Alice and Richard Haspray

Alice and Richard Haspray began practicing meditation in 1968 with the beloved Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind). After Roshi’s death in 1971, they continued with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as close students until his passing in 1987.

They were early leaders and teachers at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center (now SMC) from 1974 to 1977. In a true display of the great switcheroo, Trungpa Rinpoche sent them to the Big Apple in 1978—straight from the mountains of RMDC with no indoor plumbing—appointing Richard as one of the first Vajradhatu Ambassadors and Alice as a senior teacher. Continuing with the great switcheroo theme, in 1983 Rinpoche asked them to move from New York to Nova Scotia, which they did.  Nova Scotia is where they continue to live.

Alice and Richard have continued their meditation paths with Trungpa Rinpoche’s son and successor Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as well as with Khandro Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso, Thrangu Rinpoche, Kobun Chino Roshi, and good friend and mentor Pema Chodron. They have taught about meditation for more than forty years in North America and also in France, Spain, Chile, and Brazil. In early 2013, Pema Chödron asked Richard to be the director of Gampo Abbey and Alice to be the Abbey’s senior lay teacher and shastri-in-residence. Following their three and a half year stay at Gampo Abbey, they returned to their seaside home on St. Margaret’s Bay.

All together they have led thirteen Warrior Assemblies and many Shambhala and Buddhist programs, including teaching at Vajradhatu Seminaries with Trungpa Rinpoche and leading teacher and meditation instructor training programs. Both are students of Japanese tea, studying at the beautiful Yukoan tea space in Halifax. Alice has been a student of ikebana and Miksang contemplative photography as well, and she served as a shastri from 2010 to 2019. Richard worked in the field of mental health for nearly twenty years, and he brings that insight and experience to his teaching.