María de Lourdes Argüelles is professor emerita of Education and Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Before joining CGU, she was the MacArthur chair in gender and feminist studies and professor of Chicano/Latino studies at Pitzer College. She was also a professor of community studies at the School of Social Welfare at UCLA and taught at various other colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The transdisciplinary research studies that she conducted during her academic career have been published in academic and popular books, as well as in journals around the world.
Argüelles is a California licensed psychotherapist and telemental health provider with specialties in clinical hypnosis, anxiety treatment, thanatology, and traumatology. She currently works with survivors of political and domestic violence and with people who are experiencing significant losses, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also works therapeutically with essential workers in the medical, educational, and clerical professions and with people seeking to develop compassion focused approaches to dealing with suffering.
Argüelles is a Portrait of Jewish Learning fellow at the Mandel Center at Brandeis University, where she is part of a team of scholars who is exploring adult religious learning processes in the increasingly diverse Jewish communities of the United States. Argüelles’s work at the Mandel Center involves conducting a study of the spirituality, conversion processes, family transmissions, and temple-based learning experiences of a growing number of Latinx immigrant Jewish converts in California.
Argüelles is a co-chair of the LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory Council of the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA), a non profit organization dedicated to bringing deeper meaning and greater comfort to dying people and loved ones in the last days of life. She is also a psychological consultant and trainer for organizations and groups working in the areas of ecological restoration and wilderness defense, food justice, migrant mental health, and abolitionist-oriented animal rights.
Argüelles (Buddhist name: Dorje Khandro) was invested as a Lopon (senior Dharma teacher) and ordained as a Nagkma (lay tantric practitioner) in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition. She currently teaches courses in Buddhist psychology, mind training, and death and dying at Drikung Kyobpa Choling (DKC), a traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastery and meditation center in Escondido, California, as well as to members of DKC’s sanghas in Latin America.