Teachers for The Mandala Principle Electives 2017

Joe Litven

Joe Litven

Joe has been a student of the Vidyadhara since 1973. He has taught meditation programs throughout the world and was Dean of teachers for Shambhala Training for many years in Halifax. More recently he has taught at all the Profound Treasury retreats, being called on in the past year to co-lead the Study Department at the retreat. Joe has also developed and facilitated innovative mindfulness programs for the public, including applications to addictions and health and wellness for corporations, government agencies and non-profits. He is a cyclist, cook and occasional singer at the retreat’s No Talent Show.

Deborah Luscomb

Deborah Luscomb, although primarily known for her decades of ritual textile production, has a passion for bringing people together around difficult, but necessary conversations. In addition to founding the Death Cafe in Halifax, she also facilitates Death Matters workshops and the One Year to Live course, as well as sitting vigil with the dying and coordinating funerals. She brings extensive training in meditation, contemplation, facilitation and deep listening… and a fine sense of humour… to our shared adventure.

Derek Kolleeny

Derek began the practice and study of Buddhism in 1976 under the guidance of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and has been teaching Buddhism for over 35 years. He has studied with other leading dharma teachers, primarily Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

Derek has held a range of leadership positions including serving on the Nalanda Translation Committee, serving as Director of Practice and Study of the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York from 2000-2005, founding and co-leading the Westchester Buddhist Center which is dedicated to the tradition of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and he has coordinated visits of many teachers including the XVIth Karmapa and the Dalai Lama.

Ellen Mains

Ellen became a student of Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche in 1971 in Montreal and has taught in the Shambhala community for many years in both America and Europe. She was Head of Practice at Karme-Chöling during the 1970’s and Director of Practice and Education at the Boulder Shambhala Center from 2003-2005. In addition to meditation, she has trained in several body-mind disciplines, including Kyudo (the Way of the Bow), and Inner Relationship Focusing.

During the last ten years, she has spent extensive time in Poland and plans to soon publish a memoir, Buried Rivers: A Survivor’s Daughter Revisits the Holocaust through Buddhist Eyes.

Michelle Laporte

Michelle is a longtime student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and other luminous, mainly Tibetan Buddhist teachers. When she is not at the Profound Treasury Retreat she can usually be found in Brooklyn, New York, where she practices illustration, painting conservation, and poetry, and teaches on climate change and resilience at Parsons School of Design.

Barbara Bash

Barbara has been walking the calligraphic path for many years with an interest in buddhist sensibility as expressed through western art forms. She studied Dharma Art with Chögyam Trungpa and has been a longtime Shambhala practitioner and meditation instructor. She teaches creative process through big brushwork and has collaborated with musicians, storytellers, and dancers to explore new forms of visual learning. Barbara has also trained in Nonviolent Communication and Focusing, weaving these communication practices into her teaching.

Chuck Lief

Chuck became a student of the Vidyadhara , in 1970 and worked closely with him until his death in 1987, serving in many roles including board member and chair of Shambhala International and its predecessors, Vajradhatu and the Nalanda Foundation, board member and chair of Naropa University, and personal lawyer and bursar to the Mukpo family. He taught classes at Vajradhatu Seminaries and many programs at Shambhala Centers in North America and Europe. He was named president Naropa University in 2012.

Chuck was the first president of the Greyston Foundation in Yonkers, NY, one of the earliest and best-known models of integrated nonprofit social enterprises in the country, providing services including housing for homeless families, childcare centers, and HIV/AIDS housing and healthcare. For decades Chuck has led non-profits organizations and served on non-profit boards of organizations working toward sustainable social and economic transformation.

Marty Janowitz

Marty is an Acharya within the Shambhala lineage. Since 1970, Marty studied, served, and ultimately taught under Trungpa Rinpoche’s instructions and strives to continue teaching and acting in accord with his guidance and lineage. In 1997 Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche appointed Marty as Warrior General of Shambhala—charged with advancing Shambhala’s commitment to the realization of enlightened society—human communities that at their core express the heart of goodness in action. Much of Marty’s current teaching focuses on the potential to realize such possibilities through the inextricable connection between the paths of personal and societal transformation. Inspired by that vision Marty has long been dedicated to integrating these paths through what he describes as “sacred activism,” with particular interest in environmental and social change. He is Chair of the Nova Scotia Roundtable on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity, is active in Buddhist climate change campaigns and other sustainability initiatives, and is a trustee of Naropa University.