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Acharya Appointments and Retirements

Jul 4, 2012

The Office of the Kalapa Court is pleased to announce that the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, has formally appointed Melissa Moore and Alan Schwartz, both residing in the Northern California Bay Region, to the positions of acharya.

Mr Robert Puts of Marburg, after a long period of inactivity, has retired as an acharya. Ms Fenja Heupers of the Netherlands, will be taking her oath of retirement at the Scorpion Seal Assembly at Dechen Choling, and will receive the title "Acharya Emeritus". We wish to thank them both for their years of service as acharyas.

Melissa Moore, PhD., has been a student of Shambhala since 1979. She has an MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, attended the 1985 seminary, has been teaching internationally since 1990, and was empowered as a Shastri in 2010. She co-founded, and continues to teach and develop, The Karuna Training, a 3-year professional certificate training in Contemplative Psychology and a division of Shambhala Europe.

Melissa is a Senior Executive of Family Service Agency of San Francisco and since 2005 has been the founding Director of The Felton Institute dedicated to research and training in community mental health services for marginalized populations suffering from mental illness. Melissa has a PhD in Psychological Anthropology from California Institute of Integral Studies and a Post Doctoral degree from University of California San Francisco in Community Based Research and Psychiatric Treatment. She has extensive experience as a clinician and manager of several clinics developed for the treatment of eating disorders, dissociative disorders and trauma related illnesses.

Alan Schwartz became a student of Shambhala in 1970, when the Druk Sakyong first arrived and began to teach in North America. For four years he resided at Karme Choling and Maitri, both newly-founded meditation communities, until taking up residence in Boulder, where he founded numerous businesses.

In the 1980's, Alan served for five years as the principal executive officer of 3-month seminary programs. It was during this period that he received his "basic training", working closely with the Druk Sakyong on these seminal teaching events. During that time he was also appointed to serve as teacher-in-residence to Shambhala's San Francisco community, which he did for nine years. In 2010 he was appointed a Shastri. In 1989 Alan married Kerry Golemon Schwartz. They have raised two children, and continue to teach actively in the Bay Area under the guidance of the Sakyong.

Alan is particularly inspired by the Sakyong's leadership and vision for social transformation and applying profound Shambhala Buddhist teachings in areas of worldly impact, such as working with the energy of business and wealth, and transforming materialism to activity which benefits society.

(This announcement was from the Shambhala News Service)