Alaya grew up at Vajrapani Institute wading through the mud of winter storms and playing in the redwood forests. As a young adult, she ventured around the world several times, rediscovering Buddhism for herself in locations like Mongolia, Nepal, India and Vietnam.
Alaya co-directed Vajrapani’s Teen Camp in 2010 and 2011 and was inspired to create the next step in the Family Camp series to bring together young adults in a meaningful and engaging way. When she’s not gazing at her naval (which isn’t all that often, really), Alaya works as the Restorative Justice Program Manager at the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County, mediating with parents and teens in the juvenile justice system and facilitating restorative dialogues with victims and youth offenders.
Her other jobs include environmental science and making jewelry. She spends her free time surfing, making art and going on road trips.
Terresa is an interactive and dynamic therapist who has supported hundreds of people in their twenties understand and effectively address personal life challenges. She has been a well-loved and integral part of Vajrapani’s Family Camp since she first attended with her five year old son in 2001.
Terresa brings her extensive knowledge of issues facing young adults combined with her many years of experience in Tibetan Buddhism to the Wise Heart Young Adult Retreat. Terresa enjoys making art, dancing and swimming in the ocean as often as she can.
She holds a BA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and an MA in Counseling Psychology from John F Kennedy University. Her extensive training includes years of study at Process Therapy Institute.
Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi
Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi became interested in meditation after reading Be Here Now and Autobiography of a Yogi in the early 1970s. For the next 20 years, she describes her spiritual path as meandering and haphazard that included several dead ends. In early 1991, she she bought a one-way ticket to India with the intention of meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In late 1991, she became co-director of Vajrapani Institute in California. In 1995, she began working at FPMT International Office, first as co-director and then later as center services coordinator. In early 2000, Venerable Tenzin began a long, solitary retreat that lasted 6½ years. She decided to become ordained in the third year of her long retreat and left retreat for a quick trip to India in 2004 for novice ordination with His Holiness.
Since 2008, she has been teaching at various centers worldwide. Most recently, she was the resident teacher at Gendun Drugpa center in Canada and is now resident teacher at Vajrapani Institute.
Brooke D. Lavelle
Brooke D. Lavelle is the Co-Founder of the Courage of Care Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to providing compassion and anti-oppression training to educators, activists, social service professionals, and all others who care about our world.
Brooke holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Emory University, an MA in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from Columbia University and a BA in Religion and Psychology from Barnard College. Her academic work focuses on the diversity of contemplative models for cultivating compassion and mindfulness, as well as the cultural contexts that shape the transmission, reception, and secularization of Buddhist contemplative practices in America.
Lewis Lee Regen is a Certified Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Yoga Instructor as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist. He has passionately studied the Ancient Teachings as a way of life and is deeply immersed in the world of the Healing Arts.
Lewis specializes in presenting these ancient teachings in a way that is down-to-earth, fun and integrated. He teaches Qi Gong for cultivating health and balance at the University of California in Santa Cruz as well as local High Schools and Yoga Studios. Born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains with the giant redwood trees, he is connected with the deep healing power of Nature. Lewis will be leading a Qi Gong nature walk for the Wise Heart Young Adult Retreat.