Who We Are

The Shambhala Meditation Center of New York is part of an international community of 165 meditation centers founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. The Shambhala Buddhist path, unique in the world of Western Buddhism, combines the teachings of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism with the Shambhala principles of living an uplifted life, fully engaged with the world.

Programs and classes in Buddhist teachings, meditation and other contemplative disciplines are offered as well as individual meditation instruction. The Center is home to a vibrant, diverse community of members and friends who provide ongoing volunteer and financial support – creating a warm, genuine basis for the realizing the full potential of our authentic wisdom traditions.


Sakyong Mipham RinpocheSakyong Mipham Rinpoche
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.

Rinpoche is the son and heir of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. Born in India in 1962, he received spiritual training from his father and from many of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters of our time. Rinpoche is renowned for his straightforward, practical approach teaching style and his skill at making even the most esoteric Buddhist teachings meaningful and relevant to an American audience. His bestselling book, Turning the Mind into an Ally, is a perfect handbook for starting a personal meditation practice. His latest book, Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies for Modern Life will be published this fall. To Learn more about Rinpoche, please visit: www.mipham.com

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche 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.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche the former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, is known as the foremost meditation master and teacher of 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 centers worldwide. Rinpoche encouraged his students to join their experience of meditation with such disciplines as Japanese archery, calligraphy, flower arranging, tea ceremony, health care, dance, poetry, photography, theater, education, business and psychotherapy. Rinpoche authored two dozen books on meditation, poetry, art and founded the Shambhala path of warriorship. To learn more, please visit:www.shambhala.org


The acharyas (Sanskrit, “senior teacher”) of Shambhala are deeply experienced teachers appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. The acharyas 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 centers. New York Shambhala center is pleased to host many Shambhala acharyas.

Acharya Pema ChödrönAcharya Pema Chodron
Acharya Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun, resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, and the author of such popular books as The Places That Scare You, When Things Fall Apart and Start Where You Are. Her life experiences as wife, mother, and school teacher, and her years of study and practice with Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, uniquely empowered Pema to speak directly to the heart issues of both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

Acharya Judy LiefAcharya Judy Lief
Judith L. Lief has been a Buddhist teacher for over 25 years. She was a close student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and worked with him as executive editor of Vajradhatu Publications and from 1980-1985 as the head of Naropa University, in Boulder Colorado. Acharya Lief is the author of the book Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality. Currently she is the Series Editor for the Dharma Oceans series, a collection of Trungpa Rinpoche’s work published by Shambhala Publications.

Acharya Gaylon FergusonAcharya Gaylon Ferguson
Acharya Gaylon Ferguson grew up on a farm in strictly segregated East Texas. In 1973, Gaylon joined Tail of the Tiger Buddhist Community (now Karme Choling), where he served in many capacities, including Executive Co-Director. In 1979, Gaylon journeyed West to serve as teacher-in-residence for the Berkeley Shambhala Center. In 1994, he was a Fullbright Fellow to Nigeria and completed a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology at Stanford University. Acharya Ferguson teaches widely in Sutrayana and Varayana Seminary programs, and is known forr his gentle, meticulous and penetrating style.

Acharya Arawana HayashiAcharya Arawana Hayashi
Acharya Arawana Hayashi is the Artistic Director of the Jo Ha Kyu Performance Group in Cambridge, which presents contemporary and Bugaku dance concerts nationally. As co-director of Naropa University’s Dance Program from 1975-1980, she was asked by Chogyam Trungpa to study and incorporate Bugaku into the body of Shambhala Arts. A senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition she has taught dharma art, Buddhism and Shambhala Training at centers around the world and serves on the faculty of the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership. She currently resides near Sky Lake Lodge in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

Acharya SpiegelAcharya Eric Spiegel
Acharya Eric Spiegel is among a small number of Western teachers empowered by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as a senior teacher (Acharya) representing the Shambhala lineage.  He has been teaching the Shambhala Dharma since the mid 1970s.  Eric has worked extensively with the ill and dying, helping them to realize their wisdom in the face of impermanence, and has had a decades-long career in finance.  He lives in a very old house in rural New York State.

For Bios of all Shambhala Acharyas, please visit: www.shambhala.org/teachers/