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.

*denotes membership in the Shambhala Los Angeles Council

Southern California Regional Director: Sharon Owyang * [email protected]
Shastris: Marcy Fink, Marilyn Moore and Joel Wachbrit
Chagdzo: Justin Basch*
Center Administrator: Alice Toohey
Southwest Regional Representative of the Shambhala Office of Culture and Decorum: Guy Blume
Local Representative of the Shambhala Office of Culture and Decorum: Carolyn Sykes*

Practice and Education

Director of Practice:  Open
Eagle Rock Director of Education: Debra Dysart (acting)
Westside Director of P&E: Julie Larsen 
Westside Deputy Director of P&E: Open
Vajrayana/Ngöndro Practice Intensive Coordinator: Open
Feast Coordinators: Josh Northcutt ER and Kate Summers WS
Head Shrine Keeper: Open
Meditation Instructor Coordinator: Chris O’Hare
Ashe Society: Karen Schwartzman
Supervising Coordinator of Shambhala Training (Heart of Warriorship): Open ER
Supervising Coordinator of Way of Shambhala I Weekly Classes: Open ER, Open WS
Supervising Coordinator of Sacred Path: Open
Supervising Coordinator of Way of Shambhala II and Buddhist Studies Weekly Classes: Barbara Vanek
Special Programs Coordinator: Kim Christensen
Thursday Night ER Public Program Coordinator: Cynthia MacKay
Thursday Night ER Hosts Coordinator: Open
Wednesday Night WS Public Program Coordinator: Open
Wednesday Night WS Public Program Hosts Coordinator: Candace Peterson-Kahn
Vajrayana Education Coordinator: Open
Visiting Teacher Coordinator: Alex Lippman

Contemplative Arts

Director: Anne Saitzyk*
Kado and Ikebana: Elayne Rail
Kyudo: Open
Miksang (Contemplative Photography): Darryl Burnham
Contemplative Writing: Debra Dysart
Shambhala Art: Anne Saitzyk
Creativity Lab: Darryl Burnham, Debra Dysart, Laura Landau, Angela Lloyd, Anne Anderson Saitzyk, Steven Saitzyk, Elayne Rail, Carolyn Sykes, Amanda Tasse, Alice Toohey, Elaine Welinder

Societal Health and Well Being

Director: Jenny Hannah*
Membership Coordinator: [email protected]
Membership Assistants: Rhona Lebner OC, Open WS, Open ER
Families and Children ER: Laura Burnham
Care Team Coordinator: Jennifer Gilman
Volunteer Coordinator: Ruth Katz
Head of Diversity: Open
Hospitality Coordinator: Open
Culture and Decorum: Carolyn Sykes*

Community and Social Transformation

Heart of Recovery ER Coordinators: George Gomez, Carter Smith, Stephanie Miller
Healing Circle Coordinators ER: Darryl Burnham, Laura Burnham, Chris O’Hare, Alice Toohey, and Dustin Rubin
People of Color Meditation Group Coordinators: Tiffany Dixon and Karen Ma
Queer Pride Meditation Group Coordinators: Patsy Brown and Alicia Vogl Saenz
Group on Aging Coordinators: Marilyn Moore and John MacAdams
Young Meditators WS Coordinators: Josh Northcutt
Young Meditators ER Coordinators: George Gomez and Alexandra Lippman
Prison Dharma: Cynthia MacKay, Kate Summers, John MacAdams and Deirdre Waters
Food Bank ER: Lynn Kelley-Piper
Mental Health Consultation Group for MIs (Developing): Open


Regimental Commander for the Windhorse Regiment: Darryl Burnham
Regimental Desung Commander: Laura Burnham
Rusung: Open (ER) and Chris Rempel* (WS)
Khenchung: Steven Whitacre (ER) and Open (WS)
Desung: Laura Burnham (ER)* and Kate Summers (WS)
NCO: Open
ROTA coordinator ER: Steven Whitacre
ROTA coordinator WS: Open


Director: Justin Basch*
Assistant: Open
Development: Open
Council Secretary: Allison Conant*
Bookstore Manager: Amanda Tasse

Communications Mandala

Director of Communications:  [email protected]
Publicity Leads: Open
Head of Outreach: Open
Web and Graphic Consultant: Open
Website: Claude Zachary (Database/Calendar) and Open (Webmaster)
Email Newsletter: Open
Graphic Arts: Open
Social Media: Open

Information Systems

Archives: Claude Zachary
Audio Visual: John MacAdams
Database Management: Alice Toohey
Digital Audio Archives Supervisor: John MacAdams and Joel Wachbrit

Eagle Rock Meditation Group

Center Director: Renee Klang*
Deputy Coordinator: Open
Eagle Rock Meditation Steering Committee: Open
Environment Mandala: Mo Suradiman
Shrine Keeper: Jonathan Sacks
Umdze/M.I. ROTA: Renee Klang

Westside Meditation Group

Coordinator: Open
Deputy Coordinator: Open
Westside Meditation Steering Committee: Anne Saitzyk, Kathy Gronau, Kate Summers, Fred Cassidy, Joshua Northcutt, Julie Larsen, Candance Peterson-Kahn
P&E liaison: Julie Larsen
Environment Mandala: Fred Cassidy
Shrine Keeping: Catherine Corwin
Service ROTA:

Orange County Meditation Group

Coordinator: Open
P&E Liaison: Dan Siakel
Culture & Decorum Liaison: Elayne Rail
Membership Liaison: Mellodee Nguyen
Communication Liaison: Open
Finance Liaison: Marilyn Moore
Health & Well-Being Liaison: Open
Steering Committee: Sepi Tabai, Shauna Eheler, Gil Figueroa, Marilyn Moore, Tony Nadratowski, Pablo Nardi, Mellodee Nguyen, Elayne Rail, Chrissy Roletter, Steve Savlov, Barbara Vanek and Elaine Welinder
Steering Committee Secretary: Shauna Eheler
Film Night Coordinator: Open
MeetUp Coordinators: Gil Figueroa and Marilyn Moore
General Environment: Open

Email [email protected] for more information.