Our Instructors and Guides

Shambhala Path Meditation Instructors

Instructors are particularly trained to support students who are on the Shambhala training path.

Coordinator, Meditation Instructors: instructors@shambhalaottawa.ca.

Don Adams was introduced to meditation through a day-long workshop held by the Ottawa Shambhala Centre in 1999. That same year he began coming to the Centre taking courses and doing the Shambhala Training weekends. In 2008 he became a trained Shambhala Teacher and Meditation Instructor. He is currently a student of the Sakyong, pursuing the Scorpion Seal path.

Cathy Baerg was first drawn to meditation and the teachings at the Ottawa Shambhala Centre in 1998 and now serves as a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor. She has been involved with the Centre in roles such as program coordinator, dorje kasung, and shrine-keeper and is currently the membership coordinator. Cathy is grateful for the rich experiences received through programs offered at the local centre and the land centres. She recently attended Sacred World Assembly and Rigden Abhisheka.

Katrina Burton came to Shambhala in 2010. Because her life at the time was frustrating and stressful, she was attracted to meditation and spiritual principles. Wanting more from life, she threw herself into practice and study. Ever since, she actually looks for opportunities to test, practice and ultimately to embody the teachings. Today, Katrina is an active participant at the Centre. She often gives meditation instruction at Open Houses, leads discussions on video teachings, and as Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor she co-teaches some classes. She finds real joy in connecting with people and is looking forward to meeting new students on the path.

Henry Chapin: After several years of Zen practice, Henry became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1977 and was a founding member and director of the Ottawa Shambhala Centre. He has been a meditation instructor and teacher since 1978, and was appointed a regional shastri, or senior teacher, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2010. Henry is also involved in prison outreach and hospital chaplaincy activities.

Loretta Colton first became interested in meditation in her university days, but it didn’t really stick then. She rediscovered it while in her first real-world job in 1995 at the Vancouver Shambhala Centre, but then moved to Yellowknife and was way too busy and stressed to meditate…until a friend told her about the Shambhala meditation group there and she re-discovered it again in 2004, which is when it finally stuck. When she moved to Ottawa in 2006, Loretta immediately found and joined the Ottawa Shambhala Centre and has been a member ever since. She has been a member of the Council, and is involved in coordinating and staffing programs at the Centre, as well as being one of the facilitators for the Queer Dharma group. She has been a Shambhala Guide since 2012 and in April 2016 became a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor.

Shastri Bozica Costigliola first sat down to meditate at a Shambhala Training weekend retreat in Montreal in 1981. She connected immediately with the simplicity and honesty of meditation practice, and the teachings on basic goodness. Bozica has been a Shambhala meditation instructor and teacher since 1985. She is a former co-director of the Ottawa Shambhala Meditation Centre and was appointed a shastri (senior teacher) in 2016. She is also involved in prison outreach at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre.

Suzanne Schecter Côté has been a Shambhala meditator since 1986. A meditation instructor and teacher of Shambhala since 1994, she is also a translator of dharma and coordinates French translations in North America, collaborating actively with the translation group in France. She has held numerous positions of responsibility in the Ottawa and Montreal Shambhala Centres, including Director of Practice and Education. She currently serves as Dean of meditation instructors and guides.

Sheila Craig walked into the Ottawa Shambhala Centre in 1996 and knew at once that she was home. The view of Shambhala and Mahayana Buddhism, that we work on ourselves so we can be of help to others, resonates with her deeply. Not long after joining Shambhala, Sheila became a mother, and thus she has walked the paths of Shambhala and parenting together. Sheila became a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor in 2016. In 2003 Sheila started the Bodhi School children’s program at the Ottawa Shambhala Centre, which she taught for 8 years. Sheila is a dedicated yoga practitioner and former yoga teacher. She also loves gardening and ikebana (Japanese flower arranging).

David Fowler began meditating in 2001 and quickly fell in love with the local centre and Karmê Chöling. He spent the summer of 2005 at Shambhala Mountain Centre attending 4 programs including the first Ridgen Abhisheka. David has been a meditation instructor and teacher since 2006. He was one of the founding members of Queer Dharma in Ottawa and is pleased that it has started up again. David has had many roles including director of the Ottawa Shambhala Centre and is currently finance officer.

Mark Frutkin has been a meditator for about forty years. He is a senior teacher of Shambhala and a Meditation Instructor. Currently qualified to direct Levels I-IV and the Dignity levels of Shambhala Training, he is a former Director of Shambhala Ottawa, and a former Warrior of the Centre. He is also the author of thirteen books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Lucie Gauvreau discovered the Montreal Shambhala Centre in 2000 and became a member of the Ottawa Centre in 2005. A meditation practitioner for 20 years, she has examined many philosophies and religions guided by her spiritual quest. Buddhism being her priority, she has studied all the programs of the Sacred Path of Shambhala and she is now eager to work toward creating enlightened society. She has been responsible for various administrative roles and she is now Director of Practice and Education. In 2016, she became a guide and participated in the Sacred World Assembly.

Sarah Shima began meditating in 1998 and has been a member of the Ottawa Shambhala Centre since she moved to Ottawa in 2003. Sarah became a Shambhala Guide in 2005, and has been a meditation instructor since 2009. As well as teaching at the Centre, Sarah regularly teaches basic meditation to staff and clients at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.

Alexis Shotwell has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 1994, and a meditation instructor and teacher since 2000. By happy accident, she’s been involved with the Shambhala community since birth, the child of two practitioners in this lineage. Alexis is part of Queer Dharma at the Centre, a kasung, and was recently Director of Practice and Education.

Shambhala Guides

In addition to being trained to give initial instruction, a Shambhala Guide is a resource, friend, and host to newcomers within the context of Shambhala Centre educational programs and events.

Heather Anderson began meditating as a way to reduce stress during a very intense academic year at Queens. After moving to Ottawa, she tried several different types of meditation from various traditions and found a home at Shambhala. Through the Shambhala teachings, Heather has found meditation to be a powerful antidote to many challenges in her life and the teachings have brought her to a life-long unfolding spiritual path. Outside of being a Shambhala guide and the volunteer manager of the Ottawa Shambhala bookstore, Heather is a certified Integral Professional Coach, a policy advisor for the federal government and she enjoys the constant challenge of finding balance in her full life.

A. J. Ashe connected with the Shambhala Meditation group in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 2001. He learned meditation and spent the next several years immersing himself in Shambhala culture via programs and study. A.J. is a Shambhala Guide, and has held volunteer positions in Nova Scotia, Ottawa, and for the community at large. A.J. is interested in creating opportunities for persons of diverse origins, and those under 40 to learn meditation.

Guy Coulombe joined the Ottawa Shambhala Centre in early 2008, attracted by Shambhala Buddhism. He almost immediately became a volunteer and has held various volunteer positions. He participated in the Way of Shambhala programs and took Buddhist courses. He did a one-month retreat (dathün) and also a few solitary meditation retreats. He gives meditation instructions as a Shambhala Guide.

Naomi de Ville has been interested in Buddhism and meditation since her teens and travelled to Asia after high school visiting the Himalayas and several temples. After a few years of taking the self-study approach she encountered Shambhala and the Ottawa centre specifically in 1999 and promptly moved to rural Australia. In 2004 she realized the profound benefits of in-person instruction and began along the path of Shambhala training, practice and study taking classes and going on retreats whenever she could. This all began to stabilize in 2013 while she was living in Melbourne and then Victoria, BC and had the regular engagement with these wonderful Shambhala groups/centres. After deciding to move back to Ottawa in 2015, right where it all started, she finally became a member and has been involved in a melange of activities at the centre, particularly as kasung. She loves her Ottawa community and giving meditation instruction.

Lynn MacDonald has been a student of Shambhala Buddhism and a member of the Ottawa Shambhala Meditation Centre since the early 1980s. Lynn has provided meditation instruction as a Shambhala Guide since the autumn of 2014. Over the years she has volunteered with the Centre in various capacities such as program coordinator, staffing various programs, council member and currently as Centre director. Lynn is grateful for the rich, relevant, inspiring teachings offered through Shambhala and aspires to reach out into the community.

Hilary Samuel joined the Shambhala Meditation Centre in 2008 and has been meditating as a daily practice ever since. Mediation has been a transformational practice for her and she is pleased to be able to share this with others.

Chantal Tremblay began meditating in 2005 when she was living abroad and after a short visit home, participated in her first level of Shambhala Training. During these two years away from a Shambhala Centre and an instructor, she was still able to develop a regular daily practice. In 2007, upon her return to Canada, she continued with Shambhala Training up to Golden Key. She joined the Ottawa Centre the following year, took refuge and participated in many programs offered in Ottawa and Montreal. She also attended a number of weekthüns (one-week retreats) and became a guide in 2011. Chantal coordinates francophone programs in Ottawa.