031161.

Milbury K, Chaoul A, Biegler K, Wangyal T, Spelman A, Meyers CA, Arun B, Palmer JL, Taylor J, Cohen L. Tibetan sound meditation for cognitive dysfunction: results of a randomized controlled pilot trial. Psychooncology. e-Pub 5/2013. PMID: 23657969.

Healing From the Source:
About the Research

Goals. This research seeks to understand the benefits and effectiveness of Bön Buddhist practices on transformation and healing. It studies the ancient teachings using scientific approaches, measurement, and analysis. In this study, our researchers are examining whether meditation can be used as medicine for the body and the mind focusing on loving-kindness as a means for healing both physical and emotional pain.

Methods. This course presents a series of instructional videos and guided meditations, introduced in progression throughout its three-week duration. Participants complete surveys before and after the course. The surveys log previous practice experience and assess physical and emotional pain and self-compassion. Participants also use a practice tracker every day to log the teachings used and the types and the amount of practice. The practice tracker also logs physical and emotional pain as well as selected daily experiences.

The research team. The three researchers involved in this study—Barbara Stefik, Ph. D., Alejandro Chaoul, Ph. D., and Claire Clark, Ph. D., are also conducting a longitudinal study on the 2 1/2-year 3 Doors Academy meditation program, and other meditation programs that support people in the healing profession, people in business, and other professionals.

Barbara Stefik has a Ph. D. in transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Her doctoral dissertation studied Bön Buddhist practices with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche as her outside reader. The dissertation was titled An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Practicing Tibetan Dream Yoga Four Foundations on Waking Life Awareness and Dreams. She is a longtime meditator and a student of several Eastern and Western religious traditions, and is trained as a spiritual director. Barbara works with the Palo Alto Research Center on resolving creative blocks and on various projects involving people, technology, and innovation. She is the co-author of a book on research and innovation, Breakthrough: Stories and Strategies of Radical Innovation, published by The MIT Press. Barbara is in private consulting practice and currently conducts research on Bön Buddhist practices.

Claire Clark is an associate professor (emeritus) at the University of Utah School of Medicine (UUSOM) and a practicing clinical psychologist. She is a longtime practitioner of Bon Buddhism and student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Her work at UUSOM focused on teaching medical students and residents in the art of medicine, doctor/patient relationship, and humanism in medicine. Her social medicine classes integrated students into the community, where they learned the crucial impact of psychosocial factors on the health and illness of their patient populations. For 15 years she served as assistant dean for student advising and counseling, providing psychotherapy and support to medical students and their families.

Claire recently graduated from the 3 Doors Academy, a 2 1/2 year Bon Buddhist meditation program developed by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. She is now a member of both the 3 Doors and Ligmincha research teams who are studying the impact of longitudinal and short-term meditation programs.

Alejandro Chaoul is an assistant professor and director of education at the Integrative Medicine Program, Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine at The University of Texas (UT) M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. He is also an associate faculty member at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at UT's Medical School in Houston. Alejandro Chaoul is the director of research at Ligmincha International. He is a Senior Teacher of The Three Doors and also teaches under the auspices of Ligmincha Institute in various parts of the US, Latin America and Europe.

Alejandro Chaoul has conducted research and published articles on Bön Buddhist practices (see sidebar). Alejandro has extensive experience in the area of mind-body practices, both academically and in clinical practice. He has been actively involved in research examining different cancer populations, including past and current studies funded by the National Cancer Institute. His research and publications focus on mind- body practices in integrative care, examining how these practices can reduce chronic stress, anxiety and sleep disorders and improve quality of life and cognitive function.

Affiliation. The research team is affiliated with Ligmincha International, a worldwide network of centers founded by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Ligmincha was founded in 1992 in order to preserve the ancient teachings and practices of the Bön Buddhist tradition of Tibet. Ligmincha aims to introduce these traditions in an authentic manner to the Western world, in such a way that they remain beneficial when integrated into modern Western culture.

Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Tenzin Rinpoche is an acclaimed author and a respected teacher of students worldwide. As founding director of Ligmincha International, he has established numerous centers and institutes of learning in the United States, Europe, South America, and India. Fluent in English, Rinpoche regularly offers online teachings in the form of live webcasts, online workshops, and YouTube videos. He is renowned for his depth of wisdom; his clear, engaging teaching style; and his dedication to making the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners.