Tara Mandala is governed by a Board of Trustees in collaboration with the Executive Council.
The Tara Mandala Board of Trustees:
President – Pieter Oosthuizen
Vice President – Vacant
Treasurer – Vacant
Secretary – Celeste Young
Lama Tsultrim Allione, Chandra Easton, and Tulku Ösel Dorje
Lama Tsultrim Allione
Lama Tsultrim Allione, M.A. was one of the first American women to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She was ordained as a getsulma in 1970 by the 16th Karmapa. After four years as a nun studying Tibetan, practicing Buddhism and living in the Himalayas, Lama Tsultrim returned her monastic vows, married, and raised a family of three. She earned a M.A. degree in Buddhist Studies /Women’s Studies from Antioch University. She is the author of Women of Wisdom, a groundbreaking book on the lives of great Tibetan women practitioners. Her National Bestseller, Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict, (2008, Little, Brown & Co), connects the ancient principles of Buddhism with the modern psyche, based on the teachings of the eleventh century Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön. A panel of distinguished Buddhist scholars and practitioners from the Association for the Promotion for the Status of Women in Bangkok, Thailand selected Lama Tsultrim Allione as a recipient of the 2009 Award for Outstanding Women in Buddhism.
She founded Tara Mandala in 1993, a 700‑acre retreat center where a large three‑story mandala temple dedicated to the female Buddha of compassion, Tara, has recently been constructed. Tara Mandala offers a wide a variety of programs with a special focus on the lineage of Machig Labdrön.
Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Buddhist teacher and translator, studied Buddhism and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB’s religious studies department at which time she co-translated Sublime Dharma, A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published by Vimala Publishing, 2012. From the very beginning of her Buddhist studies, Lopön Chandra recognized the profound need to bring forth the voice of the sacred feminine in Buddhist theory and practice. Due to this, in 1999 during her first pregnancy, she met and then later began to study with Lama Tsultrim Allione, pioneering female Buddhist teacher, national best selling author, and founder of Tara Mandala Retreat Center.
Lopön Chandra is the Assistant Spiritual Director and Lead Senior teacher at Tara Mandala Retreat Center. She serves on the Tara Mandala Board of Trustees, develops programs and curricula for Tara Mandala, as well as teaches nationally and internationally. In September of 2015, during the final day of the White Dakini Drubchen, Lopön Chandra was enthroned as the Dorje Lopön (Vajra Teacher) of Tara Mandala under Lama Tsultrim Allione and given the name Lopön Yeshe Dawa Zangmo by H.E. Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche who presided over the ceremony with Lama Tsultrim. Lopön Chandra has had the good fortune to study with many Tibetan and Western Buddhist teachers such as H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, Jennifer Welwood, B. Alan Wallace, Gyatrul Rinpoche, Adzom Paylo Rinpoche, and Lama Pema Dorje. Lopön Chandra is currently on the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee, through which she teaches and organizes events in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently living in Durango, Colorado, with her family.
Pieter Oosthuizen is a teacher and entrepreneur and a long-time student of Tibetan Buddhism. He has been teaching various practices and retreats in Lama Tsultrim’s lineage in the US and abroad since 2006, offering a blend of incisive insight and genuine compassion. He co-leads the Boulder Tara Mandala Sangha with Lopön Charlotte Rotterdam, and serves as the President of the Tara Mandala Board. In addition to Lama Tsultrim Allione, Pieter studied with Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Adzom Paylo Rinpoche, and others. In the past, Pieter has brought innovative leadership to institutions such as Naropa University, where he served as Assistant VP for Academic Affairs, and Tara Mandala, where he served as Executive Co-director and Board Member. His years of leadership have been dedicated to creating healthy, creative, and effective organizations built on cultures of openness and authenticity. He is the founder and current CEO of Celsus Bio-Intelligence, a skin care company. Pieter received his Law degree in his native South Africa.
Celeste Young first came to Tara Mandala in 2017 for Kapala I at the invitation of a friend and never looked back. Today she is a student in the Magyu program, an Apprentice Teacher, and serves on the Mandala Committee for the Northern Sierra Sangha. She is a graduate student in the Master of Divinity program at Naropa University in Colorado and hopes to work as a hospice chaplain someday. Celeste also has experience leading global technology teams and startups on projects involving encyclopedias, personalized supplements, worldwide staffing, global marketing, Salesforce, and customer experience strategy. Her superpower is creating structure in chaos, and she particularly enjoys helping people work better together. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology from Harvard University.
Tulku Ösel Dorje
From his own personal retreat practice, Ösel Dorje has gained a strong appreciation for the importance of developing a deep understanding of the philosophical side of Buddhist study, while bringing it to life through meditation experience. Inspired by stories of realized masters of the past, Ösel Dorje has spent time traveling throughout the Himalayas meditating in the sacred caves and power places of Guru Rinpoche. He has done 4 years of strict retreat, completed five ngöndros (the foundational practices) and the traditional Lama, Yidam and Khandro practices from the Longchen Nyingtig and Ösel Dorje Sangdzod terma cycles. As a wandering yogi, he completed a traditional 108 charnel ground chöd pilgrimage in Ladakh. Throughout his retreats he has been guided by his root teachers Adzom Paylo Rinpoche, Sang-ngag Rinpoche, and his mother Lama Tsultrim Allione. He is enthusiastic about Buddhist Philosophy, Tibetan Buddhist history, and biographies of realized yogis and yoginis. He holds a Master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from Kathmandu University and is currently working on a PhD. Ösel Dorje was enthroned as the Dorje Gyaltsab (Vajra Regent) of Tara Mandala in 2019.