Translator and Teacher – Lopon Damchoe Wangmo


Lopon Damchoe Wangmo is a graduate of Ngagyur Nyingma Nunnery Institute at Namdroling Monastery in India. Since completing her studies in 2012, she has been teaching and translating for the Palyul Lineage and Rigpa Shedra East.


Translator – Christina Monson

Christina MonsonChristina Monson is a translator and interpretor who has been studying and practicing in Nepal under the guidance of her root master Chatral Rinpoche for over two decades.  She has studied religion and Tibetan language at both undergraduate and graduate levels in the United States and at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute of Kathmandu University in Nepal.  She has published a translation of the short life story of the great dakini Sera Khandro entitled The Excellent Path of Devotion.  A member of the Light of Berotsana Translation group, Christina translates for teachers such as Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche Sangye Pema Sheba, and currently is translating some of the Treasure revelations of Sera Khandro.


Translator and Shedra Director – Damien van Effenterre

photoDamien van Effenterre is a former scientist who became a student, ​translator and interpreter ​of​ Buddhist philosophy. After graduating from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and completing his PhD in physics from University Paris VI, Damien received a tenured position as a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and started to work in the field of biophysics. He started to practise meditation and follow the teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche in 1999. His growing interest for Buddhism led him to leave his scientific career in 2007 ​and pursue​ ​in-depth​ study of Tibetan language​ and Buddhist philosophy and practice,​ both at the Rigpa Shedra in Nepal and in Namdroling monastery in South India. ​The Director of Rigpa International’s Shedra Department, Damien oversees a wide variety of teachings programs while also ​serving as an interpreter ​for classes​ ​at the Rigpa Shedra East during its winter session in Pharping, Nepal.​ On the side, he also ​provides ​​consultation​for international companies​ by​ offering training​s​ on creativity and the spirit of innovation.


Shedra Manager – Verena Pfeiffer

Verena was born in Rosenheim, Germany. She studied translation and interpreting in Munich, during which time she met her teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche. After completing her studies she worked for two years in public relations at the Science and Technology Park Adlershof, Berlin, before joining the Rigpa Shedra as a student in 2007. Verena has been manager of the Rigpa Shedra since 2011, combining her work as a manager with her studies at the shedra. When she is not at the shedra, she continues to translate and interpret into German for Rigpa Translations.


Senior Tibetan Teacher & Translator – Stefan Eckel

Stefan Eckel was born and raised in East Berlin, where he completed an apprenticeship as a ‘specialized worker for industrial measuring and process regulating electronic systems.’ After the wall came down, he travelled around East Asia and Australia, before he met Sogyal Rinpoche in 1994, and then spent four years studying Tibetology and Indian history at Humboldt University. He also studied for a year in Kathmandu at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute, and in Bir and Dharamsala in northern India. He has travelled three times to Tibet, most recently spending nine months in Meshö near Dzongsar monastery learning the local dialect.


Tibetan Teacher – Aaron Coote

Aaron graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Development Studies in 2004 from the University of Newcastle in Australia. He has been studying Buddhist philosophy and classical literary Tibetan at Rigpa Shedra East each year since 2011. Aaron began studying colloquial Tibetan in Dharamsala, India in 2012, and began teaching the Level 1 classical Tibetan program at Rigpa Shedra East in 2014.

He is now engaged in the 1st year of studies in a 5 year Tibetan translator training program in Dharamsala, India.