New Center and Practice Leadership Announced

Arelly Sanchez-ShackettThe Berkeley Shambhala Director Search Committee announces with great delight the appointment of Arelly Sanchez-Shackett as new Center Director. In addition it is announced that Elena Oxman has been appointed Interim Director of Practice and Education by outgoing Center Director Rees Sweeny-Taylor. Ms. Oxman steps up after six months of brilliant service as Way of Shambhala Executive Coordinator.

Ms. Sanchez-Shackett is a long-time Shambhala practitioner and student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Born in Mexico City, and then living peripatetically, Arelly was long serving member (in practice, governance and Kasung) of the Dutch Shambhala community. Ms. Sanchez-Shackett moved to the Bay Area six years ago where she now lives with her husband, step-daughter, and infant son. In addition to the Berkeley Center Director post, Arelly also currently holds the senior post of Kadö in the Dorje Kasung.

Profound gratitude is extended to our Search Committee: Dina Buck, Faith Miller, Scott Tracy, and Chair Mollie Mowat, for their thorough search and hard work. Ms. Sanchez-Shackett’s nomination was confirmed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and applauded (literally) by our Governing Council. Arelly assumes the office following the capable leadership (since 2014) of Rees Sweeny-Taylor.

Elena Oxman, Interim Director of Practice and Education

Elena OxmanElena was born in New York City and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. She first encountered the Shambhala teachings as a graduate student in North Carolina when she googled “coping with fear” and came across Chogyam Trungpa’s book Smile at Fear. After moving to the Bay Area in 2011, she began attending Shambhala Training programs and became a member of the Berkeley Center. Elena received a PhD in English with a focus on film and phenomenology from UNC-Chapel Hill, and has taught film studies and filmmaking at Duke University, Stanford University, College of San Mateo, and the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts. Currently a resident filmmaker at SFFILM, Elena lives in Berkeley with her wife Jessica and their dog Lola.