Our lineage

The Auckland Shambhala Centre is part of Shambhala, an international community of meditation centres and groups that was founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and was until recently led by his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Our lineage combines the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism with the Shambhala tradition of living an uplifted life, fully engaged with the world.  Our lineage family includes teachers such as:  Pema Chödrön,  Judy Lief and some of the pre-eminent Tibetan Rinpoches now teaching in the West.

Some recent news:    chronicleproject.com/open-torii-and-letters-of-support about directions being taken in our sangha to re-open the full array of our lineage inheritance teachings, along with letters of support from  Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche 



Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987) 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.

The former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, Trungpa Rinpoche 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 centres worldwide. He also authored two dozen books on meditation, poetry, art and the Shambhala path of warriorship.

Trungpa Rinpoche’s unique approach encouraged students to engage with the Buddhist path without religiosity or a sense of having to ‘become anything’, or distance ourselves from the real contemporary world.

For more about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, go to Shambhala’s Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche webpage.


Our Auckland resident teacher and Shastri is Helen Bennett. Resident teacher for Wellington is Shastri Marion Bond.

Internationally, we call on a wealth of senior teachers, many of whom were Trungpa Rinpoche’s senior students.  In recent times, these teachers have joined us online, and this is likely to continue for the future.