Teachers


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Acharya Dale Asrael

Dale Asrael, growing up in a suburb of Washington, DC, studied music and dance and, even as a young child, ruthlessly searched for answers. Through her Jewish ancestry, she learned to celebrate the sacredness of life and, simultaneously be aware of the depth of human suffering. After completing university studies in film and Eastern religions, Dale moved to Canada in 1970, disheartened by the Vietnam War. Shortly after she took Refuge Vows at the Kagyü Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dale heard reports of a “revolutionary young lama” who was teaching about chaos and wisdom. She journeyed to Boulder to…

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Acharya Eve Rosenthal

Eve Rosenthal became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Shambhala and Naropa University, in 1973. In the mid-eighties, she began to teach the dharma in New York City. She was empowered by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as an acharya (senior teacher) in 2005. She travels widely to teach on meditation and Shambhala and Buddhist principles, leading programs and retreats for the public as well as advanced practitioners. Founder of Shambhala Online, Eve has worked in technology on Wall Street and as a university professor. She is a long time practitioner and instructor of Tai Chi Chuan. She lives in Halifax, Canada…

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Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has taught since 1978.  She has been a Shambhala Acharya since 2000, and teaches internationally. Her teaching specialties are meditation practice, compassion, Shambhala teachings, Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism, and contemplative higher education.  Her book, Dakini’s Warm Breath (Shambhala 2001), explores the feminine principle as it reveals itself in meditation practice and everyday life for women and men.  She has also edited Meditation and the Classroom:  Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (SUNY 2011). She and her husband, Richard, have two adult children and three grandchildren.  Books…

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Acharya Martin (Marty) Janowitz

Marty Janowitz has been a student of mindfulness, awareness, and Buddhism since encountering his teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche at the age of 20. He is a senior teacher within the Shambhala Tibetan Buddhist lineage and committed to its vision of an integrated path of inner and societal transformation. In 1986, he and his family immigrated with Rinpoche, from Colorado to Nova Scotia, Canada in furtherance of this commitment. Central to his practice and learning has been restorative action towards sustainable and environmentally healthy communities that at their core express the heart of awareness. He has been involved in this movement…

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Acharya Melissa Moore

Melissa Moore, PhD., has been a student of Shambhala since 1979. She has an MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, and she has been teaching internationally since 1994. She was empowered as an Acharya in 2013.  She Co-founded and continues to offer The Karuna Training, a 2-year professional certificate in Contemplative Psychology.  Karuna training is offered now in 7 Countries and in the United States in Berkely, Seattle, Albuquerque, Baltimore, and Las Angeles. Melissa’s teaching is experiential and this brings people to a non-conceptual appreciation of the dharma.

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Acharya Susan Gillis Chapman

Acharya Susan Chapman is an elder who has been practicing in our lineage since 1974. After the parinirvana of Trungpa Rinpoche, she made a deep dive into mahamudra practice and studied with Thrangu Rinpoche for 20 years, including 9 years at Gampo Abbey. She completed the traditional three-year retreat and went on to serve as druppon, or retreat leader, for six more years. She also completed her MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology at Naropa in 1983, which included a three-month retreat practicing Maitri Space Awareness. She now serves on the faculty of Karuna Training as well as the Green Zone Institute.…

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Agness Au

Sangyum Agness Au is a senior teacher and preceptor in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, which she has followed for more than 35 years. Currently, she is senior director of the Shambhala Training and Warrior Assembly and a member of the board of directors for Shambhala International. In 1985, Au was empowered by the late Tibetan Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche with the life-long designation as a Sangyum. The title was given to seven female students with the explicit purpose of increasing feminine presence within the leadership of the international organization and community. A former New York City Shambhala Training resident director,…

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Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s books include The Year of the Rat, Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, Burn and Streaming as well as a memoir, Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer. She is the editor of the anthologies Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, Effigies and Effigies II and is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Riverside. Hedge Coke came of age working fields, factories, and waters and is currently at work on a film, Red Dust: resiliency in the dirty thirties, a new CD, and new poems. She has served as a National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Visiting Professor, Paul & Clarice Reynolds Chair in Creative Writing, University of Central Oklahoma Artist in…

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Arawana Hayashi

Arawana Hayashi first saw Vidyadhara Chogyam Rinpoche in the summer of 1974 when her improvisational dance company auspiciously toured through Boulder. She did not remember anything he said, but she had never seen anyone move through the space as he did. That inspired her to stop and sit down on a cushion. In 1976 he suggested she join the Naropa Institute as Co-Director of the Dance Program with Barbara Dilley. The following year he asked her to studybugaku, Japanese Court Dance, and to use this form as a basis for creating Shambhala art. She then began studying with Suenobu Togi…

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Artist to the Kalapa Court Marcia Wang Shibata

Artist to the Kalapa Court Marcia Wang Shibata is the senior teacher of Kado within the Shambhala Buddhist community, and co- founder of the Shambhala Kado School, recognized and blessed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2003. In 2011, she was given the title of Master Instructor of Shambhala Kado, in 2013 she was given the title of Artist to the Kalapa Court. She is a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, having started her path in Buddhist study and meditation and Kado in 1974. From 1980 to 1985 Ms Shibata studied Ikebana in Japan in the major schools both…

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Cecilia Amador Rodríguez

Cecilia Amador Rodríguez ha practicado la meditación budista por 28 años y es instructora de meditación y maestra acreditada por Shambhala Internacional. Sigue las enseñanzas de la tradición Shambhala y del Linaje Kagyü de budismo tibetano. Está a cargo de las traducciones en México para Shambhala Internacional. Es traductora y psicoterapeuta. Se dedica a hacer traducciones de textos psicológicos, budistas y científicos. Ha dirigido grupos en los que trabaja con sueños, reflexiones sobre la vida y la muerte, y yoga taoista. En su práctica privada utiliza la psicoterapia contemplativa. Ha enseñado budismo en algunas universidades y centros de meditación. Terminó…

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Charlene Leung

Acharya Charlene Leung has served as Chairperson of the Shambhala International Diversity Working Group since 2009. She was appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as a Shastri in 2010 and an Acharya in 2018. She first became a student of the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1983. Over the years, Charlene has led Way of Shambhala and parenting as path programs. She facilitates workshops for the UNtraining, a Shambhala inspired organization devoted to healing personal and social oppressions. Her current teaching focus is developing programs that join Shambhala dharma with social justice and inclusion. Professionally she practices Chinese medicine and teaches qi…

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Dan Hessey

Daniel Hessey discovered the dharma in 1973 through Trungpa Rinpoche’s book Meditation in Action and moved to Tail of the Tiger (now Karmê Chöling) the following year. He has lived in Shambhala communities — Karmê Chöling, Shambhala Mountain Center, and Marpa House -­- for the majority of his adult life. He served as co-director of what is now Shambhala Mountain Center from 1985 to 1992, and served on its Board of Directors for five years. He has taught the Shambhala dharma extensively in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Before becoming an acharya, he served for two years as…

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Daniel Chacón

Daniel Chacón’s latest book of fiction is a novel called The Cholo Tree (2017).  He is author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms, and Loops (2013), which won both the 2014 Pen Oakland Award for Literary Excellence and the Tejas NACCS Award for Best Book of Fiction for 2013. His collection of short stories, Unending Rooms, won the 2008 Hudson Prize. He also has a another novel, and the shadows took him, and another collection of stories called Chicano Chicanery.  He is editor of the posthumous poems of Andrés Montoya, A Jury of Treesand co-editor of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Work of José…

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David McCullough

A graduate of Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, David formed McCullough Landscape Architecture as a sole proprietorship in 1999 while consulting for another firm. After wife and partner, Catherine joined the business in 2001 and became Chief Executive Officer and President in 2002; the firm became a woman-owned corporation and a certified Small Business by the State of California. With offices in San Diego and the Bay Area, McCullough creates spaces for hospitality, retail, mixed-use and institutional properties around the world. As principal landscape architect, David oversees all aspects of the design and production of firm projects at McCullough.…

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Dr. Pasquale Verdicchio

Pasquale Verdicchio has taught film, literature, and cultural studies in the Department of Literature at the University of California San Diego since 1986. Author and translator, he has published in English the works of poets Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sergio Atzeni, Alda Merini, and most recently Vivian Lamarque’s The Golden Man(Ekstasis Editions, 2016). His own poetry collections include The House is Past (Guernica, 2000) and This Nothing’s Place (Guernica, 2008). His Ecocritical Approaches to Italian Culture and Literature:The Denatured Wild was published in 2016 by Lexington. He is the recipient of the 2015 Muir Environmental Fellowship by Muir College, UCSD.

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Emily Bower

Acharya Emily Bower started practicing in the Shambhala community in 1987, in Berkeley, CA. She began studying with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche when he came to teach in Berkeley in 1991. She served as his editor for various projects, including his first book, Turning the Mind into an Ally. She has studied kyudo with Kanjuro Shibata Sensei and is a lifelong member of the Dorje Kasung. In 1991, she joined the staff of Karme Chöling, where she lived for three years, working on publicity and marketing. She has been a professional editor since 1987 and has most recently worked full-time as an acquiring…

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Gabriela Córdova Novion

Gabriela inició su camino con la meditación y el Budismo en 1994 y específicamente con Shambhala en 1996. Desde 2004 ha tomado roles de liderazgo en Shambhalacalli (Tepoztlán-Cuernavaca), en la Sangha de la Ciudad de México y en Casa Werma. En 2010 recibió el reconocimiento de Maestra Shambhala. Actualmente, Gabriela sigue ejerciendo como intérprete y fue por más de 15 años profesora de Interpretación Simultánea y Consecutiva a nivel licenciatura en el Centro Universitario Anglo Americano. Recopiló durante los últimos años su experiencia para plasmarla en el libro “Interpretación Lingüística, Manual Práctico”. Este es el segundo taller de Intérpretes Shambhala que da, pero es…

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Gaylon Ferguson

Soon after reading Meditation in Action, Gaylon heard the Vidyadhara teach several summer seminars in Vermont. In 1973, after giving a “particularly panic-stricken and disorganized ” open house talk, Gaylon joined Tail of the Tiger Buddhist Community (now Karme Choling) where he worked in the garden, set the tractor on fire, and took people into retreat. After attending the 1975 Vajradhatu Seminary, Gaylon taught briefly at The Naropa Institute, led a dathun at the now deceased Padma Jong, and finally returned to Karme Choling, first as a staff member in the practice and study department, and then as Executive Co-director. In…

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Holly Gayley

Acharya Holly Gayley is an Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, having completed a Masters at Naropa University in 2000 and Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2009. She has been practicing meditation in the Shambhala tradition for more than twenty years and regularly leads meditation retreats and workshops as a senior teacher or shastri. Holly has frequently traveled to eastern Tibet for her research on contemporary Buddhist movements and enjoys trekking in the Himalayas and Rocky Mountains. Her first book, Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet, came out in November 2016. For more information, visit…

Jake Lorfing

Jake Lorfing has been active in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 30 years as a student, teacher, administrator, and meditation instructor. Following a career in psychiatric nursing, he now spends more time teaching contemplative photography and end of life issues, teaching others to live more fully and joyfully. Jake has taught Miksang around the states and Canada in a variety of formats. He travels extensively for photography and his photos are on display in private and public venues.

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Janet Solyntjes

Shastri Janet Solyntjes has been a member of the Shambhala community since 1984 and teaches at Shambhala centers in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.  She has taught meditation courses at Naropa University, is a senior MBSR teacher, and is co-founder of the Boulder-based Center for Courageous Living.

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Joan Kling, M.S.

Joan Kling specializes in promoting peace and communication between individuals, teams and organizations. She excels in teaching self-leadership, team leadership and organizational leadership. Guided by the belief in everyone’s intrinsic, unique value, Joan works tirelessly to bring out the best in everyone she meets. Her ability to see past the complexities of the human condition to the heart of every matter is unmatched. She is a certified professional coach, trainer, and keynote speaker guiding clients to create joy and embrace abundance in their lives. Joan uses writing to help others find the light within and to give them permission to let that light…

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Juan Felipe Herrera

In 2015 Juan Felipe Herrera was appointed the 21st United States Poet Laureate, the first Mexican American to hold the position. In his statement of choice, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said Herrara’s poems “contain Whitman-esque multitudes that champion voices, traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective” that serve to illuminate our larger American identity. Herrera grew up in California as the son to migrant farmers, which he has commented strongly shaped much of his work. A Washington Post article tells the story that “As a child, Herrera learned to love poetry by singing about the Mexican…

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Kim Nadel

Kim Nadel, a green lifestyle design strategist, is an award-winning, certified interior designer and LEED Accredited Professional specializing in inspired sustainable living. Kim has over 25 years experience in healthy and efficient design materials and strategies for the living environment. She co-founded Sunflower Life Projects US, a comprehensive design collaborative with wellness and sustainability in mind. Her goal is to promote and foster wellness through thoughtfully planned design within truly equitable and sustainable communities. She has consulted with several groups, including The Permaculture Society in Southern Arizona, where she worked on a variety of areas from conceptual systems design to…

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Kristen Victor

Kristen Victor founded Sustainability Matters in 2009, a consulting firm, catalyzing civic ecology, a fluid pattern of relations between humans, their ecosystem and the economy. Kristen collectively transforms business from traditional methods to regenerative, long-term vibrancy. She received her higher education degree with an emphasis in Biology and continued her Design post-graduate studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. With more than 20 years of experience in design, construction and technology integration, Kristen has committed the last 10 years working within neighborhoods and communities, guiding with forward thinking leadership, defined by experiential opportunities through application-based policy, striving to influence decision makers…

Kristin Wildensee

Kristin Wildensee has had a career working in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. However, she has found her greatest purpose and passion these days committing herself to volunteer efforts to take care of our beautiful, life-giving, interconnected planet. She is passionate about causes ranging from waste reduction, endangered species protection to soil restoration. As a volunteer leader for The Climate Reality Project and Pachamama Alliance, she regularly convenes workshops on climate solutions and moderates their signature Game Changer Intensive course for participants around the globe. Kristin lives in Patzcuaro, Mexico, but also has a U.S. home base in Iowa,…

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Lance Brunner

Lance Brunner is an experienced teacher in the Shambhala-Buddhist tradition, having directed Shambhala Training and contemplative arts programs and retreats for over twenty-five years, including seven “Summer Arts Dathuns” [month-long retreats] at Karme Chöling, Vermont.  He combines his interests in the arts, meditation, and action in the world through his consulting and facilitation, having worked with non-profits, health professionals, businesses, leadership programs, and within prisons.  A Kellogg National Fellow (1985-88) and the founding Director of the Commonwealth Fellowship Program for community leaders in Appalachia (1990-96), he has been a professor of music history at the University of Kentucky since 1976.

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Mayela Manasjan

Mayela Manasjan believes in the importance of leading with 3 G’s: Gratitude, Gentleness, and Generosity. She has worked diligently throughout her 19 year career as an environmental scientist and advocate in local government to protect the environment for the benefit of all current and future generations. Mayela is the Executive Director of Casa Werma, Chief Environmental Optimist (CEO) of The Manasjan Consultancy and podcast host of “Tiny Climate Challenge.” She has also served on a variety of boards dedicated to engaging, educating, and empowering communities on critical environmental issues. She currently serves as an advisor to Shambhala International’s Touching the…

Melinda Rothouse

Melinda Rothouse is a professional creativity coach, consultant, and educator, as well as a meditation and contemplative arts teacher, based in Austin, Texas. She is also a singer/songwriter/bass player. Her creative and professional work embrace a lifelong love of learning with an emphasis on journey and process. A former teacher of comparative religions, she is currently working on her Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in creativity studies at Saybrook University; her doctoral work focuses on mindfulness and creativity in organizational settings. 

Patrick Larson

Patrick Larson is an Austin, Texas based photographer with a unique blend of style developed from a broad range of artistic and photographic experience. He is comfortable and relaxed in both the studio and on location. A photographer since 1980 and now a software developer, he specializes in portraiture, landscapes, weddings, and fine art photography. He is the father of two beautiful girls, his photo subjects for many years.

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Richard John

An early student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Richard was appointed an acharya by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. For many years he has taught Shambhala Buddhist programs in North America, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Chile. After careers as a designer and a management consultant, he served as director of the Halifax Shambhala Centre. He completed the first three-year group retreat at Gampo Abbey, and he now teaches full time. Richard and his wife Liz reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  

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Rick Merrill

RICK MERRILL is professional dancer and choreographer. He performed and taught for many years in New York City and Europe and most recently served as faculty in the Theatre and Dance Department of Western Washington University. A member of the Shambhala Buddhist community since 1974, Rick teaches meditation and embodied contemplative movement.

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Seema Reza

Seema Reza is the author of the poetry collection A Constellation of Half-Lives and the memoir When the World Breaks Open. Seema has led writing workshops within correctional facilities, military and civilian hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, and universities. She is the CEO of Community Building Art Works, a unique arts organization that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a military population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. Reza’s work with veterans is featured in the 2018 HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet. She was awarded the Col John Gioia Patriot Award by the USO of Metropolitan…

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Shastri Sandra Ladley

Sandra Ladley is a long-time meditation practitioner and a Shastri or senior Shambhala Buddhist resident teacher for the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Program Director and a core faculty member for the Karuna Training program in Contemplative Psychology in North America.  Sandra teaches Buddhist, Contemplative Psychology and Dharma Art programs internationally. Sandra draws on a wealth of experience as a teacher, counselor, and manager in business, technology, mental health, hospice, and creative arts settings to bring depth, warmth and humor to her teaching.  

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Stephen Vosper

Steve Vosper is a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and his son Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He has been practicing and studying the Shambhala and Buddhist paths for four decades, and has been teaching in those traditions for nearly 30 years. Mr. Vosper was the first Dean of the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies in Boulder, and a lead teacher on the pilot teaching team for the entire Way of Shambhala curriculum. He is also a Director for the complete Shambhala Training Heart of Warriorship and Sacred Path programs. Steve is the chair of the Sakyong’s Advisory Panel on Shambhala Environments,…

Tim Z. Hernandez

Tim Z Hernandez Bio