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Faculty

Our Team of Teachers

Since 2020 and the onset of the pandemic, all our classes are now online. This has been a marvelous opportunity to grow our faculty, to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge among the teachers and meditation leaders of the FPMT worldwide.

As you can see, below, we have a team of some fifteen registered FPMT teachers, and others, joining Geshe Thubten Sherab, who has been our resident teacher since 2013.  

Connect with a teacher

If you would like to connect with any one of the teachers, to ask advice or to make a personal donation – although, of course, in the Buddhist tradition no teacher would ever expect or even ask for a donation – you can contact them on their website or via email; details are on their bio drop-down page: just click on their photo.

Thubten Norbu Ling very happily makes donations to every one of our teachers and meditation leaders – some of whom kindly offer the donation right back to the center.

We are so grateful for their knowledge and their generosity.

Resident Teacher

Geshe Thubten Sherab

Teachers

Ven. George Churinoff
Ven. George graduated from MIT in 1967 with a BSc in Physics. After attending courses at Kopan Monastery in 1974 he was ordained a year later. Over the years he has studied and taught extensively around the world at FPMT centers as well as in Sarnath and Dharamsala. He received an MA in Buddhist Studies in Delhi, India. In Italy he helped start the FPMT seven-year Master’s Program, teaching and translating the written materials for the course. For six years, Ven. George lived at Deer Park with Kyabje Geshe Sopa in Madison, WI, teaching there and editing Geshe-la’s teachings on Lama Tzong Khapa’s commentary to Madhyamakavatara. Ven. George served as the English tutor for Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche while he was at Sera Je Monastery in India. Since 2012 Ven. George has been in retreat in a cabin near Asheville, North Carolina, from where he teaches occasionally via Zoom.
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Ven. Tenzin Gendun
Ven. Tenzin Gendun was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in England. He went to art school and received a degree in illustration before meeting Tibetan Buddhism in 1991 through the kindness of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Holiness the Dalai Lama. After his ordination in 1992, Ven. Gendun worked in FPMT centres in New Zealand. In 2000, Ven Gendun moved to Nalanda Monastery in France to deepen his studies with FPMT’s Basic Program and Masters Program. Ven. Gendun currently teaches at FPMT study groups in Europe.
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Ven. Sangye Khadro
Ven. Sangye Khadro was born in California and began studying Buddhism in Dharamsala, India in 1973. She became a Buddhist nun in Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 1974, and took bhikshuni ordination in 1988. Over the years, she has studied with various teachers including Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe, and the Dalai Lama. At the request of her teachers, Ven. Sangye Khadro began teaching in 1979, and since then has taught in many countries around the world. She is the author of How to Meditate and Awakening the Kind Heart (Wisdom Publications). She completed the Masters Program in Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa, Italy, in 2013, and is currently residing in Sravasti Abbey and teaching online.
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Ven. Robina Courtin
Ordained since the late 1970s, Venerable Robina has worked full time since then for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.
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Ven. Amy Miller
Ven. Amy first encountered Buddhism in 1987 at FPMT’s Kopan Monastery in Nepal and has been ordained since 2000. She has spent a great deal of time engaged in meditation retreats, study, teaching, and Buddhist center management. Prior to studying Buddhism, Ven. Amy was a political fundraiser in Washington, DC and also worked for Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco, California. She trained as a hospice counselor during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco and offers courses and retreats on death and dying and end-of-life care. She leads pilgrimages to Buddhist sites and is the co-author of FPMT’s Buddhism in a Nutshell. Ven. Amy resides in Philadelphia in the United States.
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Gen Don Handrick
Former Resident Teacher
Don Handrick is a touring teacher for the FPMT, sharing the Dharma with centers and study groups around the world, both in-person and online. Don attended the FPMT’s Masters Program of Buddhist Studies in Sutra and Tantra, a seven-year residential study program conducted at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Geshe Jampa Gyatso. He successfully completed all five subjects of this program in 2004, receiving an FPMT final certificate with high honors. Don served as the Spiritual Program Coordinator for Thubten Norbu Ling in Santa Fe, NM, in 2005 before being appointed as the resident teacher in 2006 and then joint resident teacher with Geshe Sherab from 2013 through 2020.
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Ven. Lozang Yönten
Bhikshuni Lozang Yönten is an American-born Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition who was ordained in 2003. A practicing Buddhist since 1994, Ven. Yönten moved to Chenrezig Institute in Australia and studied intensively under Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering (Lharampa Geshe from Sera Je Monastery and former Abbot of Gyü-me Tanric College) from 2002 – 2009, completing their Buddhist Studies Program. She then continued to study, retreat and offer service at Dharma Centers in India and Taiwan as well as Australia and New Zealand, becoming an In-Depth Registered Teacher within the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in 2012. Ven. Yönten was the Resident Teacher of Kunsang Yeshe Retreat Centre in the Blue Mountains of Australia from 2012 – 2015 before becoming teacher-in-residence six months of the year at Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity in New Zealand until 2018. She continues to offer classes and retreats at both Centres annually. Currently, Ven. Yönten divides her time as a touring teacher and retreat leader, as well as annually offering the Buddhadharma from a secular perspective in Israel as a member of the Buddhist faculty for a seven-year post graduate program called Human Spirit which is a Buddhist Psychoanalytic Training Program.
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Ven. Thubten Dechen
Venerable Dechen is a graduate of the Basic Programme and student of the current Masters Programme at Institute of Lama Tsong Khapa in Italy. She is a former elder of Buddhism in a Nutshell and Meditation 101 online and has a particular interest in guiding meditations. She ordained with Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2017 and is currently working to put the teachings she has received into practice.
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Geshe Tenzin Zopa
Geshe Zopa was born in Tsum Himalayan region. At the age of nine he was ordained as a monk at Kopan monastry in Nepal and trained under precious gurus such as Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lundrup Rigsel, and the great Mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog. He holds a doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy from Sera Jey Monastic University in India. He is the principal and focal point of the award winning documentary film titled ”Unmistaken Child” which chronicles the search for the reincarnation of his master Geshe Lama Konchog. For many years he has frequently taken part as a speaker at Buddhist, interfaith and peace dialogue conferences. He taught in Oxford University (UK) under “Visitorship for Traditional Scholars” in the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program. Since 2000 he has taught actively in FPMT centers as a visiting and resident teacher. Currently he is serving as touring teacher for FPMT Centers and Board of Trustee Director for FDCW (The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom).
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Ven Michael Yeshe
Venerable Michael was born in London in 1966 to a Greek father and a Belgian mother. He was raised in Kopan Monastery in Nepal and has been a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since the age of 7. At age 13, he entered the Sera Jey Monastic University in South India where he spent the next 18 years studying Buddhist Philosophy. Since 1996, Ven Michael Yeshe has been invited to FPMT Buddhist centres in America, Singapore, Malaysia and Holland as a translator and teacher. For 11 years he was residing at the Tara Institute in Melbourne where he served as translator for Venerable Geshe Doga. In autumn of 2020 Venerable Michael was invited to Stockholm and is currently the resident teacher at the Yeshin Norbu centre.
About
Dr. Ross Moore
Dr Ross Moore was born in 1954 in Broken Hill, an outback desert mining town in New South Wales. He first encountered Tibetan Buddhism at Atisha Center near Bendigo Australia in 1983. His magical first glimpse of Lama Zopa Rinpoche was on a throne in a small wooden church in a reconstructed gold-rush town built as a tourist resort, complete with steam-engines, horses and drays. and giant aviaries full of emus and sulfur-crested cockatoos with whom Lama Zopa talked, following the church discourses. In 1984 he became Spiritual Program Co-ordinator at Tara Institute in Melbourne. At the instigation of the resident teacher, the Venerable Geshe Doga, he set up the Tara Institute Study Group as well as other areas of the teaching program which are still extant. Over the years he has taught many introductory classes, weekend courses, and retreat workshops as part of a team of dedicated Tara Institute students who are also asked to teach elsewhere. Ross is a frequent visitor to Sera Je Monastery where he has had the fortune to sit amongst the monks receiving Lama Zopa’s heart advice on how to conduct a meaningful life. Also he has attended many of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings in India, including all of the Jangchub Lam-Rim cycle which took place over several years across the monastic seats of Lama Tsong Khapa. Ross retired early from lecturing in art and design in order to concentrate on Buddhist publishing work. He has just finished editing Geshe Doga’s commentary on Six Session Guru Yoga and is currently assisting in the publication of Geshe Doga’s commentary on Atisha’s Lamp of the Path. Ross is an engaging and experienced presenter who enjoys drawing upon Western psychological and philosophical traditions as well as the ancient Buddhist texts, together with their experiential lineages. His sessions are always fun and intellectually adventurous, yet always grounded in a practical emphasis on meditation and mind transformation. In 2017 he successfully had a stem transplant for bone marrow cancer. He says this helped bring home the reality of the Dharma as our most precious tool for living well and meaningfully, and seizing the essence of each moment. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and is closely connected to Tara Institute.
About
Andy Wistreich
Born in 1950 in England, Andy has four grown-up sons and a grandson, and lives comfortably and happily with his wife, Shan Tate in a Somerset village. The two of them often co-lead classes and retreats.He met the Dharma in 1979 and started teaching Dharma in the London FPMT center a few years later. He is currently teaching the FPMT Basic Program at Saraswati Study Group, and leads a secular meditation group, and retreats. He is active in Extinction Rebellion Buddhists. During the eighties, Andy was spiritual programme coordinator at Manjushri London Center (now Jamyang), taking teachings from Geshe Wangchen, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and others. He began to teach Buddhism and lead short retreats at the center in 1982. He took a series of empowerments and undertook some short solitary retreats during that period. After moving to Somerset, England in 1989, Andy continued teaching on Bodhicaryavatara, Gom Rim, Lo Rig, Samatha, Introduction to Tantra and Discovering Buddhism modules at Jamyang Leeds.
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Dr. Jan Willis
Jan Willis (BA and MA in Philosophy, Cornell University; PhD in Indic and Buddhist Studies, Columbia University) is Professor Emerita of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and now Visiting Professor of Religion at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. She has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland, and the U.S. for five decades, and has taught courses in Buddhism for over forty-five years. She is the author of The Diamond Light: An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation (1972), On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga’s Bodhisattvabhumi (1979), Enlightened Beings: Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition (1995); and the editor of Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet (1989). Additionally, Willis has published numerous articles and essays on various topics in Buddhism—Buddhist meditation, saints’ lives, women and Buddhism, and Buddhism and race. In 2001, her memoir, Dreaming Me: An African American Woman’s Spiritual Journey was published. It was re-issued in 2008 by Wisdom Publications as Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist. In December of 2000, TIME magazine named Willis one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium.” In 2003, she was a recipient of Wesleyan University’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She has been profiled in Newsweek magazine and in Ebony magazine which named Willis one of its “Power 150” most influential African Americans. Her latest work is Dharma Matters: Women, Race and Tantra–Collected Essays by Jan Willis, published in April of this year.
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Dr. Nicholas Ribush
Dr. Nicholas Ribush, MB, BS, is a graduate of Melbourne University Medical School (1964) who first encountered Buddhism at Kopan Monastery in 1972. Since then he has been a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche and a full time worker for the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. He was a monk from 1974 to 1986. In 1975, with Lama Yeshe, he established Wisdom Publications; in 1977 Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre, New Delhi; in 1989 Kurukulla Center, Boston; and in 1996, the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, Boston, which he now directs. He was a member of the FPMT board of directors from its inception in 1983 until 2002.
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Elaine Jackson
Elaine Jackson is one of the early founders of Vajrapani Institute. A student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1977, she has studied with many of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters of our time, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and others too numerous to list. In her secular life, Elaine founded, and for many years ran Sincerely Yours, a graphic design and print shop in Boulder Creek. She also served as Executive Director of Vajrapani Institute for five and a half years before retiring in 2008. Prior to entering a three-year retreat in 2010, Elaine engaged in a month-long solitary retreat every year for 14 years to deepen her practice. She continues to lead a contemplative life while offering teachings and meditation support and has served as the Resident Teacher at Vajrapani Institue for three years.
About
Rachel Ryer
Due to fortunate conditions, Rachel began meditating as a child and focusing on an academic study of Buddhist philosophy in 1984. This led to interest in several forms of Buddhist meditation. Having further opportunities to study with teachers in several lineages, eventually she joined Maitripa College’s first cohort, earning an MA in Buddhist Studies. Her experience with teaching includes 15 years of mostly public school K-12 curriculum (with a second MA from PSU) and facilitating courses (mostly Discovering Buddhism and Introduction retreats) in FPMT centers since 2009. Holding a serious interest in the secular ethics work of FDCW and Emory University, Rachel is currently teaching middle school English. She aspires to pursue more training as a translator of Tibetan language in addition to being a mother and daughter, sister and friend who writes, walks, breathes and works on her mind.
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Karuna Cayton
Karuna Cayton has been a practicing Buddhist for over 45 years. From 1975 until 1988 he lived at Kopan Monastery working for the late Lama Thubten Yeshe. Upon returning to the US he got his Masters in clinical psychology. Karuna has worked for over 30 years as a psychotherapist (MFT31860), teacher, business psychologist, and coach to help people achieve a more balanced life. His mission is to interpret the ancient teachings of Buddhist thought into modern language and interventions –without changing the purity of these universal ideas.
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Kerry Prest
Kerry Prest is the Center Director at Jamyang Leeds, United Kingdom. He is a former monk who studied at Nalanda Monastery in France. Kerry has worked full time for FPMT in various roles such as Education Coordinator, Events Manager and Director as well as teaching at many centers and organizations around the world. Kerry has a unique perspective in both secular ways of learning about the great traditions of Tibet.
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Shankha Mitra
Shankha has been an FPMT registered teacher sine 2009 and has taught Discovering Buddhism and Living in the Path courses at Kadampa Center in Raleigh NC prior to teaching at TNL. He has been studying the Dharma since the mid-90s. In addition to attending many teachings and retreats with Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and accomplished FPMT teachers such as Ven. René Feusi, he has attended lam rim, tantra and mahamudra retreats with great masters such as Choden Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenchab Rinpoche, Ribur RInpoche and Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa.
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Miffi Maxmillion
Miffi Maxmillion runs the spiritual program at Langri Tangpa, the FPMT center in Brisbane, Australia, and is a registered FPMT teacher. Miffi was brought up a Buddhist and had the great good fortune to play with Lama Yeshe as a child. His hook of compassion sustained her through the many rebellious stages of growing up. She took refuge with Lama Yeshe at age 10, and did her first lamrim and Nyung-ne with Lama Zopa Rinpoche at age 16. She left behind a thriving haute couture and costume business to help her mother Inta Mckimm, who established Langri Tangpa, when she became sick with cancer. Packing her bags for two weeks, she ended up continuing her mother’s life work. She is still there, teaching classes and leading pujas with great enthusiasm and joy, over twenty years later! Miffi’s passion is in bridging the seemingly disparate worlds of modern life and the rich inner experience of Buddhist practice. She readily admits to watching far too much late night TV and is an avid New Yorker Magazine reader.
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Dr. David Komito
Dr. David Komito is a professor of Asian Philosophy and author on the subjects of Mādhyamaka Buddhist philosophy, meditation and the psychology of religion. Dr. Komito received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, his M.A. in Religious Studies, M.S. in Counseling and Ph.D. in Tibetan Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. From 1986 through 1990 he was Dean of John F. Kennedy University’s Graduate School for the Study of Human Consciousness. Since 1987 has lectured at San Francisco Zen Center, Finding the Path to Liberation Buddhist Center and other Buddhist centers in the Western USA. After teaching at John F. Kennedy University and the University of San Francisco, he created the Religious Studies Program at Eastern Oregon University. Since retiring from Eastern Oregon University he has been teaching part-time in the Philosophy Department of Portland State University, Oregon.
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Ondy Willson
Ondy has been a Dharma practitioner since 1980, and established Yeshe Buddhist Group in 2001.She has served as a FPMT Touring Teacher since 2007, and has taught introductory and intermediate courses from Liverpool to Moscow. She specialises in making the teachings accessible and relevant to contemporary life and to this end created a Mindfulness Based Mind Training Programme (MBMT) that encapsulates Buddhist Psychology in a secular framework. As founder of her Wellseeing Consultancy, Ondy has much experience of delivering training to both the public and private sectors, as well as in Dharma settings. Initially trained as a Drama specialist, she was a storyteller and secondary school teacher for over 20 years, leaving her career in education as Head of Belief, Philosophy and Ethics. Ondy is also a published author and her new book The Spiritual Rebel: Mindfulness with Attitude is due for publication in 2022.
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Justin Jenkins
Justin grew up in Virginia and has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 2001. He has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Naropa University and an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Maitripa College, two of the three Buddhist colleges in the United States. He has worked for FPMT International Office as their Donor Services Coordinator since 2013, and is the former Spiritual Program Coordinator of Lama Yeshe House in Denver, Colorado. Justin is an FPMT-registered teacher and an instructor with the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW), an organization devoted to Lama Yeshe’s vision of Universal Education. He currently lives in San Diego with his wife Katrina and their dog Bianca.
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Martin Ström
Martin Ström is a long-time Dharma student and licensed psychologist. He attended his first teachings with Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the November course at Kopan Monastery in 2003. Other important teachers for Martin are Lama Lhundrup, Lama Alan Wallace, Geshe Sherab, Stephan Pende, and Venerable Robina Courtin. Martin is the founder of the FPMT center Yeshin Norbu in Stockholm, where he was also the director from 2017-2021. He is very inspired by Lama Yeshe’s vision of Universal Education and the Dalai Lama’s vision of Secular Ethics, and he has taught meditation and mind training to Leaders and staff of several large companies. Martin currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with his family.
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Eddie Peet
Eddie has been teaching at Langri Tangpa Centre since 1997. His classes are the deep dive in, and a welcome immersion into the complexity and richness of the Buddha’s teachings. Not shy of life’s dirty reality, several tragic life experiences brought Eddie to Buddhism. He first met the Dharma when he attended meditation classes with Ven. Pende Hawter, the founder of Karuna Hospice Service. Eddie is a registered western teacher within the FPMT, and has attended advanced study programs in Buddhist Philosophy and practice.
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Jimi Neal
Born in 1948 in Italy to American parents, Jimi was raised in America and attended the University of Southern California. He first came to India in 1971-72, and in 1974 met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. He was ordained by Lama Yeshe at Tushita in 1980. A monk for 15 years, Jimi divided his time between Nalanda Monastery in France, and India. Since entering lay life, Jimi has continued to teach and lead retreats extensively at many centers around the world
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Dr. Anouk Shambrook
With a passion to integrate science and spiritual inquiry, Dr. Anouk Aimée Shambrook’s path has taken her from earning a PhD in Astrophysics and being a NASA fellow to completing seven years of Vajrayana and Dzogchen meditation retreat. Taught to meditate as child, she lived for a year at Chagdud Rinpoche’s center in 1995, and was asked by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 1998 to start teaching. A Black Buddhist teacher, she integrates the latest in neuroscience with the Aware Ego Process, nondual meditation, and somatic tools in her executive coaching practice. Contributor to the anthology of Afrikan Wisdom: New Voices Talk Black Liberation, Buddhism, and Beyond, Dr. Shambrook uses trauma resilience as a tool to promote racial diversity, equity, and inclusion.
About
Daryl Dunigan
Daryl became interested in yogic traditions that utilize the rational mind on the path to spiritual development after clearly experiencing some of the benefits of yoga asana practice. He graduated with an MA in Philosophy from Loyola Marymount University in 2004 where he became familiar with the benefits and limitations of Western philosophical discourse regarding the range of human experience. Fortunately, one of Daryl’s extraordinarily kind yoga teachers suggested he look into Buddhism and noted that a Buddhist college was starting up in Portland, Oregon. After some research into the Buddhadharma and with a strong desire to effect positive change in his inner world Daryl moved to Portland in 2007 to begin studies at Maitripa College. In 2010 Daryl received his MA in Buddhist Studies from Maitripa College. He continues to study with Yangsi Rinpoche and has served as a teacher’s assistant for Rinpoche frequently over the past ten years. Since 2013 Daryl has led many Discovering Buddhism modules for Maitripa College’s Community Programs. He is a registered FPMT teacher who enjoys finding ways to integrate traditional Buddhist practices into our contemporary lives. He lives in Portland, Oregon and has a fondness for the spacious views in sub-alpine environments.
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Margo Van Greta
Margo van Greta is a pioneer of holistic spirituality, who brings Buddhist practices into our western culture. Involved with the Dharma since 1987, Margo has studied and practiced both in the East and the West. She received teachings from a wide variety of teachers, and attended Foundations of Buddhist Thought. She is an FPMT registered teacher for Discovering Buddhism and teaches classes and leads retreats. Most years she is able to do a month long retreat, often in O Sel Ling in Spain. She is the founder of Togme Sangpo Buddhist Group, which she started in 2012 with the blessing of her main teacher Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Originally from the Netherlands, Margo has lived and worked in the Findhorn Spiritual Ecovillage in the North East of Scotland since 1991. Currently she leads courses in contemporary spiritual and personal development inspired by this community. She also facilitates The Work That Reconnects, inner work for social activists.
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Paula Chichester
Paula Chichester is a student of Lama Thubten Yeshe, and many other lamas of all four branches of Tibetan Buddhism. Over the last 30+ years, she has engaged in extensive solitary meditation retreats and has studied many forms of complementary holistic healing, yoga and trauma resolution, music and dance. She uses all her studies to make the healing power of Buddhism accessible to people of all traditions - religious and scientific.
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Jon Landaw
Jonathan Landaw was born in New Jersey in 1944 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1965. After spending three years teaching English in Iran, Jon went to India at the end of 1970 where he first met Lama Thubten Yeshe and then Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. He spent much of the 1970s in Dharamsala, where he was English editor for the Translation Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. There he helped produce numerous publications while under the guidance of Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. Over the years Jon has worked extensively as compiler and editor of the oral discourses of the Tibetan Buddhist lamas with whom he studied; Wisdom Energy and Introduction to Tantra are among the earliest books of theirs that he helped produce. He is also the author of Prince Siddhartha, Images of Enlightenment (with Andy Weber) and Buddhism for Dummies. Jon has taught in many Dharma centers around the world. And since 1988 he and his wife, Truus Philipsen, who have three grown children, have been living in California’s Santa Cruz County, where he is associated with Vajrapani Institute in Boulder Creek and Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel. They currently live in Capitola.
About
Ven. Tony Beaumont
Tony Beaumont set off on his travels to South East Asia and India in the mid-seventies aged 25. Kopan Monastery became one of his destinations and so, most fortuitously, his path into Buddhism began. He attended Introduction to Buddhism, the now well-established month-long course held at Kopan, where he met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Venerable Tony remained in India and Nepal, intensively attending group courses and retreats for a full year before returning to Australia, where he embarked on a career in the health profession, training and then working as a psychiatric nurse. In the early eighties Venerable Tony decided to volunteer at Chenrezig Institute to experience life in a Buddhist community and to continue to learn the Dharma. Shortly after his time at Chenrezig, Venerable Tony ordained as a novice monk at the place where it all started, Kopan Monastery. Venerable Tony took novice monk ordination with Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche at Kopan in 1991 and full ordination in 1993 with Geshe Yeshe Tobden at Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Italy. For the next 17 years he was based between two monasteries spanning each side of the globe: Nalanda Monastery in France and Thubten Shedrup Ling, Bendigo, Australia. Chenrezig Institute has been home base again since 2014, but Venerable Tony travels frequently to teach and lead retreats at Tushita in Dharamsala and Kopan Monastery in Nepal. He also teaches at FPMT centres around Australia, including Chenrezig. In addition to his teaching work, Venerable Tony has also served as a prison chaplain in Victoria. Students find him a warm, wise and welcoming presence. His previous work and life journey deeply inform his teachings, making them very relatable and relevant.
About
Gustavo Cutz
Gustavo Cutz has worked at Wisdom Publications in Boston, and has been a volunteer with Shantideva Center in New York since 2008, where he facilitated Discovering Buddhism between 2012 and 2017 and has taught the course since, and has interpreted and summarized Geshe Thubten Soepa’s teachings on topics such as the Four Noble Truths, the eight worldly concerns, the six perfections, the dharmadhatu, the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, and Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, chapters 1-3. Gus is a clinical psychologist and currently practices on Long Island.
About
Bonnie Sewick
Bonnie has been practicing dharma since 1996, when she had the good fortune to meet Ribur Rinpoche at Vajrapani Institute, forever changing the trajectory of her life. She has been blessed to meet & study with many great teachers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenchab Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Khensur Denma Locho Rinpoche, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche. Bonnie has completed FPMT Spiritual Program Coordinator and Foundation Training and has offered service to FPMT as Spiritual Program Coordinator at Land of Medicine Buddha in California, Regional Coordinator for FPMT North America. She also founded and taught at Land of Compassion & Wisdom, an FPMT study group in Austin, Texas. Bonnie currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband Rick and works in marketing for a CyberSecurity startup.
About
Don Brown
Kadampa Center was founded by Don Brown, a heart student of Lama Yeshe. At the advice of Lama Yeshe, Don took on the role of a teacher. Don has served the center ever since in various roles that include the first Center Director, Spiritual Program Coordinator, Discovering Buddhism facilitator, and board member.
About
Scott Tusa
Scott Tusa is a Buddhist meditation teacher who has spent the last two decades exploring what it means to awaken the heart through the Buddhist path. Ordained by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, he spent nine years as a Buddhist monk, with much of that time engaged in solitary meditation retreat and study in the United States, India, and Nepal. He trained in Buddhist philosophy and meditation with some of the greatest living masters since his early twenties, including Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and Tulku Sangag Rinpoche. Scott teaches internationally in group and one-to-one settings, and is regularly featured at Tsoknyi Rinpoche's North American retreats, Tibet House, InsightLA, the Den Meditation, Nalanda Institute, Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center, Thubten Kunga Ling, Centro Yamantaka, Thubten Norbu Ling, and many other meditation organizations and communities.
About
Ven. Lhundup Jamyang
Ven. Jamyang, who is originally from the Netherlands, came into contact with Buddhism in 1997 at Tushita Meditation Center in Dharamsala. She soon realized she had a strong connection with both Buddhism and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Over the next few years she did several retreats and took ordination as a nun in 2000 at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. She has completed the five-year Basic Program and the seven-year Masters Program in Advanced Buddhist studies, including the retreat requirements. In between these studies, from 2007 until 2009, she worked at Buddha House, Adelaide, as SPC and teacher. She is currently teaching in India, New Zealand, and Australia. Students say that she is an engaging teacher with a knack for clearly explaining complex topics. Ven. Jamyang is the main writer of the study manual for the Middle Way subject of the Masters Program, and has been painting tangkas for more than twenty years.
About
Alan Marsh
Alan Marsh has been a student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and member of Vajrayana Institute since it began in the early 1980’s, under the directorship of Ven. Roger Kunsang. During his long association with Vajrayana Institute, he has occupied various positions on the management committee and was a member of the board of FPMTA for several years.
About
Murray Wright
A civil engineer, Murray Wright heard about Kopan Monastery while flying into Kathmandu for trekking in 1978. Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe opened his eyes to the profound inner reality of Dharma away from concrete and steel, which precipitated living and serving in FPMT centres for 20 years. He was a monk for 12 years, studying half that time at Nalanda Monastery, then spiritual program coordinator at two centres plus Central/International Office, and director of Land of Medicine Buddha. He has completed the Basic Program and been discussion leader for that, lead retreats and given teachings. He has done a number of the preliminary practices, currently making thousands of tsatsas. Considering himself still a beginner, nothing delights him more than sharing Dharma and seeing people transforming their lives into happiness through practice.
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Dr. Alan Molloy
About
Chuck Walbridge
Chuck Walbridge has been studying Buddhism under Tibetan masters since 1975. A close student of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he has received teachings from more than 50 Tibetan lineage holders including the heads of all 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism and has completed and led several retreats. Having been requested by Lama Yeshe, he joined the 1st western Geshe program in 1979 and was classmates with Ven Steve Carlier, Thubten Pende, Ven.Sangye Khadro, Ven Robina and Ven. George Churinoff. He has taught Buddhist meditation and philosophy for 45 years and has been a favorite instructor in the Road Scholar program for the last 15 years.
About
Ven. Kartsön
Ven. Kartsön was born in Israel and met Buddhism in his mid twenties while backpacking in India. He left his job as a software engineer a few years later, and trained as a Tibetan interpreter/translator with the FPMT translators programme. In 2005 he was invited to Chenrezig Institute - Australia and took up the position of the resident translator for the study Program a position he has held for 17 years. Recently he has also been working as the tutor for the advanced Buddhist study program, and giving regular teachings.
About
Jhampa Shaneman
One of the first western Buddhist monks in the Tibetan tradition of Mahayana Buddhism, Jhampa met Ven. Lama Yeshe and became his first male ordained sangha member in 1971. From that time Jhampa studied mainly in Dharmsala, India, learning the Tibetan language and studying under such masters as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, His Holiness's senior tutor and the Ven. Geshe Rabten and Geshe Dhargaye. Over the next 10 years in India he was introduced to many tenants of Buddhism interspersing this with periods of meditational retreat. He also had the opportunity to study with Masters of all 4 sects of Tibetan Buddhism and teachers of Vipassanna and Zen Buddhism. By 1980 he had completed 6 years of study of the sutras and tantras and approximately 4 years of short retreats such as the four preliminaries and several deities. In the fall of 1980 Jhampa entered the traditional great retreat and spent the next three and a half-year on the mountain above Dharmsala, India, under the guidance of Ven. Ling Rinpoche. Upon completing that he returned to Canada and established Thubten Choling Dharma center. Jhampa is no longer an ordained monk. He is a lay Buddhist practitioner. He is one of the first western practitioners to be given permission by His Holiness to teach all levels of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. His talks are spiced with humorous and fascinating anecdotes of his experiences of transforming a western mind to grip the Buddhist perspective. Being born and raised in the west gives Jhampa's way of sharing the insights of the east a uniquely relevant twist.
About
Steep Smith
Stephanie Smith was nicknamed Steep by Geshe Gelek Chodha, the resident teacher of the Kadampa Center, when he moved to North Carolina from Sera Je Monastery and resided in the top floor of her home for nine years. Geshe-la told her the name means she's going straight up. But she knows the word also means straight down, so Steep uses her nickname to remind herself the direction is in her hands. Steep has been leading Discovering Buddhism classes since 2009. She works as a custody mediator for the judicial branch in NC.
About

Meditation Leaders

Ven. Losang Dondrub
Ven. Dondrub began studying the Dharma at Drepung Loseling Institute in Atlanta in 2008. He took refuge vows from Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa in 2011 and novice monk ordination vows in 2013. For seven years, Ven. Dondrub served FPMT’s Guhyasamaja Center in Washington DC as spiritual program coordinator and on the board of directors. Since early 2021 he has been working on the spiritual program at The Buddhist Center Thubten Norbu Ling where he also teaches and leads meditation. Recently, Ven. Dondrub moved from Washington DC to Santa Fe to become our new center manager.
About
Ven. Katy Cole
Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Ven. Katy Cole has been a Buddhist nun for over 16 years. She ordained with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in 2004. Since 2003, Ven. Katy has served in a variety of positions within Lama Zopa Rinpcohe’s FPMT: as Liberation Prison Project’s spiritual program coordinator, chaplain coordinator, and on the project’s US Board of Directors; and at one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s residences in Aptos, CA, Kachoe Dechen Ling, helping with the numerous extensive offerings completed there every day. In 2008 she did a one-year retreat at FPMT’s De-Tong Ling Retreat center on the western side of Kangaroo Island, just off the coast of South Australia. Since 2013, and until the pandemic, Ven. Katy visited Lawudo Gompa annually for retreat, study, and to help Rinpoche’s sister with offerings in Rinpoche’s cave and main gompa, helping the tourists who come to stay, and baby cow care. Prior to meeting her teachers, Ven. Katy studied Vipassana meditation with practitioners from Myanmar. Ven. Katy has a BA Hons in Theatre Arts from Dartington College of Arts, U.K., a BA Hons in Psychology from Murdoch University, W.A, and a MA in clinical psychology from the University of Western Australia. She worked as a psychologist prior to moving to California to work for Liberation Prison Project. Ven. Katy is currently living north of San Francisco, leading meditations and pujas online over Zoom, studying, and engaging in Nyung Nay retreat.
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Ven. Thubten Chöying
Ven. Thubten Chöying/Sarah Brooks has been involved in FPMT for many years, studying and offering service at centers and projects in the United States and New Zealand. She has been a Foundation Service Seminar trainer and helped pilot the teacher training seminar After ordaining in January 2020 at Kopan in Nepal, she moved to Khachoe Ghakyil Ling (Kopan’s) Nunnery, where she is currently taking both in-person and online classes in the Basic Program, Tibetan language, and debate logic.
About
Charmaine Hughes
Charmaine first encountered Tibetan Buddhism in 1999 at her first teaching with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She is also a student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and has served Rinpoche’s center, Thubten Norbu Ling, since 2005. She served as Spiritual Program Coordinator from 2006 – 2009 and has led weekly meditation at the center for the last fifteen years. She has also served on the board of directors since 2019. She is a licensed psychotherapist, and an avid hiker and traveler — especially for dharma!
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Claudio Ruben
Claudio’s first real venture into Tibetan Buddhism was in July 1994, during one of Kopan Monastery’s summer courses. He remained curious about Buddhism in the ensuing years, but never made any formal commitment. Fast forward to summer 2003 in Santa Fe, when a friend suggested he should check out Thubten Norbu Ling. Much to his surprise, TNL was directly affiliated with Kopan Monastery. After gingerly dipping his toes into TNL, he would later serve on the Board for ten years (five years as Chair) and would receive his ngondro from Lama Zopa in 2013. When not joyfully leading Vajrasattva Practice, Claudio can be found at Garson Film Studios, where he serves as Managing Director or on a film set with his production company. He is originally from Milan, Italy.
About
Michael D. Jolliffe
Michael D. Jolliffe was assistant editor for ten years at Mandala, the official magazine of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). After graduating from Maitripa College he took advanced studies in the Maitripa Vajrayana certificate program. Currently, Michael works in FPMT International Office’s Education Services department. He is an active member within the Maitripa College community leading rituals and volunteering. At Yangsi Rinpoche’s request, Michael also teaches Discovering Buddhism and meditation in Maitripa’s Jokhang meditation hall.
About
Rowena Mayer
In the early 1980’s Rowena Mayer met the dharma for the first time when she attended a teaching with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Santa Cruz, CA. After she started going to Vajrapani Center in Boulder Creek, CA, for classes and retreats while she raised a family and worked as a teacher. In 2002 she moved to Santa Fe, NM and found Thubten Norbu Ling, and four years later she became the Center Director and guided the development of the program and community for twelve years. Rowena continues to support the center by leading protector practice and attending classes and pujas regularly.
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Scott Snibbe
Scott Snibbe, a twenty-year student of Tibetan Buddhism, is the host of the meditation podcast A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment. His teachers include Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, Choden Rinpoche, Ven. Rene Feusi, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inspired by these masters, he leads meditations that infuse authentic Buddhism with science, humor, and the realities of the modern world.
About
Mary M.
Mary served as SPC at The Buddhist Center Thubten Norbu Ling from 2019-2021 and at Ksitigharba in 2003. She leads meditations and pujas.
About

Facilitators

Bob Albers
Bob Albers has spent his working career as a research-level theoretical physicist focused on the study of outer science. Beginning in 2004, he has also dedicated himself to a serious study of the inner science of Buddhism. Now retired, he loves nothing better than to study, practice, and to delve deeper into Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy, particularly by reading and contemplating the classic texts and commentaries, and contemporary academic monographs. He has taught in the Liberation Prison Project and facilitates our Level 2 courses: Buddhism in a Nutshell and Meditation-101.
About
Julie Nagle
Julie works full time at the New Mexico School for the Deaf. She is the proud mother of a rambunctious 2 year old. She loves working with and helping to grow young minds and hearts. Julie has been a member of Thubten Norbu Ling for several years, including serving on the Board. Julie looks forward to helping to expand our Center’s programming to the youth of Santa Fe and elsewhere.
About
Stephen Azuma
Stephen has been a member of Thubten Norbu Ling community for several years. His goals are to gain a deeper understanding and experience by facilitating meditation practice; to help others benefit from setting up their own meditation practice; and to give back for all the teaching and support by helping Thubten Norbu Ling offer educational programs for members and the public.
About

Movement

Wendy Cook
Wendy was born in the beautiful Australian highlands and has lived in Boston for twenty-five years. With over thirty years of consistent yoga practice and over twenty years of teaching, Wendy draws from a deep knowledge of yoga and other somatic modalities. She has been a student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche since the late 80s.
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Gina de la Chesnaye
Gina de la Chesnaye is a contemplative based trauma and resiliency instructor and facilitator specializing in meditation, yoga, Qi Gong and Martial Arts. She is on the faculty of numerous organizations and works with private clients as well as trains clinical social workers, trauma therapists and humanitarian aid workers. Gina is the founder and director of The Nachan Project which offers mind body practices and humanitarian aid to the women and children of the Katwe slums, in Kampala, Uganda as well trainings in East Africa. She is a student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Venerable Robina Courtin and has led numerous volunteer and relief trips to Nepal.
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