Who We Are

CCN was founded by Elizabeth West in 2011, in order to support the work of Dr Alan Wallace and the development of Contemplative Science.

As Executive Director she continues to play a prominent and very active role, supported by the Trustees.

Dr Alan Wallace is the Honorary President.

Our Principle Teachers

FATHOM THE MIND HEAL THE WORLD

Lama Dr. B. Alan Wallace

Lama Dr. B. Alan Wallace

Alan Wallace is a prominent voice in the emerging discussion between contemporary Buddhist thinkers and scientists who question the materialist presumptions of their 20th-century paradigms.

He left his college studies in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine and language.

He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, and over fourteen years as a monk, he studied with and translated for many of the generation’s greatest lamas. In 1984 he resumed his Western education at Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy.

Since 1987, he has been a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists, and he has written and translated more than 40 books.

Along with his scholarly work, Alan is regarded as one of the West’s preeminent meditation teachers and retreat guides.

He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and of the Center for Contemplative Research in Crestone, Colorado.

B. Alan Wallace, one of the world’s leading scholars, writers, and teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, is an outspoken advocate for a revolution in the mind sciences, one that will replace the current paradigm of materialist reductionism with a new paradigm based on contemplative methods of inquiry into the nature and potentials of the mind.

Dr Eva Natanya

Website Links:

Dr Eva Natanya

Eva Natanya is a scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, an academic lecturer, writer, translator, and retreat leader.

Following a nine-year career as a professional ballet dancer with both the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet of England, she earned an MA in Christian Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.

For over twenty years, she has studied meditation, yoga, and philosophy in both the Christian and Buddhist traditions with master teachers in the United States, England, and India.

She is the editor of Open Mind: View and Meditation in the Lineage of Lerab Lingpa(2018) and co-editor of Fathoming the Mind: Inquiry and Insight in Düdjom Lingpa’s Vajra Essence (2018), both by Dr. B. Alan Wallace.

Her own work explores the deep connections between Christian and Buddhist thought at rigorous levels of theology, ethics, mysticism, and contemplative prayer. Eva has spent over thirty months in solitary meditation retreat, and will soon return to full-time meditation practice, living in remote mountains of Colora­do.

Glen Svensson

Website Links:

Glen Svensson

Glen has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism since 1995 and graduated from the seven-year Masters Program in Advanced Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa (Pomaia, Italy) in 2004.

Since 2005 he has taught and led meditation retreats in India, Europe, North America and Australia with a clear and structured teaching style emphasizing the integration of philosophical view, meditation and daily life conduct.

Michael Lobsang Tenpa

Website Links:

Michael Lobsang Tenpa

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. 

Further developing his skills while studying in Nepal, the UK and the US, he has taught and led short and long-term retreats in Europe, Asia and North America. In addition, he has served as the interpreter for such teachers as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Alan Wallace, Glen Svensson, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and many others.

Together with Christian Howard, he co-created the Creating Compassionate Identities (CCI) program. Lately, he has also been increasingly teaching courses on EcoDharma—the practical application of bodhisattva ideals to the urgent goal of environmental protection.

Board Members

Dr B. Alan Wallace – Honorary President
Elizabeth West – Founder of CCN & Company Secretary
Julie Smith – Chair Woman
Jo Feld – Trustee
Miguel Marcos – Trustee
Alfonso Schwartz – Trustee

Dr B. Alan Wallace

Honorary President

Alan Wallace is a prominent voice in the emerging discussion between contemporary Buddhist thinkers and scientists who question the materialist presumptions of their 20th-century paradigms. He left his college studies in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine and language. He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, and in over fourteen years as a monk he studied with and translated for several of the generation’s greatest lamas. In 1984 he resumed his Western education at Amherst College where he studied physics and the philosophy of science. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy. 

Since 1987 he has been a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists, and he has written and translated more than 40 books. Along with his scholarly work, he studied Dzogchen, The Great Perfection, under the guidance of Gyatrul Rinpoche, and translated the mind treasures of Dudjom Lingpa. He is authorised to teach all these texts.

Alan is now regarded as one of the West’s preeminent meditation teachers and retreat guides, specialising in the Great Perfection . He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and is the motivating force behind the development of the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany, Italy. 

For more detail see :
www.alanwallace.org
www.sbinstitue.com
www.centerforcontemplativeresearch.org

Elizabeth West

Founder of CCN
& Company Secretary

I was born in England in 1944, but spent most of my childhood in Southern Africa where I became a Catholic nun at the age of 18. After returning to the UK I met two nuns of my order who taught yoga and Vedanta in a Christian context and I became interested in Eastern religions and meditation. I spent nine months with them in India in Hindu and Christian ashrams. 

This led to a transformation in my spiritual life, which eventually led me out of the convent and into Buddhism. During the transition period I worked for the Westminster Interfaith Programme in London and also gained an MA in World Religions. After this, I spent 10 years working for the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), during which time I 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 my teacher in 2007, and this led to the founding of CCN which attempts to bring together the various strands of my life: Buddhism, Interfaith dialogue, and the interface between Buddhism, science and secular spirituality. Above all, my 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

CCN Chair Woman

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.

W: www.julie-smith.net
F: https://www.facebook.com/JulieSmithMeditation
E: julie@julie-smith.net
Ph: +44 (0)7823335833

Walk calmly through the chaos around you….

Jo Feld

Trustee

Finding and incorporating Buddhist philosophy and practice into my days has been life changing and I’m very happy and proud to be part of a group which supports Alan Wallace who has brought Tibetan Buddhism to the West in a way that Western people can digest it but without losing anything in translation. 

I am a psychotherapist working with young people and their families. I am also a lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy and incorporate Buddhist psychology into my practice and teaching. I teach mindfulness also, and run bespoke groups for carers and also for schools who wish their ethos to be based on mindful principles.

Clara Seeger

Trustee

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.

Alfonso Schwartz

Trustee

Alfonso Schwartz was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Canary Islands, Spain.

He is currently a teacher of CEB (Cultivating Emotional Balance) training programs for workers of the private and public Spanish Health and Education network, as well as for the caregivers of and people affected by ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in the initial stages. Alfonso also coordinates the Buddhist Academic Studies program at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, and participates as Trustee on the Board of the Center for Contemplative Research Europe foundation in Italy.

Owing to early personal experiences, he has been interested in knowing about, learning and researching in the field of the potential of the mind, its altruistic capabilities and its experiences of suffering and happiness.

This led him to the study and practice of the Dharma in the late 90s. Alfonso studied Graphic Design, and has worked for over 30 years in two of the main Spanish Communications and Media companies as Executive Director, with emphasis on corporate communications, organization and leadership.

Christopher Simpson

Trustee

I am an actor and coach with a wide-ranging creative practice.

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.

christophersimpson.net

Jude James

Executive Director

I have a diverse background in palliative care, performance art and more lately in the charity sector where I have been involved in creating space for spiritual practice.

Throughout, however, my central concern has always been the nature of embodied presence.

My fascination with space, energy and presence finally found its natural context within the philosophy & practice of Tibetan Buddhism, though I hesitated initially before diving into its practice!

www.judejames.com