Our Lineage & Teachers
The Kootenay Shambhala Centre is part of Shambhala, an international community of meditation centres and groups founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and now led by his son and lineage holder Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Our lineage combines the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism with the Shambhala tradition of living an uplifted life, fully engaged with the world.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a spiritual and family lineage that descends through his family, the Mukpo clan of eastern Tibet. This tradition emphasizes the basic goodness of all beings and teaches the art of courageous warriorship based on wisdom and compassion.
Born in India in 1962, Rinpoche is the son and heir of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. He received spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas and received further education and training in Europe and North America.
The Sakyong now travels extensively, teaching throughout the world. He is married to the Sakyong Wangmo, Khandro Tseyang Palmo, daughter of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, head of the Ripa lineage.
For more about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, go to Shambhala's Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche webpage.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987) was one of the most dynamic teachers of Buddhism in the 20th century. He was a pioneer in bringing the Buddhist teachings of Tibet to the West and is credited with introducing many Buddhist concepts into the English language and psyche in a fresh and new way.
The former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, Rinpoche is known as one of the foremost meditation masters and teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In the early 1970s, he founded Naropa University, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America, along with over 100 meditation centres worldwide. He also authored two dozen books on meditation, poetry, art and the Shambhala path of warriorship.
For more about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, go to Shambhala's Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche webpage.
The acharyas (senior teachers) of Shambhala are deeply experienced teachers appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. They are empowered to offer Buddhist refuge and bodhisattva vows, and to bring the continuity of our spiritual lineage into the living teaching environment of local Shambhala Centres.
The Kootenay Shambhala Centre has hosted several acharyas over the years. We are honoured and delighted to have ongoing relationships with Acharya Jenny Warwick, acharya for the Pacific Northwest region, and Acharya Allyn Lyon.
For more about the acharyas, go to Shambhala's Acharyas webpage.
In 2010, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche empowered a group of about 60 teachers to the new role of shastri (literally, "teacher learned in the texts and commentaries"). The shastris' role is to bring the current understanding of the Shambhala Buddhist vision, teachings and path to their Centres and regions, to support local teachers, and to help build community. Serving terms of three years, the shastris of the Pacific Northwest are Susan Chapman (Vancouver), Rebecca Hazell (Victoria), Ben Hines (Seattle), and Matthew Lyon (Seattle).
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche had the profound conviction that the teachings he held could be transmitted to students in other cultures and that they, in turn, could be empowered to teach and lead others. Thus, within Shambhala, there is a strong emphasis on cultivating different levels of teachers and leaders. There are programs to train Shambhala Training Directors and Assistant Directors, Buddhist teachers, meditation instructors and Shambhala Guides. The Kootenay Shambhala Centre has teachers serving at all of these levels.
For more about shastris and other teachers, go to Shambhala's Teachers webpage.