An Incomplete History of Casa Werma

Bienvenidos a Casa Werma.

Casa Werma’s connection to Shambhala began in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche visited here with his family (including the then Sawang, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) and a handful of attendants at the invitation of patrons and students, Roger and Louise Randolph. On 15 October 1980, Trungpa Rinpoche took the group to the nearby ruins at TzinTzunTzan (“the place of hummingbirds” in the local indigenous language) and performed a lhasang. After returning to Casa Werma, he sat down at the table that is still situated on the back terrace and composed the Werma Sadhana.

When Roger Randolph was approaching the end of his life, he worked closely with Bob and Lindy King to keep Casa Werma under the umbrella of Shambhala. Due to their generosity and connection to Casa Werma and Patzcuaro, Casa Werma remained under the care of Shambhala. Although one time threatened to be sold to help with Shambhala International’s financial situation, Casa Werma came under the watch of Alex Halpern as one of the primary attorneys for Shambhala in the mid-1990s.

For about 10 years, Casa Werma was held by Shambhala without any Shambhala activity happening here.

In 2006, Mr. Halpern’s daughter Eve and her partner Cris Sandoval moved to Casa Werma to revive it. They completely turned Casa Werma around, physically and spiritually, overcoming many obstacles. The extent of the physical renovation to the property cannot be overestimated. With Acharya Allyn Lyon’s help and guidance, as well as the support of all of Shambhala Mexico, they began hosting Shambhala programs and retreats here, slowly bringing Casa Werma back into the fold of Shambhala.

In January 2014, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche returned to Casa Werma. It was his first visit since becoming the Sakyong. He came with a small handful of attendants. Directors Kai Fulker and Katherine Armstrong, in addition to former Director Craig Morman, were in attendance to welcome him and support his visit. Rinpoche considered his visit a pilgrimmage, with daily practice in the solarium shrine room, reminiscence about being here with his father Trungpa Rinpoche, and a visit to TzinTzunTzan where he performed a lhasang. While here, he composed a poem, Kalapa Patzcuaro, and an Addendum to the Shambhala Sadhana.