Board Of Directors
Lhoppön Rinpoche – Founder
Lhoppön Rinpoche is the resident teacher of Mipham Shedra for the past ten years and resides in the Boulder County area. Rinpoche is a lineage holder of the Palyul school, which is one of the six great “mother monasteries” within the Nyigma School (also called Ancient School) of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche’s root teacher was Pema Norbu “Penor” Rinpoche who entered into Parinirvana in March of 2009.
Rinpoche’s family fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama in 1959 and has settled in the Bir, India community where Rinpoche was born in 1973. When Rinpoche was five years old, several auspicious signs appeared that he should be placed in monastery to study. Rinpoche trained at Palyul Cho Khor Ling monastery until he turned 14, then from 14 to 18 he studied at the Sakya Dzongar Institute, after which he spent two years at the Gelug Drepung University. At the age of 20, Lhoppön entered the Nyingmapa Namdroling shedra where he studied for nine years. Upon completion of his studies, H.H. Penor Rinpoche bestowed the title “Lhoppön” and sent him to teach at H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s shedra in Bodanath, Nepal.
In 2001, Rinpoche was invited by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to come to America to teach in the Shambahala Centers. He also taught at Tashi Choling Retreat Center in Ashland, Oregon. At the request of Tulku Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Lhoppön traveled to Maryland to teach at Sakya Dhoko Choling center. In 2003, Rinpoche made the Boulder, CO area his home, and opened Mipham Shedra for the benefit of all sentient beings. During this time Lhoppön has taught in a variety of locations across the United States including: Washington, DC; Alabama, Gig Harbor, WA; San Francisco Bay area; Fargo, ND; and various locations in Colorado.
Rinpoche has worked tirelessly to establish and stabilize Mipham Shedra in Boulder, CO, as a center for study and practice. Rinpoche leads Sunday evening meditation instruction as well as various classes, pujas and retreats throughout the year. These classes are taught in the Boulder, CO temple; and many classes are available to students throughout the world via Webinar technology.
Paola Di Palma – President
Paola Di Palma has served as president of Mipham Shedra for the past year, previously serving as Vice President. Paola is originally from Argentina and has lived in the United States for the past 14 years. Paola has lived in the Colorado area and her job has required frequent travel to New York City. Paola became interested in Buddhist philosophy in 2003 when she received meditation instruction, helping with chronic anxiety and panic attacks that she suffered with from a young age. While not religious, Paola found the spiritual side of Buddhism to be of great to help in understanding the various aspects of her life, helping to ground her and allow her to know herself better. Buddhist philosophy makes sense to her in these crazy times and helps her stay true to her own values. During those early years, Paola had not yet found her teacher.
Stacey Arnett – Vice President
Maureen Marty – Treasurer
Maureen is from New England and grew up in an Irish Catholic household, Mass every Sunday and twelve years of parochial schools. This background instilled within her a strong faith and a desire to deepen her spirituality. After years of seeking a spiritual path, in 2014 Maureen had the good fortune to attend one of Rinpoche’s classes in Longmont. Impressed by his graciousness, accessibility, and his vast knowledge of Buddhism, she became a devoted sangha member.
Maureen retired in October 2014 after working for 34 years in a CPA firm. She is pleased to be able to help Mipham Shedra with the duties of treasurer.
Maureen is married and has two grown sons. She enjoys camping, hiking, traveling, and gardening.
Corban Crandall – Secretary
Corban Crandall is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has lived in several states of the US and also in Guadalajara, Mexico. From a large family of 9 siblings, including half-brothers and sisters, he was raised in a strict fundamentalist Christian sect. Embracing materialistic atheism for several years, he abandoned that philosophy for Nyingmapa Buddhism after being introduced to the concept of Dzogchen through the writings of Joseph Campbell. Seeking a dzogchenpa lama, through a Tibetan mutual acquaintance he was able to meet Lhoppön Rinpoche in 2010, under whose guidance he has practiced Vajrayana Buddhism continuously since then.
Apart from Buddhist practice, his hobbies include reading and listening to music. A graduate of Pinewood School in Pine, Colorado, he also holds a TESL certification. He has worked in the construction and retail industries, and worked as a freelance English language teacher in Mexico. He has traveled to Eastern Europe and Canada, and is currently employed as warehouse manager for a chain of local retail shops.
Michael Dixon – Board Member
Michael Dixon was born in Detroit and attended Catholic parochial schools for 9 years. Michael’s first meditation training was in 1972 at a Zen monastery in California. His spiritual journey took him through living in the Rudrananda ashram in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 6 years in his twenties, to long-distance running and, years later, to study in another Rudrananda ashram in the Boulder area.
Michael met Lhoppön Rinpoche in early 2014. He was delighted to find Rinpoche to be both confident and humble, friendly and accessible. Michael realized immediately that Rinpoche was the real deal – possessing both great depth of knowledge and potent spiritual energy.
Michael holds an MSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan. He began his forty-year career as a software engineer in Ann Arbor and continued that career when he moved to Colorado in 1981. He retired from Standard & Poor’s in 2000.
Michael’s long-time partner, Karyn, is also a student of Rinpoche. They have two daughters and enjoy babysitting their first grandchild. They also love hiking, bicycling and travel.