Meet the CCN Team
The Office Team
Both Tenpa and David feel at home in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, but are strong supporters of a non-sectarian and inclusive approach, very much in tune with that of CCN.
Michael Lobsang Tenpa
Development and Communications Officer
Michael Lobsang Tenpa is a certified Cultivating Emotional Balance teacher, meditation instructor and Buddhist translator. Born in Siberia, he got his BA and MA in South Asian Studies at the diplomatic college in Moscow and, after 9 years of Buddhist monastic training, went on to become a teacher and a translator in the Tibetan contemplative tradition. In addition to his Buddhist studies and translator work, Tenpa has been working with secular ethics and secular mindfulness courses for more than a decade.
Dorje Gyalpo David Johnson
David has kindly agreed to join our team as Office Manager. He lives in Wales and has been practising meditation since he was 18 years old, specifically in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for 9 years, and has been a student of Lama Alan’s for the past 7 years. It was during his time working in mental health services that he first trained as a meditation teacher. Alongside his work for CCN, David serves as a meditation guide and retreat leader in the UK through his organisation, Samadhi
Christopher Simpson (Chair)
Christopher is the CCN Chair Man
He is an actor with a wide-ranging creative practice. His work has encompassed radio documentary, song-writing, mask making, and film making.
Embodiment, transformation and questions of presence have been a part of my enquiry for years, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before my engagement with the benefits of meditation became more focused.
Clara Seeger (Vice-Chair)
Clara Seeger (PhD) is an experienced coach, corporate facilitator, online course creator, speaker and author, with a PhD on Hermann Hesse, an M.Sc in “Mindfulness: Neuroscience and Clinical Applications” and a corporate background in investment banking. Her approach marries ancient contemplative wisdom and meditation with findings from neuroscience, emotional intelligence and psychology.
Clara works with corporate executives and private individuals either on a 1-2-1 or a group basis to help them realise higher levels of sustainable wellbeing by cultivating a balanced mind.
Since meeting Lama Alan in 2016 Clara has immersed herself in the study and practice of Buddhist thought and meditation and has made it her mission to share the Dharma with a wider audience. She now uses Alan Wallace’s framework of mental balance as the guiding principle in her coaching and training work, helping leaders re-assess their aspirations and priorities, refine their attention skills, transcend unconscious bias and cultivate emotional wisdom.
Clara has just launched her first two online courses on sustainable wellbeing and is currently working on three further online courses dedicated to different aspects of mental balance.
Elizabeth West (Trustee)
Elizabeth was born in England in 1944, but spent most of her childhood in Southern Africa where she became a Catholic nun at the age of 18. After returning to the UK, she met two nuns of her order who taught yoga and Vedanta in a Christian context, which sparked her interest in Eastern religions and meditation. She spent nine months with them in India in Hindu and Christian ashrams.
This experience led to a transformation in her spiritual life, which eventually led her out of the convent and into Buddhism. During the transition period, Elizabeth worked for the Westminster Interfaith Programme in London and also gained an MA in World Religions. After this, she spent 10 years working for the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), during which time she led a number of Buddhist/Christian retreats. Meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama during dialogues with Fr. Laurence Freeman, the head of WCCM, was the final step into Buddhism.
Dr Alan Wallace became her teacher in 2007, and this led to the founding of CCN which attempts to bring together the various strands of her life: Buddhism, Interfaith dialogue, and the interface between Buddhism, science and secular spirituality. Above all, her motivation is personal transformation through spiritual practice, and to help others by bringing these teachings to bear on the darkness we face in the world.
Julie Smith (Trustee)
Julie has a unique story of transition from a successful corporate career to a secular meditation teacher.
She is the founder of Nature Meditations and the creator of a unique five step program to support gaining mastery of meditation techniques to reduce stress levels for improved health and wellbeing.