Lama Palden Drolma

lamapalden Lama Palden Drolma is the founder and spiritual director of Sukhasiddhi Foundation. She completed the traditional Tibetan Buddhist three-year retreat in the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu lineages under the previous Kalu Rinpoche’s guidance in 1985. In 1986 she became one of the first Western women to be authorized as a lama in the Vajrayana tradition. In addition to Kalu Rinpoche, she has studied with many of the great Tibetan masters from all lineages, including the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Dezhung Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama.

With overwhelming gratitude to her gurus, Lama Palden transmits, trains and mentors students, passing on the profound and precious teachings and practices that enable one to reach full and complete awakening in this lifetime. She focuses on translating Vajrayana Buddhist principles and practices in ways that make them accessible to Westerners. Lama Palden was profiled in Shambhala Sun magazine as one of the women “changing the face of Buddhism.”

Lama Palden’s background is in comparative mysticism and psychology. As a licensed psychotherapist she has done groundbreaking work in the intersection of the spiritual and psychological aspects of our humanity. She is deeply committed, as was her root guru, Khabje Kalu Rinpoche, to ecumenicalism and interspirituality.

Watch a video about Lama Palden: The Awakening Feminine

Teachers’ Council

The Sukhasiddhi Teachers’ Council is composed of authorized teachers who have engaged in extensive spiritual practice and study within our lineages. Guided by Lama Palden, the Council develops and delivers the Sukhasiddhi curriculum and provides mentoring and support for Sukhasiddhi practitioners.

lamadrupgyu Lama Drupgyu Tenzin, (Anthony Chapman), a student of Kalu Rinpoche since 1972, and a monk from 1974 to 1995, participated in the first traditional three-year retreat for Westerners from 1976 to 1980, in France. Kalu Rinpoche subsequently appointed him as Lama of his center in Paris, and later Lama Drupgyu became the first westerner to be appointed Druppön, or Retreat Master, leading  three-year retreats on Saltspring Island, Canada. Subsequently, he participated for six years in the translation of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Knowledge. Lama Drupgyu assisted in the establishment of Tsadra Foundation, a New York based non-profit that supports development of Vajrayana in the West, and is currently Vice-President.

lamadondrup Lama Döndrup has practiced and studied in the Buddhist tradition for over twenty years. After five years of Theravadin Buddhist training, she immersed herself in the teachings and practices of the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu Vajrayana lineages. In 2005, she completed the traditional three-year retreat and was authorized as a lama. Upon her return to Marin County, she began teaching classes and leading pujas at Sukhasiddhi Foundation. Lama Döndrup enjoys guiding students through creation and completion stage practices; helping them to feel confident in their own understanding of the rituals and teachings; and supporting the natural unfolding of their innate wisdom. In addition to her Buddhist practice, Lama Döndrup has trained in the Diamond Approach for seven years and has a Masters of Fine Arts degree in piano performance. She is on the piano faculty at San Domenico Music Conservatory.

patberube Lama Pat (Pat Berube) first started meditating over 30 years ago and has studied with Asian and Western teachers. For over 14 years, she has studied with Lama Palden, completing both the 5-year Shangpa lineage program and intra-lineage teachers training with both Lama Palden and Sensei Lew Richmond. She has been teaching at Sukhasiddhi since 2007.  She holds a masters degree in counseling and has been an RN for nearly 40 years.  Her personal interest is in psycho-spirtual development and integrating the dharma in every day life.  Through teaching, she is excited to share in the study and practice of the dharma with others. Pat directs the Clear Light Institute at Sukhasiddhi, which supports contemplative approaches to dealing with illness, death, and dying.

annikbrunet Lama Annik (Annik Brunet) has been on the spiritual path for 30 years and has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1995. After completing the Shangpa lineage practice program and the teacher training program, she was authorized by Lama Palden as a dharma teacher. Annik also holds a master’s degree in photography. Her life-long impetus has been to explore the mystery of phenomenal appearances, and the practice of art as a means to cleanse the doors of perception. This quest eventually led her to the path of direct access Vajrayana offers. Alongside this passion for art and dharma, Annik is committed to facilitating the exploration and actualization of the openness and kindness that reside at the heart of every being.

stephengross Lama Stephen (Stephen Gross) Waking up has been Stephen’s life-long passion. Many paths and interests have presented themselves along the way including a fortuitous meeting with the previous Kalu Rinpoche in Mill Valley, CA in the mid-80s where he took refuge. This seeded Stephen’s interest in Vajrayana and eventually led him to study with Lama Palden, opening the door to starting and completing the Bodhi and Shangpa lineage practice programs. Fascinated with the human psyche, he attained his Master’s in Psychology and practiced as a licensed psychotherapist for 17 years. Stephen’s interest in the intersection of Buddhism and Psychology manifested in teaching a “Buddhism and Psychology” class at JFK University. Now, using his humor and love of the Dharma, Stephen teaches classes at Sukhasiddhi on topics such as: the Chenrezig puja, the Prajnaparamita Sutra and Karma.

Contributing Teachers

We are fortunate that several accomplished Buddhist teachers frequently accept Lama Palden’s invitation to teach or co-teach classes and programs at Sukhasiddhi.

arigoldfield2 Ari Goldfield had the unique experience of being continuously in the training and service of his own teacher, Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, for eleven years. He now teaches in Rinpoche’s Karma Kagyu lineage, with the blessings of the head of the lineage, H.H. the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, and of Khenpo Rinpoche. Ari is a published translator and author of books, articles, and numerous songs of realization and texts on Buddhist philosophy and meditation. He and his wife, Rose Taylor Goldfield, currently teach in San Francisco under the auspices of Wisdom Sun, the practice and study community they established together in 2011.

RoseTaylorGoldfield2 Rose Taylor Goldfield is a second-generation Buddhist teacher in the Karma Kagyü lineage, with the blessing of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and her teacher Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. She teaches Buddhist meditation, philosophy, yogic exercise and dance, and classical Tibetan language. Rose has written and translated books, articles, and numerous songs of realization. Her book, Training the Wisdom Body: Buddhist Yogic Exercise, was recently published by Shambhala.