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 – Anna Raithel
Secretary – Celeste Young
Lama Tsultrim Allione, Chandra Easton, David Lipka, and Michele Nevarez.
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 Authorized 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.
Anna Raithel completed her B.A. in Religion and then lived at Tara Mandala for six years, working as Lama Tsultrim’s Executive Assistant and the Temple Manager. She studied Tibetan language and gyaling, coordinated the annual Drubchens, and was the lead umdze (chant leader) and chöpön (ritual arts leader). She recently finished her M.B.A. with a focus in Sustainable Development. She now lives and works in Portland, Oregon, as a strategy & leadership consultant.
Inspired to transform business into a force for greater good, Michele Nevarez specializes in positive organizational development and executive coaching, leveraging what we know about the brain, Emotional Intelligence, and Resonant Leadership. As Head of the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Training Programs for Key Step Media, Michele leads the design, development, and management of the suite of Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Training Programs. Specializing in coaching highly-driven executives and professionals, Michele leverages the framework of Emotional Intelligence to guide leaders as they tap into their self-efficacy by developing self-awareness, focus, and resilience. Michele is also an Adjunct Faculty Member for Cultivating Well Being in the Workplace: A Neuroscientific Approach a program developed in conjunction with Dr. Richard Davidson and Center for Healthy Minds, offered through University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. Michele brings over 20 years of executive Human Resources leadership and c-suite experience working for industry leaders in healthcare, manufacturing, investment management, government contracting, and management consulting. Michele received a B.A. in Religion from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Science degree in Positive Organizational Development and Change from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University and is a founding member of Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Boudhanath, Nepal.
David Lipka is a long‑time Buddhist practitioner who joined Tara Mandala in 2015. Since then David has actively engaged in both practice and providing legal support to Tara Mandala. David is a Colorado attorney in private practice who specializes in defending people with psychiatric issues facing the death penalty and life without parole. He has served on numerous boards at the state and local levels where he has advocated on behalf of indigent people in the criminal justice system. David and his wife Sarah Lipka are currently studying and practicing together in the Magyu lineage. They live in Colorado Springs with their two young children.