We are very fortunate to benefit from having the support of the community of incredible teachers and ordained sanga who visit regularly to give teachings, empowerments and mini retreats.
Khensur Rinpoche is one of the last generation of Tibetan Buddhist scholars to begin their educational careers in Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion. He has played an instrumental role in the reestablishment and preservation of Tibetan Buddhist traditions in exile, and in the spread of Tibetan Buddhism to the Western world. Highly regarded for his scholarship and depth of religious practise, Rinpoche teaches frequently in New York, Washington D.C., and at Do Ngak Kunphen Ling (DNKL), a Tibetan Buddhist center in Connecticut, where he hosted a visit from the Dalai Lama in 2012. He is abbot emeritus of Gyumed Tantric College, head of Mey College’s Thewo regional house at Sera Monastery—one of the largest Tibetan monasteries in exile—and Spiritual Director of DNKL where he resides. Khensur Rinpoche is the author of the book The Easy Path.
Geshe Thubten Sherab was born in 1967 in a small village in the province of Manang, the western part of Nepal, to a Kagyu-Nyingma family. He entered Kopan Monastery at the age of nine and completed his Geshe studies at Sera Je monastery in South India, followed by a year at Gyume Tantric College. He then completed retreat and teaching assignments both in the U.S. and Asia. He served as Head Master of Kopan Monastery’s school for four years, overseeing debate training and tantric training activities. Geshe Sherab understands and connects very well with Western students, presenting the Dharma in an accessible, warm, and open manner.
Geshe Sherab taught and helped in FPMT International Office for two and a half years in Taos, New Mexico, from 2001-2003, and also served as Director of the FPMT Board for a few years. After he returned to Nepal from the United States, Geshe-la was in retreat for a year and was then appointed as Head Master of Kopan. For the last few years, he has been travelling and teaching at FPMT Centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe. geshesherab.com
Paula Chichester began studying Buddhism when she was 14 at Berkeley High School in California. At university, she studied systems theory and has applied that to her 40 years of meditation. Understanding the whole body/mind/culture/ environment of the practitioner makes each person’s journey in Tibetan Buddhism unique. As a dancer, Chinese Chi Gung practitioner, healer, singer, student of psychology, ecology, she brings all these elements into the understanding of the whole person and how tantra works in this greater context. She has spent the last 33 years practicing full-time — 23 years preparing for and completing long retreats — under the guidance of her inspiring kind teachers: Lama Thubten Yeshe, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche and Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche. She has also studied with teachers from all 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Her goal in life has been steady since childhood: to realize Mahamudra and do all she can to bring peace to our world.
Venerable Robina Courtin has worked full-time for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, since her ordination in the late 1970s. 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. Venerable Robina is known for her straightforward and energetic teaching style, helping people discover the potential of their own minds with clear explanations about Tibetan Buddhism and how to apply it to their lives.
Don Handrick is the resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling (TNL) in New Mexico and teaches for FPMT at the Ksitigarbha Tibetan Buddhist Center in Taos. Gen Don also serves as a Board member and Buddhist teacher for Liberation Prison Project, which includes teaching Buddhism at a local prison in New Mexico. Gen Don’s study and practice of Buddhism began in 1993 when he read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Over the next two years, he practiced with Rigpa, Sogyal Rinpoche’s organization, until he began attending classes with Venerable Robina Courtin at Tse Chen Ling, the FPMT center in San Francisco. At the beginning of 1998, Gen Don left the Bay Area to attend the FPMT’s Masters Program of Buddhist Studies. in Sutra and Tantra, a full-time seven-year residential study program in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Geshe Jampa Gyatso. By 2004, he successfully completed the program and received an FPMT final certificate with high honors. Soon after, Don moved to Santa Fe and served as the Spiritual Program Coordinator for TNL, and in 2006 he was appointed Resident Teacher. donhandrick.com
(Ven. Lobsang Chodren) first encountered Tibetan Buddhism in 1987 at KopanMonastery in Nepal. Since then, she has spent a great deal of time engaged in meditation retreats, study, teaching, and Buddhist center management throughout the world. Prior to encountering Buddhism, Ven. Amy was a political fundraiser in Washington, DC and also worked for Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco, California. Ven. Amy also trained as an emotional support 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.
A past director of Vajrapani Institute in California and Milarepa Center in Vermont, Ven. Amy was ordained as a Buddhist nun in June 2000. She has been teaching extensively since 1992 and is happy to help people connect with meditation and mindfulness in an effort to gain a refreshing perspective on stressful living. amymiller.com
Venerable Lhundub Tendron took refuge at the FPMT’s Kadampa Center in Raleigh, NC in 1997. With the guidance of Geshe Gelek Chodha, she requested ordination. Following Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice, she took ordination with Geshe Lhundub Sopa at Deer Park in 2002. She joined the Chenrezig Nuns Community in Australia to develop a stable foundation for living in vows and learn from the senior nuns in residence. Here she met her teacher Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering and studied the Basic Program. Venerable Tendron completed the FPMT Basic Program in 2007.
At the request of Geshe Gelek she returned to Kadampa Center as a spiritual program coordinator and teaching assistant. In 2012, returning to Chenrezig Institute she studied the Master’s module on Lama Tsongkhapa’s text, Illumination of the Thought.
In 2016, she became the resident teacher at Thubten Kunga Ling in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Currently, she continues her teaching in Florida and follows Rinpoche’s advice to incorporate more time in retreat.
According to Venerable Tendron, she teaches from “her experience of learning to counter self-centred, disagreeable, angry, impatient, lazy states of mind with the golden teachings of the Buddha, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and all her patient, kind teachers”.