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 was January 1971 and Christie was 21.

For the first two years in Boulder, Christie lived in a little downstairs room in Trunga Rinpoche’s house. He encouraged her to put away the guitar, practice meditation three hours a day, and enter month long retreats. Her life began to revolve around these meditation retreats and intensive study of Buddhism. Along with many other students, she began to teach a full range of courses-from introductory meditation intensives at Naropa University to Vajrayana sadhana classes. For many years beginning in 1973, she attended and taught at the annual three-month Vajradhatu Seminaries and worked closely during that time with Rinpoche on course curriculum design  and implementation. During the 17 years she resided in Boulder, Christie worked full-time in Trungpa Rinpoche’s international administration.

In 1987, when Christie moved to Nova Scotia, she spent a good part of each year in solitary retreat to delve further into the Shambhala terma tradition and vajrayana practice. During this time, she worked in the areas of environmental protection and dispute resolution before serving as Shambhala Training International’s Executive Director from 1999 to 2003.

In 1999, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche appointed Christie as an acharya, thus beginning for her a life of traveling and teaching. She enjoys teaching a variety of Shambhala Programs, but her main teaching focus has been on the Vajrayana path retreats: Werma Sadhana, Vajrayogini, Ngondro and Sacred World Assembly.  In 2012, the Sakyong requested that Christie offer a program The Sacred World of Kyerim, to both his Werma and Scorpion Seal students to enrich and ease their journey from the first stages of the natural and healing capacity to imagine into the sacred world of pure vision

Under the Sakyong’s guidance, Christie continues to work with curriculum development and the training of Shambhala teachers. She lives with her husband, Paul Cashman, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is an avid gardener and has recently taken a great interest in exploring local year round food production.