Our Teachers

Resident Shambhala Meditation Teachers:

Acharya Eric Spiegel grew up in a politically active family on Manhattan’s lower east side. In 1971, he met and became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He has worked in the financial sector for decades and since 2002 he has dedicated more time to teaching. In 2003 Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche appointed him an Acharya which means “senior teacher”. He is the Acharya for the New York Shambhala Community: he teaches and has students in NYC, around the U. S. and internationally. He has worked extensively with people facing death and with issues related to death and dying. He also works and teaches within the Shambhala tradition on developing a more awakened attitude toward wealth and money.

Ethan Nichtern is a Shastri, a senior teacher, in the Shambhala tradition. He is the senior teacher in residence for the NY Shambhala community. He is the author of several books. His most recent, The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (FSG North Point) made several major lists of the Best Books of 2015. He is also the founder of The Interdependence Project, an organization dedicated to Buddhist-inspired meditation and psychology, transformational activism, mindful arts, and meaningful media. He teaches and lectures around the world and is based in New York City. See more info at www.ethannichtern.com.

Shambhala Meditation Teachers and Mindfulness Instructors:

Vegan Aharonian, PhD began studying Shambhala Buddhism in 1996. Originally from Armenia (the former Soviet Union), he came to the US as a graduate student at Columbia University in 1991.  Besides New York City, Vegan has taught Shambhala programs in Russia and Ukraine.

Natalie Baker is the founder of Buddhist Psychotherapy NY & Neurofeedback NY, is a licensed psychotherapist and an advanced Zengar certified neurofeedback trainer in New York. She has over thirteen years experience as a psychotherapist in NYC treating clients with conditions such as PTSD, trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. She has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1992 and teaching since 2000 in the Shambhala tradition.

Richard Bascetta is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and is a senior faculty member of Shambhala Training. He is a partner and Managing Director of The Bascetta Group, a strategic consulting and M&A firm.

Andrea Doukas has been a student of Shambhala Buddhism since 1973, Ms. Doukas has served as Director of the Halifax Shambhala Centre and Director of the International Office of Practice and Education, and currently serves as Chöpön Corps Director. As well as extensive experience teaching and leading practice programs in the Shambhala Community, she has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick, and is currently working on her second novel.

Rupa Acharya Suzann Duquette is a senior teacher and representative of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She has been a student, leader, and teacher in the Shambhala lineage since 1974. A former co-director of Karmê Chöling, Suzann is currently Resident Acharya for the center and a core faculty member of Karmê Chöling’s Mukpo Institute. She is also Rupa Acharya. In this position, she is responsible for maintaining and fostering the sacred ceremonial and liturgical forms of Shambhala.

Shastri Nick Kranz has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 1997. He has developed an approach to cultural transformation in the practice of Social Meditation, and worked with Youth Leadership development in the Shambhala community for the last decade. He is interested in the intersection of social entrepreneurship, awakened intentional community, and collaborative right livelihood.

Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for more than 25 years in the United States and abroad. She maintains a lively private practice, is a Senior Teacher training Alexander teachers at the American Center for the Alexander Technique, and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City. She is a Meditation Instructor and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and a Focusing Trainer. Her particular passion is in assisting her students to discover how easeful, upright posture is an expression of their human dignity, confidence, and innate wakefulness.

David Nichtern is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. David was one of the initial American students of Trungpa Rinpoche and studied closely with him soon after his arrival in the United States in 1970. He has been co-director of the LA Shambhala Center and Karme Choling Meditation Center in Vermont, as well as Director of Expansion for Shambhala Training International and Director of Buddhist Practice and Study for OM yoga. David has been a featured writer and regular contributor to The Huffington Post and leads meditation workshops around the world and online. He is also a well known composer, producer and guitarist – a four-time Emmy winner and a two-time Grammy nominee. Connect with him through Facebook for more info and teaching:www.facebook.com/davidnichtern.

Allan Novick has been a Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970s when he began at the San Francisco Zen Center, then, a few years later, became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He is a meditation instructor and teacher at the NY Shambhala Center and a practice instructor at Nalandabodhi New York. He recently retired as a psychologist, having worked for most of his professional career in the NYC school system.

David Perrin is a meditation teacher and mentor in the Shambhala tradition. David is a founding Faculty member at MNDFL Studios, and the Institute for Compassionate Leadership. He is Executive Director of MNDFL Ed., bringing mindfulness, compassion, and community building practices to NYC schools. David is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, and Registered Drama Therapist. He has worked as a psychotherapist for Creative Alternatives of New York, and Counseling In Schools, among other agencies. David is a founding Trustee at the Perrin Family Foundation, supporting youth to be catalysts for social justice. David lives in New York City with his partner Anne Kenan and their three children.

Shastri Elizabeth Reid is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, having been a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and now the current Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. With a background in theater and dance and an ongoing relationship with photography, she is endlessly intrigued by the interplay between meditation and the arts. Passionate about bringing more body awareness to students in their practice and lives, she offers Alexander Technique based exercises in her teaching. She has a private practice in NYC as a Nationally Certified Alexander Technique Teacher.

John Sennhauser is a senior teacher whose involvement with Shambhala began in 1977 when he went to Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO to study in the dance and theater departments. He was at the time an attorney in Seattle representing Native Americans. He became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and then after his death, became a personal secretary of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the current lineage holder of Shambhala. John teaches from a perspective of integrating his personal background and experiences with the traditional and innovative teachings of Shambhala Buddhism.

Cynthia Spencer has been studying Qigong with Eva Wong since 2005 and is authorized by her to teach Levels I & II. She is also a meditation instructor and teacher, and a member of the Shambhala Buddhist community since 1979.

Lodro Rinzler is the author of several books on meditation including the best-selling The Buddha Walks into a Bar. Over the last fifteen years as a Shambhala teacher he has spoken at locations as diverse as Google, Harvard University, and Capitol Hill. Lodro’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, FOX, and the CBC. He serves as the Chief Spiritual Officer of M N D F L and founded the Institute for Compassionate Leadership.

Timothy Quigley has been practicing in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 20 years and has held a range of leadership roles at the Shambhala Center. As a professional musician, he has toured all over the world and has recorded with many artists.

Dr. Eva Wong is the 19th generation carrier of the Xiantianwujimen (Primordial Limitless Gate) lineage and 3rd­generation student of Wang Xiangzhai, the founder of Yiquan Zhangshuan (standing qigong). She will teach Qigong Level III at the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York in March 2016.