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.