- Mission Statement
- Support KCC
- Contact Us
Lama Michael Conklin is KCC’s Resident Teacher. He became a student of the Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche in 1974 while living in San Francisco, where he was one of the founding members of the Kagyu Droden Kunchab Dharma Center. From 1986-89, Michael participated in the traditional Kagyu three-year, three-month retreat conducted by Lama Tsang Tsing in Marcola, Oregon, near Eugene. Wholly cloistered for the duration of the retreat, participants were able to practice intensively without distraction or worldly intrusions and were introduced to the most important Vajrayana practices and rituals of the lineage.
Michael’s clarity in presenting the basic Dharma has made him a popular teacher. In addition to his activities as resident lama at KCC, he also teaches courses at Portland Community College on the basics of Buddhism and the Buddhist perspective on death and dying.
In 2001, Bokar Rinpoche renewed his request that Michael be responsible for offering the annual Mahamudra instruction and retreat. The Awakened Mind program, which Bokar Rinpoche initiated in 1993, is a practice regimen designed to introduce Westerners to essential components of the Tibetan Buddhist path on a schedule that fits into Western life.
Assistant Teachers - Dora DeCoursey, Bill Spangle, and Julia King Tamang
Bill Spangle and Dora DeCoursey began practicing the Dharma in 1979, during a visit to Ladakh, India. They first started attending KCC in 1980, and are among KCC’s longest-attending members. Both have served on the board of directors, and Bill was President from 1993 to 1997.
In 1998, they completed a one-year retreat under the direction of Lama Michael Conklin and Venerable Bokar Rinpoche. Michael asked Bill and Dora to assist him with teaching in 1999, and they are authorized to teach most of the practices supported at KCC. Currently, Bill and Dora provide instruction on the Ngöndro practices, teach at joint retreats with Michael, provide periodic instruction at the Portland center, and offer individual assistance to practitioners.
Julia King Tamang has been a member of KCC since 1993. She served twice on the KCC board of directors, and was President from 2003-2005. She is a student of Lama Michael Conklin and the late Venerable Bokar Rinpoche and has engaged in the Mahamudra Program since 1996. She currently teaches at least one Sunday morning and evening each month, as well as conducting Beginners’ Nights and other events. She leads several KCC retreats each year, and is available for individual practice guidance to any practitioner who requests it.