Meditation Facilitators

Our meditation facilitators have trained in the Buddhist tradition. Each individual brings a genuine kindness and welcoming presence to our programs.

Asher Putterman

Asher was first introduced to meditation practice in 2011 when he came across a book by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Since then he has been practicing and seeking teachings across many traditions. He is currently studying and working towards becoming a student of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher of the Longchen Nyingtik Lineage. Asher and his wife Molly run On the Mountain Farm, a flower farm in Warren.

Beverly Feldt

Beverly has been studying Shambhala and Zen Buddhist teachings since the 1970s. She lived and practiced at a residential Zen Center for six years in the 1980s. Years later, in 2016 here in Rockland, Beverly reconnected to Shambhala Buddhism and immersed herself in the Shambhala community, teachings, and practices. Feeling deeply nourished by the concept of Basic Goodness, she shares her love of the teachings as a Shambhala Guide and Social Meditation facilitator. Beverly brings the meditative experience of Basic Goodness into the shared heart/mind space of a group and beyond. Beverly is a retired clinical social worker and loves life.

Cynthia Trone

Cynthia earned her Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Studies from Lesley University in 2017. Her work focuses on the connection of ancient wisdom to modern crises. In 2016, Cynthia travelled to Tibet to better understand the oppression and culture of Tibetan Buddhism, and in 2017, she attended the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra teachings in Bodhgaya, India. She currently develops and manages youth programs at Georges River Land Trust’s Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing. Cynthia coordinated the Sacred Art Tour’s first visit to Maine in 2018 and looks forward to welcoming the monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Mundgod, India back to midcoast Maine again in the future.

Erika Bjorum

Erika has been a meditation practitioner since 2001. She has trained in the Vipassana tradition, as well as in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition at centers in Alaska, British Columbia, Vermont and Maine. As a Shambhala guide, Erika has co-taught Way of Shambhala classes in Portland and Rockland. She has a varied background as a community organizer, social worker, sled dog handler and farm worker. She now lives in Bremen, Maine with her husband and two daughters. Erika runs her own private mental health care practice with a focus on trauma recovery.

John Meyer

John first became interested in Buddhism in 2016 after coming across Thich Nhat Hanh’s book You Are Here. While living in Massachusetts, he studied Buddhism with a local Tergar group following Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s “Joy of Living” meditation series. John connected with Rockland Shambhala as he was transitioning to midcoast Maine for retirement. He has completed the five Shambhala Level trainings. John’s other interests include getting outside to enjoy hiking, cycling. and kayaking. He is also a hobbyist woodworker.

Julie Head

Julie started attending meditation programs at the Brunswick-Portland Shambhala Center in 2012 and has been a member of the sangha ever since. In 2015, shortly after moving back to Camden, she began working with Rachel to establish a meditation space and sangha in Rockland. Julie has assisted book groups, classes, and weekend retreats in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition at Rockland Shambhala. In addition to her love of meditation, she also loves a good adventure outdoors. She has biked across the US, rafted in Nepal, and sailed transatlantic. She worked as an instructor and course director for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School for 20 years, and she is one the founders of Distant Journeys, an active travel company specializing in international hiking trips.

Kelly Richards

Kelly Richards’ fascination with Buddhism began in the 1970’s. Her experience of nature drawing echoed the Zen of Seeing: paying attention to twigs, seed pods, or vistas brought deep calm. As a school teacher, Kelly offered that same peace to her students, encouraging them to learn through their senses in a classroom filled with natural objects, artifacts, and good smells. Kelly has had a daily meditation practice since 2005. She is a certified Cognitively-Based Compassion Training instructor and has taught meditation to children since 2006. Kelly helped create “SEE Learning,” a K-12 curriculum for compassion-based ethics. She and her husband retired to Vinalhaven in 2014, where she teaches mindfulness to children and adults. Kelly feels deep gratitude for the natural beauty and the close bonds of the community.

Kendra Denny Arey

Kendra Denny is a painter, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner. In 2015, she founded the Rockland chapter of Recovery Dharma, and she has helped to bring the Buddhist recovery model to islands and other local communities around Penobscot Bay. In 2018, Kendra traveled to Dharamshala, India to study Tibetan thangka painting at the Center for Living Buddhist Art. She spent fourteen weeks working with master teachers Locho and his wife Sarika Singh, as well as their long-term student Lobsang Tsaten, to create pencil studies and a thangka painting of the Bodhisatva Manjushri. Kendra is currently pursuing a Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley University.

Morgan Starr

Morgan Starr is a member of the Rockland sangha. Born and raised in New York City, he moved to Maine in 2001. He has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 2016, most recently with Mangala Shri Bhuti, a Tibetan Buddhist sangha under the guidance of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Morgan currently lives in South Thomaston with his wife Ruth and their many animals.

Rachel Nixon

Rachel Nixon has been exploring Buddhist teachings since 1999. Over the years, she has been inspired by Pema Chödrön's writings and has trained at Shambhala Buddhist Centers in the U.S. and Canada. Rachel attended the seven-week Yarne Retreat with Ani Pema at Gampo Abbey in 2019-2020. Rachel has also studied with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and the Mangala Shri Bhuti community, as well as at the Insight Meditation Society. She has been trained as a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor and a k-12 Mindful Schools Educator. Rachel loves to teach meditation and explore the Buddhist teachings with people of all ages. She also enjoys sailing, swimming, and going on adventures with her family.

Sydney Hall

Sydney was first introduced to the Shambhala Buddhist teachings in Colorado in 2008, and she has since attended meditation programs at Shambhala Centers in Vermont, New York City, and Brunswick. Sydney is delighted that a Shambhala Group is now established in Rockland. She is a Shambhala Guide and has facilitated study groups and assisted at weekend retreats. Sydney and her family have lived in Hope for nearly 40 years. She is a retired art teacher, and she and her husband have sailed extensively in Maine and the Caribbean.