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.
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.
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.
Lucas first met Mingyur Rinpoche in India, in 2008. He spent the next three years pursuing a BA in Buddhist Philosophy and Tibetan language in Kathmandu. After his studies, he moved back to Sweden and spent more time in solitary retreats between 2012 and 2015.
Lucas lives in the countryside of Sweden. In his work for Tergar International, he writes content and curriculums for the Joy of Living, Path of Liberation, and Vajrayana Online programs.
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 director of clinical research at a large community health system in Brooklyn, where he also teaches mindfulness meditation to faculty, students, and staff.
Kasumi grew up in northern Japan, where she learned to meditate from a young age. She has received extensive training in meditation and yoga, including over a year spent in solitary meditation retreats as well as numerous group retreats. She currently oversees Tergar’s activities in Japan and translates for Mingyur Rinpoche. She holds two Master’s degrees, and spent 15 years teaching Japanese at the University of Wisconsin. She now works for Tergar International as a curriculum expert. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time meditating in retreat.
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.
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.
Tsunma Kunsang Palmo met Mingyur Rinpoche in 2006 and became his committed student in 2008. After immersing herself in the practice of meditation at Sherabling Monastery in 2014 Kunsang Palmo 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.
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. Antonia continues to play a key role in the training and mentoring of Tergar group leaders throughout Europe.