Lopön is a Tibetan title that means “Teacher” and is a spiritual degree given in Tibetan Buddhism that is equal to a Masters of Arts (M.A.). It is equivalent to the Sanskrit term Acharya, which means a senior teacher in Buddhism, as well as in other Indian traditions such as Hinduism and Jainism.
Lama Tsultrim Allione has recognized two Lopöns in the Tara Mandala lineage to hold a direct role in the continuation and spreading of teachings as well as providing direction and guidance on all programs and paths offered.
Chandra Easton is the Dorje Lopön (Vajra Teacher) of Tara Mandala. She is the Assistant Spiritual Director and the Lead Authorized Teacher under Lama Tsultrim.
Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton
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, A.dzom 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.
Magyu Lopön Charlotte Z. Rotterdam has studied Tibetan Buddhism for the last 20 years, was authorized to teach by Lama Tsultrim Allione in 2006, and received the title of Magyu Lopön, lead teacher of Magyu: The Mother Lineage at Tara Mandala from Lama Tsultrim in 2016. Lopön Charlotte teaches in the US and abroad, often in partnership with her husband Pieter Oosthuizen, and co-leads the Boulder Tara Mandala Sangha. Lopön Charlotte received a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School where she studied comparative religion. She served as executive co-director of Tara Mandala for four years, and thereafter as Trustee and Board President. Currently she is an Instructor and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa University. The mother of two boys, she has published essays in Mandala, Lion’s Roar Online, and in an anthology, Fearless Nest. Pieter’s and her blog offers reflections on the intersection of Dharma and modern daily life: www.skymind.us.