Instructors facilitate Joy of Living programs, including residential retreats, and assist with Path of Liberation courses taught by Mingyur Rinpoche and other Tergar lamas. They also teach Exploring Buddhism courses, provide meditation interviews, and mentor Tergar staff and communities.
Cortland has practiced meditation for twenty-five years and has studied Buddhism around the world. He has spent time on retreat in monasteries and retreat centers throughout Japan, Burma, India, and Nepal, and for eight years lived in Tibetan refugee settlements near Kathmandu.
Cortland has a Ph.D. in Mind, Brain and Contemplative Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was mentored by renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson. He also holds a master’s Degree in Buddhist Studies from Naropa University. In addition to his work as an Instructor for the Tergar community and Chairman and Co-Executive Director of Tergar International, Cortland serves as Research Scientist and Chief Contemplative Officer at UW-Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds.
Cortland is actively involved in scientific research and has published articles on the impact of meditation practices on the body, mind, and brain. He has also published twelve books of translations of classical texts on Buddhist philosophy and meditation.
Cortland lives with his wife and son in Madison, Wisconsin. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time on retreat and traveling with his family.
Edwin Kelley first became interested in Buddhism in 1975 when he attended a meditation retreat near Perth, Australia. He later pursued a career as a public accountant and in 1992 went to Burma to undertake a six-month period of intensive retreat with the renowned meditation master Chanmyay Sayadaw. While practicing in Burma he ordained temporarily as a Theravada Buddhist monk.
In 1994 he was hired as Director of Operations by one of America’s best known meditation retreat centers, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS), in Barre, MA. Eighteen months later he was appointed Executive Director of IMS and served in that capacity until 2003 when he resigned to pursue further long-term intensive meditation practice.
Edwin first encountered Vajrayana Buddhism in Dharamsala, India in 1993 and became a student of Mingyur Rinpoche in 1998. He has a post graduate diploma in Buddhist Studies from the University of Sunderland in the UK. He moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Myoshin in 2009 to help establish the global Tergar Meditation Community. In addition to his work as a senior instructor, he currently serves as co-executive director for Tergar International.
Myoshin Kelley attended her first meditation retreat in 1975 at the age of 20. Through the ensuing years she has received dharma instructions from several renowned Buddhist meditation masters in the Theravada, Zen, and Vajrayana traditions. She has practiced extensively with the Burmese meditation masters Chanmyay Sayadaw, Sayadaw U Pandita, and Sayadaw U Tejaniya. In the early 1990s Myoshin received meditation instruction from the Soto Zen master Hogen Yamahata. Her desire for long-term meditation practice has taken her to Burma on several occasions.
In 1994 she accompanied her husband, Edwin, to the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA, where she was trained as a meditation instructor by Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzburg. Since then she has been teaching meditation in a number of places throughout North America. In 2003, she was appointed the teacher in residence at the Forest Refuge, the long-term practice center at IMS.
Myoshin was introduced to Vajrayana teachings in 1993 and met Mingyur Rinpoche in 1998 when he first visited the US with his brother, Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Since then she has practiced with Mingyur Rinpoche in North America and Asia benefiting from his skillful, lucid instructions on the profound teachings of Mahamudra. She moved to Minneapolis in 2010 to help support Mingyur Rinpoche in his worldwide vision and leads programs internationally and locally.
Tim began his Buddhist studies in 1977 under the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. In 1981, Trungpa Rinpoche invited Mingyur Rinpoche’s father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, to teach in Boulder. Profoundly moved by him, Tim and his family moved just a few months later to Kathmandu to study with Tulku Urgyen and his sons. During the twelve years that he lived in Nepal, Tim studied with many of the older teachers living there and worked as a psychotherapist serving the international community. In 2000, Tim moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where he served for three years as the director of Gampo Abbey, the largest residential Buddhist monastery in North America. He is presently the president of the Pema Chödrön Foundation, which supports Gampo Abbey.
In 2003, after a visit by Mingyur Rinpoche to Gampo Abbey, Tim started the Yongey Foundation to support and promote Mingyur Rinpoche’s activities in the West. Tim lives with his wife Glenna in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he leads an active community that follows Mingyur Rinpoche’s teachings and those of his family lineage.
Antonia Sumbundu was first inspired to become a meditator after seeing a segment from The Lion’s Roar, a film about the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, but it was in 1988 after attending a talk by the Dalai Lama that she began practicing formally. Antonia’s first Buddhist teacher was the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. Following his death in 1992, she studied with a variety of teachers, including Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. In 2002 she met Mingyur Rinpoche, and began to receive teachings from him.
Antonia was already a meditator with a keen interest in the clinical application of meditation when she began studying psychology. While chairing the Danish association for Cognitive Based Therapy, Antonia met Dr. Mark Williams, a renowned clinical psychologist and researcher in the field of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and began a long and productive collaboration with him. Antonia was one of the first psychologists to be trained in MBCT, and since then her work has focused on training professionals in MBCT and exploring the unique characteristics of MBCT supervision. She holds a Master’s degree in MBCT from Oxford University, and is an Associate with the Oxford Mindfulness Center.
A mother of two, Antonia lives in Denmark and has been involved with Tergar since its inception in 2009, as a leader in Tergar Copenhagen, as a facilitator, and now as an Instructor. She is also a member of the Tergar Board of Directors. She continues to play a key role in the training and mentoring of Tergar group leaders throughout Europe.
Facilitators guide meditation group sessions, offer meditation interviews, lead non-residential retreats, and nurture their local communities. They also facilitate Joy of Living programs, both in person and online.
Ekaterina Adabashyan has been practicing meditation in a variety of traditions since 2005, and became a student of Mingyur Rinpoche after meeting him in 2010. Katya is a leader in the Tergar Moscow community. In addition to studying Buddhist philosophy, her hobbies include publishing and jewelry making, but her main project these days is her son Amit.
Isboset (Set) Amador began studying Buddhism in 2004 while visiting India, and became a student of Mingyur Rinpoche in 2006. Since then he has devoted his time to study, practice, and leadership of the Tergar community in Mexico. Set is Chief Technology Officer for Tergar International and is also a member of the Board of Directors.
Scott Anderson has practiced yoga and meditation since he was a teenager. Since meeting Mingyur Rinpoche in 2010, he has dedicated himself to the practice and dissemination of Rinpoche’s teachings as one of the founding leaders of Tergar Madison. Scott is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he studies joint laxity and the mind/body interface.
Frédéric Auquier has been practicing and studying meditation since 2001, and has been a student of Mingyur Rinpoche since 2003. He works as a principal in an International High School in Paris and teaches literature. Since the fall of 2009, Frédéric has been in a leadership position with Tergar Meditation Community of Paris.
Ani Jude Avery
Ani Jude Avery met Mingyur Rinpoche in 2006 and became his committed student 2008. After immersing herself in the practice of meditation at Sherabling Monastery in 2014 Jude recognized the benefits and consequently responded to the requests of young international travelers by facilitating the Dharamsala Tergar group in North India. She now lives in North India where she continues her practice and hosts a Tergar group. She hopes that her committed approach to her life and work, inspired by Mingyur Rinpoche’s teachings, brings some benefit to others.
Franka Cordua-von Specht
Franka Cordua-von Specht was introduced to meditation in 2004 and became a student of Mingyur Rinpoche in 2007 in Vancouver. The meeting was pivotal and inspired her to attend Rinpoche’s teachings in Bodhgaya, India, in 2009. Foremost, she appreciates the profound transformative power of Rinpoche’s teachings on awareness, and in June 2013, she helped found the Tergar Vancouver Practice Group. Franka is the Community Support Manager for Tergar International and supports people interested to start meditation groups based on Rinpoche’s Joy of Living teachings.
Kelly Ekman had an interest in Buddhism and other Eastern traditions since a young age and spent much of her life exploring these belief systems. Kelly first met and took refuge with Mingyur Rinpoche in 2004. At his suggestion, she travelled to India and spent a number of years receiving teachings from Tai Situ Rinpoche, one of Rinpoche’s main root gurus. Kelly currently lives in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and now that she is retired, she is dedicating her life to promoting and advancing Mingyur Rinpoche’s teachings.
Mary Guo started regular Buddhism practices in 2001. Ever since she met Mingyur Rinpoche in 2007, Mary has been following him and involved in the group practice in Phoenix meditation center. Mary, a design engineer in the semiconductor industry, also enjoys yoga and tai chi.
Lucas Henriksson first met Mingyur Rinpoche in 2008. He spent the next three years studying Buddhist Philosophy and Tibetan language in Kathmandu, and was a monk between 2009 and 2015. Lucas lives in Sweden most of the time. He works for Tergar in the area of program development, and tries to keep the transcribing/subtitling teams busy.
George Hughes discovered Eastern philosophy and meditation while in high school, and has been a student ever since. He has also studied and taught yoga, massage, and other holistic healing modalities. George helped to found the Stuart, Florida Tergar Community in 2010. He has also co-managed Tergar meditation retreats in Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, and Nepal.
Kell Julliard has practiced meditation in a variety of traditions since his early twenties. In 2009 he met Mingyur Rinpoche and has since studied intensively with Rinpoche and the Tergar Meditation Community. During this time he has served as practice leader for the Tergar New York City Meditation Center. In addition to Kell’s role with Tergar, he currently serves as head of clinical research education at a large academic community hospital in Brooklyn, where he also teaches mindfulness meditation to faculty, residents, and staff.
Kasumi Kato grew up in northern Japan, where she learned to meditate from a young age. Since 2001, she has studied yoga, meditation, massage, and other healing arts throughout the world. She has received extensive training in mindfulness and other forms of meditation, and has a great love of solitary retreats. Kasumi has two Master’s degrees, and currently teaches Japanese.
Justin Kelley spent ten years living in India and Nepal, studying the Tibetan language, Hindu and Buddhist philosophical systems, and various meditative approaches. He first became a student of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in 2007 and has practiced under his guidance ever since. In 2015 he became a PhD student at Rice University in the Department of Religion, where he studies with Dr. Anne C. Klein. His research focuses on the psychophysical transformation that occurs within religious practice, and the ways in which these practices influence our understandings of identity and the world we live in.
Irina Kuznetcova has been practicing and studying meditation since she became of student of Mingyur Rinpoche in 2011. She devotes a lot of her time as a practice leader for the Tergar Moscow community and plays a big role in organizing Mingyur Rinpoche’s visits to Moscow. Irina loves reading Russian literature, meeting new people, and helping others to learn about meditation.
Abby Lindemann first discovered Buddhism and Meditation as a teenager during a service learning trip in Nepal and pursued a MA from Naropa University in Buddhist Psychology. She first received teachings from Mingyur Rinpoche in 2010 while living in Boulder before attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The focus of her PhD was the integration of mindfulness, compassion, and contemplative theory and practice in clinical interventions, supervision, and training. Currently, Abby is a Contemplative Psychologist and a Research Associate at the Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison.
Laurel Long has been a student of Mingyur Rinpoche since 2003. She, and her husband Wally, began hosting a Tergar practice group in their home in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007. She is now retired and living in Southern Oregon with her husband, where they continue to host a local Tergar group and activities. Laurel enjoys traveling and practicing the Dharma with the Tergar community.
Luis Machado has been practicing and studying Tibetan Buddhism since 2005 and became a student of Mingyur Rinpoche in 2009. Since then he’s been an active member of Tergar Brazil, helping the community in organizing events, translations and communication besides being a practice leader. Luis lives in Rio de Janeiro and is a marketing and advertising consultant. In addition to studying the Dharma, he loves yoga, traveling and the movies
Mark Moore is an educator, artist, and writer who has been studying meditation, philosophy, and sustainable development in India since 1995. He had the good fortune to begin his studies with H.H. the Dalai Lama and other great and generous teachers, and to deepen them in the Joy of Living and Path to Liberation/Mahamudra trainings with Mingyur Rinpoche in the 2000s. Since then, Mark has been involved with Mingyur Rinpoche’s work in various capacities, from ecological initiatives to writing and video subtitling projects, and as a practice leader. He is the founder of the Earthville Network in the US and the Dharmalaya Institute in India, and now divides his time between the Himalayas, the Alps, and the Rockies.
Alexander Scherbinin has been practicing and studying meditation in a variety of traditions since 1998, and has been a student of Mingyur Rinpoche since 2006. Professionally, Sasha is a management consultant. He has served in leadership for the Tergar Moscow since 2010.
Maya Sepulchre developed an interest in meditation and Buddhism while working for an NGO in Nepal. She has been a student of Mingyur Rinpoche since 2007. Maya is a professional photographer, has also worked as a translator, and is a leader with Tergar Puebla. With the support of the Tergar en Español translation team, she translated Mingyur Rinpoche’s most recent book, “Transforming Confusion into Clarity,” for the Spanish community.
Sree Sukumar grew up in Hong Kong and practiced Medicine in the UK. Inspired by meeting Rinpoche in 2003, he started meditating, and discovered tools that would not only change his outlook but change his life beyond all recognition. In 2016 he made the drastic decision to give up his job, his home and family to dedicate himself full-time to practice. Rinpoche has asked him to guide daily meditation practice for the upcoming 4-month residential retreat for Tergar Transformative Learning.
Stephanie Wagner had been meditating for several years prior to meeting Mingyur Rinpoche in 2009. Immediately she felt a sense of connection to Rinpoche’s message that anything in daily life can be used an opportunity to wake up. Stephanie is a board-certified health coach with a Master of Arts in Integrative Health and Well-Being Coaching from the University of Minnesota and is a trainer and program specialist with Healthy Minds Innovations.
Justin Walker has been practicing and studying Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years. He received his first teachings from Mingyur Rinpoche in 2003. In 2006 he assisted Rinpoche with the development of the Tergar community in Arizona. He lives in Tucson, AZ where he is an Associate Dean at the University of Arizona.
Holger Yeshe has been practicing meditation since 1999. He has been a student of Mingyur Rinpoche since 2005. He ordained as a monk in 2010 and has been primarily focusing on studying the Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy. He has been a co-leader of Tergar groups in Nepal, Germany, and Dharamsala, India. After living abroad for 17 years, Holger Yeshe is back in Germany to support the Tergar community there.