Our lineage

The Auckland Shambhala Centre is part of Shambhala, an international community of meditation centres and groups founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and now led by his son and lineage holder 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.


Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a spiritual and family  lineage that descends through his family, the Mukpo clan of eastern Tibet. This tradition emphasizes the basic goodness of all beings and teaches the art of courageous warriorship based on wisdom and compassion.

Born in India in 1962, Rinpoche is the son and heir of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. He received spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas and received further education and training in Europe and North America.

The Sakyong now travels extensively, teaching throughout the world. He is married to the Sakyong Wangmo, Khandro Tseyang Palmo (daughter of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, head of the Ripa lineage) with whom he has two young daughters.

For more about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, go to Shambhala’s Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche webpage.


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, 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.

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


The acharyas (senior teachers) of Shambhala are deeply experienced teachers appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. They are empowered to offer Buddhist refuge and bodhisattva vows, and to bring the continuity of our spiritual lineage into the living teaching environment of local Shambhala Centres.

The Auckland Shambhala Centre has hosted several acharyas over the years. We are honoured and delighted to have ongoing relationships with Acharya Richard John, Acharya Dale Asrael and Acharya David Hope.

For more about the acharyas, go to Shambhala’s Acharyas webpage.


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