Shedra Faculty

Ani Pema Chodron

Gampo Acharya Ani Pema Chödrön taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. She first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972  and received novice ordination from His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa in 1974. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bhikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong. In 1984 she moved to Gampo Abbey to be its first director. From 1990–1996 she participated in the first group of three-year retreatants at Söpa Chöling.

She currently teaches in the United States and Canada, and is active in helping to establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well in continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. She has written many books and bestsellers: The Wisdom of No Escape; Start Where You Are; When Things Fall Apart; The Places that Scare You; No Time to Lose; Practicing Peace in Times of War and most recently Taking the Leap – Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. All are available from Shambhala Publications.

Gelongma Pema Chödrön is one of the senior teachers of the Vidyādhara Institute and will be teaching the Shedra course The Essential Principles of Shambhala in Spring 2013.

Full biography.

Lodro Sangpo

Gelong Lodrö Sangpo is a student of the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. After receiving his first ordination in the Karma Kagyü Sangha in 1984, he moved to Gampo Abbey in 1985 and received bhikshu ordination in 1987 from H.E. Jamgön Kongtrül Rinpoche. From 1990–1996 he participated in the first group of three-year retreatants at Söpa Chöling and afterwards entered a four-year study retreat. He served as acting Director of Gampo Abbey for some years and is one of the co-founders of the Nitartha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies.

Lodrö Sangpo currently is head of the Chökyi Gyatso Translation Committee and has published an English translation of Erich Frauwallner’s The Philosophy of Buddhism (Motilal Banarsidass). His annotated English translation of Louis de La Vallée Poussin’s Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośabhāṣya was published in 2012 (4 volumes: Motilal Banarsidass). He is presently working on an English translation of Professor Lambert Schmithausen’s Collected Writings.

He has been a senior teacher of Vidyādhara Institute since its inception and serves as its chair.

Khenpo Dr. Karl Brunnholzl

Khenpo Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl was trained as a physician and presently works as a Tibetan translator and Buddhist teacher. He studied Tibetology, Buddhology, and Sanskrit at Hamburg University as well as Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators in Kathmandu.

Currently he is a translator and interpreter for the Tsadra Foundation, Nalandabodhi, and Nitartha Institute. In 2009 he was appointed as the first Western khenpo (in the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages) by Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche. He is the author and translator of The Center of the Sunlit Sky (2004), the first in-depth study of the Kagyu interpretation of Madhyamaka in a Western language; Straight from the Heart (2007), an anthology of Buddhist pith instructions; In Praise of Dharmadhātu by Nāgārjuna (2007) with commentary by the Third Karmapa; Luminous Heart (2009), the Third Karmapa on Buddha-nature, consciousness, and wisdom; Gone Beyond. The Prajñāpāramitā Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Kagyu Tradition (2011–2012: 2 Volumes); The Heart Attack Sutra: a commentary on the Heart Sutra (2012).

Karl is a full faculty member and adviser of Vidyādhara Institute.
Israel Lifshitz

Israel Lifshitz holds degrees in physics and mathematics from the National University of Mexico. He has been involved with Tibetan Buddhism since 1992 and has studied under Kagyu, Gelug and Nyingma teachers. His teaching activities include courses and retreats throughout North, Central, and South America and he has served as translator into Spanish for many Tibetan and Western teachers.
Israel has been a full faculty member of Nitartha Institute since 2010 and is currently director of the non-sectarian Tibetan Buddhist Center in Morelia, Mexico.

He teaches the Madhyamaka and Grounds and Paths courses at Vidyādhara Institute.

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