Local Leaders

The Shambhala Council is the governing body of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles. It is comprised of the heads of all the areas in which Shambhala offers programs and events. It takes many individuals to create our LA Shambhala world.  Here’s who we are. To contact anyone on the list please check your Members/Friends Directory or leave a voice message at the Center.

Regional Acharya – Allyn Lyon
Center Co-Directors – Debra Dysart*, Tom Gottlieb*
Shastri – Pamela Bothwell
Chagdzo – Tom Gottlieb
Southwest Regional Representative of the Shambhala Office of Culture and Decorum — Guy Blume
Local Representative of the Shambhala Office of Culture and Decorum — David Fraioli

Shambhala Buddhist Education

Director – Sharon Owyang*
Deputy of Education – Kim Nagel Christensen
Supervising Coordinator of Shambhala Training (Heart of Warriorship) — Marguerite Stouthamer
Supervising Coordinator of Way of Shambhala I Weekly Casses — Jeff Wiatt
Supervising Coordinator of Sacred Path — Open
Supervising Coordinator of Way of Shambhala II Weekly Classes — Open
Special Progarms Coordinator — Kim Nagel Christensen
Open House and Thursday Night Public Programs Coordinator — Cynthia MacKay
Open House and Thursday Night Hosts Coordinator – Patrick Knisely
Vajrayana Education Coordinator – Open
Ashe Society – Allison Conant
Visiting Teacher Coordinator – Open


Director – Marian English*
Westside Practice Coordinator – Sheryl Beard
Vajrayana/Ngöndro Practice Intensive Coordinator – Patsy Brown and Marian English
Feast Coordinators: Gail Whitacre and John Beard (Westside)
Head Shrine Keeper: Open
Meditation Instructor Coordinator: Chris O’Hare
Meditation Instructor Assignment Coordinator: Nancy Gillis
Umdze/M.I. Rota: Alicia Vogl Saenz
Rota Reminder: Renee Klang
Liturgy Librarian: Open

Contemplative Arts

Director – Guy Blume*
Deputies – Alicia Vogl Saenz
Kado and Ikebana – Guy Blume
Kyudo, Coordinator – Marian English
Miksang – Darryl Burnham
Contemplative Writing – Alicia Vogl Saenz and Debra Dysart
Shambhala Arts Festival – Guy Blume
Shambhala Art – Anne Saitzyk
International Shambhala Art Festival Coordinator – Amanda Tasse

Societal Health and Well Being

Director – Faradee Rudy*
Membership Coordinators – Jason Elias, Gil Figueroa, Jane Wiatt
Families and Children – Laura Burnham
Volunteer Coordinator – Open
Work Study – Alice Toohey
Head of Diversity – Alicia Vogl Saenz
Hospitality Coordinator – Open
Culture and Decorum – David Fraioli


Head of Outreach – Kate Summers

Community/Social Transformation

Heart of Recovery – George Gomez, Carter Smith, Stephanie Miller
Meditar en Español – George Gomez, Lisa Oxley, Alicia Saenz
Young Sangha – Alex Rodriguez, Marina Kantarovich
Prison Dharma – Cynthia MacKay, Kate Summers
Salons – David Fraioli, Lisa Oxley, Karen Schwarzman, Jason Elias
Running Group – Cynthia Mackay, Alicia Saenz, Eric Chau
Food Bank – Lynn Kelley-Piper
Medidate (Developing) – David Fraioli
Mental Health Consultation Group for MIs (Developing) – Open
AwakeLA Day (Developing) – Jason Elias

Media and New Media

Shambhala Film Festival (Developing) – David Fraioli, Karen Schwartzman, Jason Elias
TheDailyGround.com (Developing) – Open
ShambhalaMediaLab.org (Developing) – Open
Shambhala Filmmakers Forum (Developing) – David Fraioli< Harish Rao
Shambhala Film Night – Anne Saitzyk, Sharon Owyang, David Fraoli, Harish Rao
AwakeLA.org – TBD


Regional Director for the Windhorse Regiment – Darryl Burnham
Rusung* – Ed Anolin
Khenchung – Open
Desung – Laura Burnham


Director* – Tom Gottlieb
Assistant – Alice Toohey
Development – Open
Council Secretary – Kim Nagel Christensen

Communications Mandala

The Director of Communications – Eric Chau*
Publicity Leads – Jenny Hannah and Danny Pugh
Web/Graphic Designer – Sara Apelkvist
Blog – Alicia Vogl Saenz
Website – Pamela Bothwell (Editor), Claude Zachary (Maintenance) and George Gomez (Consultant)
Email Newsletter – SMCLA: Malcolm Dysart; WESTSIDE: Open
Graphic Arts – Sara Apelkvist, Danny Pugh, and Elaine Welinder
Social Media – Jenny Hannah and Ezra Herman
Press Releases – Kathy Gronau
Analytics– Open

Information Systems

Archives – Claude Zachary
Audio Visual – John MacAdams
Database Management – Alice Toohey

Bookstore Manager – Alicia Vogl Saenz

Master of Environment – Guy Blume

Facilities – Tom Gottlieb, Alice Toohey

Westside Meditation Group

Co-Coordinators – Anne Saitzyk* and Jason Elias*
Westside Meditation Steering Committee – John Beard, Claude Zachary, Anne Saitzyk, Greg Lubkin, Tom Gottlieb, Stanley Weiser, Kathy Gronau, Sharon Owyang, Sheryl Beard, James Moore, Kate Summers, Jason Elias, Lisa Oxley, David Fraioli, Carter Smith, Franny Smith, David Dubin, Marina Kantarovich, Alex Rodriguez
Practice liaison – Sheryl Beard
Feast coordination – John Beard
Shrine Keeping – Merritt Davies
Umdze/M.I. rota – John Beard

Orange County Meditation Group

Co-Coordinators – Gil Figueroa and Marilyn Moore
Steering Committee Chair – Barbara Vanek*


*denotes membership in the SMCLA Council

Email la@shambhala.org for more information.