Teachers

Over the 25+ years since Dorje Denma Ling was established, we have been fortunate to host many accomplished Buddhist and Shambhala teachers, as well as other directors who have shared their wisdom through contemplative arts, cultural and community-building retreats. The list is too long to present here.

The individuals featured on this page are teachers who will be leading online or in-person retreats during 2021.

Acharya Richard John

A longtime student of both the Vidyadhara and the Sakyong, Acharya John has for many years taught Shambhala Buddhist programs throughout North America. He completed the first three-year group retreat at Gampo Abbey, and leads annual 9-Day Mahamudra Retreats at DDL, Karme Choling, SMC and Casa Werma. Richard and his wife Liz live in Halifax.

Catherine Neill

Catherine Neill became the Executive Director of Dorje Denma Ling in February 2019. She has served in the Shambhala mandela in a variety of roles, including as Operations Commander for the Dorje Kasung, as Drala Regional Commander, and as a Resident Director of Shambhala Training. Catherine has been a member of the Shambhala community since 1981 and was a student of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. She is also a student of his son, Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche.

Christie Cashman

Christie first encountered the dharma as a young girl. During a long stay in Japan, she made daily visits to Buddhist and Shinto temples and began to feel a deep connection with the penetrating quietude of these environments. It was years later in 1968, while studying at the University of California in Berkeley, that Christie learned to meditate under the guidance of Suzuki Roshi. A few years later Christie picked up Trungpa Rrinpoche’s Meditation in Action.  Learning of Rinpoche’s “resonant and outrageous” lifestyle, she sold her belongings, packed a little bag and moved to Boulder, Colorado to become his student. That…

Christine Guest

Christine has been involved with the Shambhala community since the 1980’s as a student, teacher, and in various administrative roles at the Montreal Shambhala Centre. Originally from Vancouver Island, she moved to Montreal in 1978 where she had a short career as an ESL teacher and a much longer one as a professional photographer. Recently retired from her job as staff photographer the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, she now spends her time between Montreal and an old farm house in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia with her dog, Suki. Christine has been teaching Shambhala Training for more than 20 years, and…

Christine Heming

Christine Heming, a senior teacher in Shambhala, has been a meditation instructor and teacher of the buddhadharma for over 40 years.  She has been a student of the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She has completed a three-year retreat in the Kagyu Buddhist tradition. She lives in Port Royal, Nova Scotia.

Crane Stookey

Crane started meditating in the 80’s and heard Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche teach only 3 times, but he has always regarded him as his root guru. He has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and has also studied with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Crane was a dathun junkie, sitting 5 dathuns before attending Vajradhatu Seminary. He has been a meditation instructor since 1991, and is delighted to be part of another dathun, and especially pleased at the chance to practice oryoki again. Crane has also for many years been staff at Shambhala Sun Summer Camp, and led the Rites of Warriorship…

Elizabeth Callahan

JOINING VIA ZOOM Elizabeth Callahan began her contemplative training and Tibetan studies in 1977, and completed two three-year retreats at Kagyu Thubten Chöling, New York, under the direction of Kalu Rinpoche. She is a student of Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and has translated key texts of the Karma Kagyu tradition, including Mahamudra: Ocean of Definitive Meaning, Profound Inner Principles, and, most recently, Moonbeams of Mahamudra. She has been a Tsadra Foundation Fellow since 2002 and is the director of the Tsadra Foundation Studies Scholarship Program. Because of the current Covid situation in New York, Elizabeth Callahan won’t be travelling this…

Ella Milligan

Ella Milligan was born just outside of Chicago to students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In 1988 her family immigrated to Nova Scotia to be closer to the growing sangha. Her first encounter with practice was at the age of eleven when her father tricked her into participating in a meditation retreat. Although she never met Trungpa Rinpoche she feels that her practice has always been deeply rooted in his teachings, and feels very lucky that her “job” now is with the continuing effort to transcribe all his talks. Since 1998 Ella has studied under Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. She loves dathun…

Hope Martin

Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for 33 years, trained Alexander teachers for two decades at the American Center for the Alexander Technique, and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City. She is a Meditation Instructor, a Focusing trainer and has been a close student of Pema Chodron for 28 years. Her particular passion is in helping her students discover how easeful, upright posture is an expression of their human dignity, confidence, and innate wakefulness. To learn more about Hope’s work, visit hopemartinstudio.com

Irini Rockwell

Irini Rockwell has been internationally recognized for over 30 years as a Buddhist teacher, author, coach, and trainer. Her writings include two books: The Five Wisdom Energies, a Buddhist Way of Understanding Personalities, Emotions and Relationships (in 10 languages; published in 2002) and Natural Brilliance (published 2012). Of her calling, Irini explains, “For decades I have been deeply interested in the essence of who we are and how we can bring out our best to serve the world. The Five Wisdoms have been the vehicle to bring together my training in Buddhist dharma, psychology, meditation, (mindfulness and awareness), compassion, psychotherapy, leadership, mind/body disciplines, movement, and…

John McQuade

John McQuade is the founder of Nalanda Miksang Photography, and has established Nalanda Miksang teachers in North America, Europe and Australia. He is also co-author of two books in his field: Looking and Seeing, and Heart of Photography. He is currently on the faculty of the Halliburton School of Art and Design and is completing a PhD on the classic photographer, Edward Weston. John is also a practising Buddhist, having studied with Chogyam Trungpa from 1979 until Rinpoche’s death in 1987. Besides being an accomplished meditation master, Trungpa Rinpoche was also an artist, a poet and a photographer. Nalanda Miksang contemplative photography is based on the…

John Rockwell

John Rockwell has been on the path of dharma for 45 years. He met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1975 and studied and practiced the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings for 12 years with him, and in particular worked with him on translating Tibetan texts into English. For ten years, he studied and taught at Naropa University in the Buddhist Studies department. For many years, he served as an acharya or senior teacher for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and also studied intensively with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. John’s inspiration is to share the profound and practical teachings that he has received.

Kristine McCutcheon

Kristine McCutcheon is a student of the dharma, whose Shambhala and Buddhist practices include a 3 year retreat and receiving teachings from such as the Kongma Sakyong, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and others.  They are also students of these practices and encourage everyone to study, practice and realise the dharma directly through connecting with realised beings and ones Basic Goodness.  May all your connections be auspicious. Kristine is a householder and lives with her partner in Cape Breton between the mountain and ocean.

Lauchlan Learned

Lauchlan Learned has been a student of the buddhadharma and Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche since 1975.  In 1983, she moved to Karme-Choling, a contemplative centre in Vermont, where she worked for 5 years, serving as Head of Practice and Study.  During this time, she staffed or led several datuns a year.  After she moved to Nova Scotia, she continued to staff and lead datuns at KCL and in Nova Scotia.  Recently, she has staffed 3 datuns in Deer Park, in Bir India.  She has traveled extensively in SE Asia, having made 10 pilgrimages to India and Nepal.  Professionally, Lauchlan was…

Mark Nowakowski

Mark Nowakowski met the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1972 and has been his student ever since. He currently studies with other Kagyü and Nyingma masters. Mark is a senior member of the Nalanda Translation Committee and a senior teacher in the Shambhala mandala. He did his first Fire Offering in 1985, and his second that same year with the Vidyadhara, and with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche the following year. Since then he has led many Amending and Four Karma Fire Offerings. In 2006, he requested the Sakyong’s blessing and permission to do weekend rite-of-aid fire offerings to benefit our mandala…

Nancy Huszagh

Nancy became a student of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1979. In 2010, she completed the three-year-retreat at Söpa Chöling under the direction of Thrangu Rinpoche and subsequently assumed the role of Druppon (retreat master) for the latest retreat which ended in 2017. She has studied with a number of teachers over the years, including attending Scorpion Seal retreats with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Nancy attended the first dathun in 1981 when oryoki was first introduced, and more recently co-taught 2 mahamudra dathuns at DDL and served as meditation instructor at 2 CTR-style dathuns at Lerab Ling in France.

Scott Perkins

Scott Perkins is a certified Recovery Coach, Recovery Coach Trainer, and Meditation Teacher. He began practicing Buddhism in 1988 and completed a Master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from Naropa University in 1992.  Scott has been teaching on Buddhism and Meditation for over 25 years. Scott began his own path of recovery on Christmas Day, 2005 and has been exploring the intersection of recovery and meditation since that time. In his role as a Recovery Coach, Scott helps others craft personal paths/programs that supports their recovery from addictions and strengthens their ability to experience life with sanity, courage, and compassion. In 2006, Scott founded and continues to lead the Washington DC…

Scott Wellenbach

Scott Wellenbach has been a member of the Nalanda Translation Committee for over 30 years. He was an early student of Trungpa Rinpoche and is now a member of Ponlop Rinpoche’s Nithartha faculty. Scott is known for his learned and accessible teaching style, with particular emphasis on Mahamudra instructions.

Shastri Mary Campbell

As a student of Shambhala Buddhism, Mary has studied and practiced meditation extensively for over 35 years.   Since 2010, she has served as a shastri (senior teacher) for the Halifax Shambhala Centre.  Mary teaches widely, leading public and advanced programs.  Professionally, Mary is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatry and Mental Health and for many years has taught meditation within health care settings.  She has written on mindfulness for nursing publications and been a co-investigator in mindfulness research.  Mary lives in Halifax with her husband.

Shastri Steve Gleich

Shastri Steve Gleich feels very fortunate to have received teachings from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and their senior students and to have been in the Shambhala Buddhist world since 1982. He is now retired from 30+ years career in psychology and mental health and 10+ years career as woodworker. He has been married to Lilly for 38 years, and they are now living in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. He continues to volunteer with Dorje Denma Ling, Tatamagouche Shambhala Meditation Group, Dorje Kasung Land Group, and the local food bank.

Tom Bell, Senior Teacher

Tom Bell became a student of the Vidyadhara in 1972, and has been active since then in direct service to both of the Sakyongs and also to the current Sakyong Wangmo. He was on the staff of RMDC (Shambhala Mountain Centre) in the mid-70s, was the director of Karme Choling from 2000-2003, and has been an active Shambhala teacher since 1976. He has worked to support his family through a career in business and economic development in Colorado and Nova Scotia. His immediate family now numbers fifteen, including his wife, three children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren.