Our Teachers

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Sakyong Mipham RinpocheSakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a spiritual and family lineage that descends through his family, the Mukpo clan. 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 Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. Born in India, he received spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas and received further education and training in Europe and North America. He now travels extensively teaching worldwide.

Visit mipham.com for more information about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Chögyam 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.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, is known as one of the foremost meditation masters and teachers of Tibetan 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. He also authored many books on meditation, poetry, art and the Shambhala path of warriorship.

Read Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s biography on the Shambhala International website.

Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön is a leading exponent of teachings on meditation and how they apply to everyday life. She is widely known for her charming and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences.

Ani Pema studied under the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and currently studies with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. (Ani, meaning “Auntie”, is a Tibetan honorific for a nun.)

Ani Pema is the former director of Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners. She continues to teach there annually, as well as at the Omega Institute in New York state. Her numerous books include The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time to Lose and Practicing Peace in Times of War (now available in Afrikaans translation as Die Beoefening van Vrede in Tye van Geweld).

Visit Pema Chödrön’s website »

Our Resident Teachers

Shastri Jennifer Woodhull is Shambhala South Africa’s resident head teacher. She is a close student of Pema Chödrön and studies with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, head of the international Shambhala organisation.

Shastri Woodhull has studied and practised in the Shambhala lineage since 1984, and is authorised in this tradition as both a Buddhist teacher and a Shambhala Training director. She teaches regularly at dharma centres throughout South Africa. She has a special interest in the Tibetan Buddhist teachings that uncover the wisdom at the heart of our most distressing experiences. She lives in Cape Town, where she studies at the University of Cape Town and maintains a counselling practice.