Local Teachers

Way of Shambhala Directors

Shastri Pamela Bothwell

first encountered the Dharma at Tail of the Tiger (Karme Chöling Buddhist Contemplative Center) in Vermont in 1973. She has served as co-director of the New York Shambhala Center; Head of Practice and Study at Karme-Chöling; Head of Study at the San Francisco Shambhala Center; Ambassador to the Los Angeles Shambhala Center; and Co-Director of the Los Angeles Shambhala Center. In 2010, she was appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as Shastri for Los Angeles.

Katie Bainbridge

is a long time Shambhala Buddhist practitioner and student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She is a Jungian Analyst and a psychotherapist in private practice in Encino. She specializes in dream work and feminine development issues.

Bill Bothwell

is a senior student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, an accomplished lawyer and musician, and father to three young adults. He has studied and practiced the Shambhala and Buddhist teachings for over 35 years and has taught Shambhala Training levels for over 20 years.

John Beard

is a senior student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He has studied Buddhist teachings and practiced meditation for over 35 years and has taught Shambhala Training levels for over 25 years.

Guy Blume

has been a Buddhist practitioner for 20 years. He is a meditation instructor at the Shambhala Meditation Center Los Angeles and a Kado practitioner. In his other life he is an interior designer.

Tharpa Chotron

has been actively involved in the structure and growth of SMCLA since its inception, and has taught many Dharma classes here. She has also taught meditation under the auspices of Naropa University in Gangtok, Sikkim. She is an accomplished photographer who has exhibited in Los Angeles, India, and Sweden.

Johanna Demetrakas

is a former Resident Director of Shambhala Training in Los Angeles and also former Director of SMCLA. She co-directed Warrior Assemblies at Karme Chöling and in Mexico, and taught the first Heart of Warriorship Program in a prison in the U.S. A film-maker, her current film is Crazy Wisdom, a documentary on the life and times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

David Dubin, MD

is a long-time student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and is a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation. His medical practice is exclusively limited to neurofeedback. Dr. Dubin has offices at the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine in Santa Monica and in Beverly Hills.

Marcy Henry-Fink

has been a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 1977. Trained in both the sciences and the arts, she has been a stress management consultant for Boeing, and has worked with a start-up company that uses biofeedback and mindfulness/awareness exercises as tools for dealing with stress. As a member of the Los Angeles Buddhist and Interfaith Councils she worked for many years with the diverse religious communities in Los Angeles. She is a senior teacher and former Director of Education at SMCLA and travels frequently to teach.

Anne Fraser

has been a member of the Shambhala community since 1974. She was one of the founding members of the Shambhala Center in Chicago where she lived and practiced until 2008, when she and her husband went “on the road”. A former real estate lawyer with a large corporation, Anne is the mother of three and also a grandmother. Anne currently lives in Carpinteria CA with her husband Robert Lehmann and their two lhasa apsos, Kiki and Soso.

Laura Landau

is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, teaches Shambhala Art, is a meditation instructor and an assistant director for Shambhala Training.


Robert Lehman

has been a meditator in the Kagyu and Nyingma and Shambhala traditions for over 37 years. His original teacher was the Vidyadhara, the Ven. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Since his passing, he has studied with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche of the Mindrolling lineage. Robert and his wife Anne Fraser are retired and living in Carpinteria, CA with their two wonderful Lhasa Apsos. They also have three splendid children, all carving out their own paths.

Greg Lubkin

is a Westside resident who has over 20 years experience meditating and teaching in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.


Cynthia MacKay

Cynthia MacKay

has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche for over 20 years. She has traveled extensively through Asia receiving teachings from many other renowned Buddhist teachers, including the 17th Karmapa. Cynthia is now following in her teacher’s footsteps by running marathons. She is also actively involved in teaching meditation at Men’s Central Jail and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Malibu.

Marilyn Moore

is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She has served as the Shambhala Center Director and is currently the Head of Practice.


Chris O'Hare

Chris O’Hare

has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 1998. He has pursued his love of meditation through yearly retreats and additional trainings. Chris is inspired by the Sakyong’s teachings on Awakened Society, and looks for opportunities to help grow this in the Los Angeles sangha, his family lineage and beyond.

Sharon Owyang

has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 2007. She is the Head of Education at SMCLA, a writer, and world traveler.


Faradee Rudy

has been an active member of the Shambhala Community for the last 10 years. She began attending programs at the Toronto Shambhala Center in 2001 and lived at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado from 2004 to 2008. From 2008 to August of 2011 Ms. Rudy was the Executive Director of the Center for Living Peace in Orange County. She recently returned to school and is studying Interior Design at the Interior Designer’s Institute in Newport Beach. She also currently holds the position of Director of Societal Health and Wellbeing at SMCLA.

Joel Wachbrit

is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and has been a member of the LA Shambhala community since 1989. He has held many positions at SMCLA, the most recent was as Co-Director. Before that he served as Head of Buddhist Education for 7 years. Joel composes music for TV and film and is an accomplished guitarist. He is married to Jill Freeman and they have several children – all with four legs.

Claude Zachary

is a longtime student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He is an archivist/librarian at the University of Southern California, and married to Ali Lake.


Meditation Instructors

Katie Bainbridge
John Beard
Sheryl Beard
Guy Blume
Bill Bothwell
Pamela Bothwell
Patsy Brown
Darryl Burnham
Laura Burnham
Tharpa Chotron
David Cipriani
Johanna Demetrakas
Richard Demlow
David Dubin
Debra Dysart
Malcolm Dysart
David Ellerton
Marian English
Gil Figueroa
Michael Fink
David Fraioli
Anne Fraser
Nancy Gillis
Tom Gottlieb
Marcy Henry-Fink
Laura Landau
Robert Lehmann
Gregory Lubkin
John MacAdams
Cynthia MacKay
Alexandra Milsom
Marilyn Moore
Christopher O’Hare
Bruce Oglesby
Sharon Owyang
Lisa Oxley
Faradee Rudy
Anne Saitzyk
Steve Saitzyk
Ron Schultz
Carter Smith
Franny Smith
Kate Summers
Carolyn Sykes
Joel Wachbrit
Pearl Werbin
Gail Whitacre
Claude Zachary

Shambhala Guides

Vicki Allen SG
Edgar Anolin SG
Tara Bass SG
Patsy Brown SG
Shara Brown SG
Will Brown SG
Eric Chau SG
Aaron Crowe SG
Marian English SG
George Gomez SG
Jennifer Hannah SG
Marina Kantarovich SG
Mat Keel SG
Patrick Knisley SG
Les Landau SG
Todj Mandel SG
Jaime Marx SG,
Stephanie Miller SG
James Moore SG
Harish Rao (Orange County) SG
Leo Sullivan SG
Marguerite Stauthammer SG
Amanda Tasse SG
Alice Toohey SG
Barbara Vanek (Orange County) SG
Alicia Vogl Saenz SG
Jane Wiatt SG