The Shambhala Meditation Center is committed to helping students grow and develop their meditation practice. We offer two different opportunities to meet one-on-one with teachers: Private Meditation Instruction and the Personal Mentorship Program.

Private Meditation Instruction

Members of Shambhala New York City may informally work one-on-one with meditation instructors (MIs) as a benefit of membership and at no additional cost. Students meet with MIs to receive guidance on their practice and gain clarity on meditation techniques. The student and the MI will work together to determine the frequency of these meetings, depending on availability and need.

If you are a dues-paying member of Shambhala NYC and would like to meet with a Meditation Instructor, please email with your name and where you are on the Shambhala Training path.

Personal Mentorship Program

For a deeper, more formal commitment to developing your meditation practice, the Shambhala Personal Mentorship Program offers students (members and non-members alike) the opportunity to work one-on-one with a highly-qualified meditation teacher (Mentor). Mentors work with students to develop, guide, and integrate meditation training and dharma teachings into the student’s life paths.

Mentor Relationships include:

  1. Practice Accountability and Guidance – The Mentor checks in and provides guidance to help the student stay consistent with their practice and study. During monthly meetings, Mentors help students clearly set good intentions for practice throughout the week, and follow up on commitments to practice.


  1. Path Guidance – Mentors helps students figure out their course of practice, study, retreats, and connection to a lineage or lineages. Although students may already be taking the Shambhala core curriculum, Mentors may also help by suggesting readings and/or a homestudy path.


  1. Life Guidance – Mentors and students work collaboratively on how to apply dharmic principles to career, relationships, family, and all aspects of life off the cushion.  



  • Students from all levels and lineages are welcome, so long as they have a sincere intention to practice and learn the Dharma.
  • Students who are unsure about their path may be encouraged to further pursue study in the Shambhala tradition.
  • Students are required to commit to work together for a minimum of 6 months, meeting at least once per month, to ensure the student’s path has clarity, consistency and rigor.


  • Each meeting is 50 minutes in length.
  • Meetings take place in-person at the Shambhala Center in Chelsea or online via Zoom (or other video conference software that Mentors may prefer). Meetings may also take place at a third location, as agreed upon by the teacher & student.
  • Meetings typically occur monthly, however the Mentor and student may decide to meet more frequently during the first six months. After the initial six-month commitment, Mentors and students may choose to meet less frequently.


  • Typically $125-$200 per session; individual Mentors may be willing to work with students on pricing to accommodate their financial situation.

The Personal Mentorship Program is open for enrollment. If you are interested, email or call the Registrar at 212-675-6544. Please provide your name, which mentor (if preference), and any scheduling preferences. 

Shambhala NYC Mentors

Shastri Ethan Nichtern is a Shastri, a senior teacher, in the Shambhala tradition. He is the senior teacher in residence for the Shambhala NYC community. He is the author of several books. His most recent, The Dharma of the Princess Bride: What the Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships (North Point Press) has been praised by the New York Times and Los Angeles Review of Books. His previous book, 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.

Shastri Elizabeth Reid has been a member of the Shambhala NYC community since 1983. She began her studies with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and became a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. One of her roles over the years was establishing and guiding the first Learn to Meditate programs.  She has taught the full Everyday Life series curriculum and directed all Heart of Warriorship and Sacred Path Shambhala Training weekends. In addition, she has co-taught Assistant Director training. With a background in dance, theater and photography, she has led contemplative photography workshops and has a private practice as an Alexander Technique teacher.

Shastri Sheila Bascetta began the Shambhala path in 1981 and has served in varying roles in the New York Shambhala community over the years. She is a meditation instructor and teaches in the Way of Shambhala and Heart of Warriorship programs, as well as the Basic Goodness series. Sheila is a psychotherapist in private practice working with children, families, groups and individuals.


David Perrin is a meditation teacher and mentor in the Shambhala tradition. He is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, lineage holder of Shambhala. David has taught at MNDFL, and the Institute for Compassionate Leadership. He is a Licensed Creative Arts Psychotherapist, and Registered Drama Therapist. David is a Trustee at the Perrin Family Foundation, supporting youth social justice projects in Connecticut. He lives in New York City with partner Anne Kenan, and their three children.


Shanté Paradigm Smalls, PhD is a Teacher and Mentor in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.  Shanté is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the lineage head of Shambhala, and has been a student of Shambhala since 2006.  They are assistant professor of Black Culture and Literature, as well as as a performer and performance studies scholar. Dr. Smalls has published work on hip hop, film, queer performance, and a host of other scholarly topics. Shanté is also the Rusung or Area Protector of the Shambhala Center of New York City and is the head of the Pillar of Protection called The Dorje Kasung.

Rick Redondo teaches and leads meditation courses, retreats, and corporate workshops in New York City and around the Northeast. He enjoyed a successful career as an Options Trader in Chicago, before changing directions to pursue his passion for the arts. He is now an active filmmaker, actor and musician. He founded the New York City Heart of Recovery Group over seven years ago. He enjoys bringing meditation and art to everyday life.


Filomena Leonardi has been a student in the Shambhala tradition since 2009. Filomena is a partner at the global consulting firm, Spencer Stuart, where she regularly advises executives on talent management and leadership development considerations. Originally born and raised in Italy, Filomena has lived in several places, including London and Sydney. She has made  New York City her home for over 10 years. In her (limited!) spare time, Filomena is an enthusiastic ceramics artist at Greenwich House Pottery, and considers clay and the wheel her very first mindfulness teachers.

Maho Kawachi joined the faculty of Shambhala New York in 2015. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Kawachi never considered living in a foreign country until she arrived in New York in the early 90’s. She took a job in journalism and now works as a senior foreign correspondent for a Japanese business daily. As a business reporter, her wide-ranging news coverage spans topics from large multi-national corporations, such as Walmart, to small indie fashion brands. She encountered the Shambhala tradition in 2008 and, thanks to the guidance and constant nudging of wonderful teachers, has been a dedicated meditation practitioner and teacher ever since.