Shastri Tom Berthoff has been practicing meditation since 1982, when he did his first Shambhala Training level in Aspen, Colorado. After moving to Boulder, Colorado in 1984 to be part of the Shambhala Buddhist community, he started formal study with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at the 1985 Vajradhatu Seminary. He graduated from Naropa University in 1987 with a Master’s Degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy.
He has been a meditation instructor and teacher since 1987, both in the US and Europe. His particular areas of expertise are mindfulness/awareness meditation, Lojong (mind training), and Buddhist and Shambhala liturgy and ceremony.
In 2015, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche appointed Tom to be Shastri (senior teacher) for the Philadelphia region, responsible for training and mentoring local teachers and meditation instructors.
Michael Carroll is the author of Awake at Work (2004), The Mindful Leader (2007) and Fearless at Work (2012), has been studying in the Kagyu-Nyingma and Shambhala Lineages since 1976 and is an authorized teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Shastri Alexander deVaron began meditating in 1980, and studying in Shambhala in 1982. He met Chögyam Trungpa in 1985, and was empowered as both a teacher and meditation instructor in 1986. From 1991 to 1996 he lived at Karmê Chöling retreat center, serving in the practice and study department. In addition to teaching in Shambhala, he teaches stress management programs for the Penn Program for Mindfulness, and music at Temple University. In 2010, Sakyong Mipham appointed him the Shastri (senior teacher) of the Philadelphia Shambhala Center.
Alison Driscoll has been a Shambhala meditation instructor and teacher since the mid-90s. After living in Boston for 35 years, she moved to Wilmington, DE several years ago with her husband, Richard, a fellow Shambhalian. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner and meditation director at Empowered Yoga in Wilmington, proud mother of a grown son, and a longtime hospice volunteer.
Jonathan Herson is a longtime student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and is currently studying the Scorpion Seal teachings with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He earns his living as an accountant, and his hobbies include poetry and painting. He is married and has a grown son.
Lisa Kraus came to Buddhist practice through dance and the arts-rich environment surrounding Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. As a student and later faculty at Naropa University (then Institute) in the ‘70s and ‘80s, she explored the commingling of meditation practice and movement, an interest which continues to this day. Her career has included performing and restaging dances for the Trisha Brown Dance Company, choreographing, teaching at universities and arts centers, writing and presenting the work of other artists as Coordinator of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series. Traveling extensively, she has been able to study and witness devotional dance practice in Asian cultures. With her husband, Tom Berthoff, she founded the Arnhem Meditation Group in the Netherlands, now a Shambhala Center. Along with Jude Robison and Asimina Chremos, Lisa co-founded the Contemplative Dance Practice Group at the Philadelphia Shambhala Center and has led CDP retreats in Bucks County and in Tel Aviv and Galilee, Israel.
Jude Robison has been a student in the Shambhala tradition since 1980. In addition to her activity as a meditation instructor and teacher, she is a co-coordinator of Contemplative Dance Practice. A former director of Karmê Chöling Meditation Center in Vermont, she also served on the Board of Directors of Shambhala International. She has a MFA in Book Arts from the University of the Arts, and currently works as an art preparator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.