Board Members at Milarepa Center
Venerable Namgyal, Board Chair
Venerable Namgyal began his FPMT service in August of 2008 when he joined Venerable Amy Miller to help out with Milarepa Center. After a bit he settled in as the facilities manager until leaving to take ordination in December of 2011. After taking ordination at Kopan monastery Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised him to help as Manager at Root Institute in Bodhgaya. In spring of 2013, Venerable Namgyal returned to the US to help at Rinpoche’s house in Aptos, California. In October of 2018 he assumed the role of director at Land of Calm Abiding in the Big Sur area of California. Venerable Namgyal looks forward to reconnecting with Milarepa Center and the community.
Debra Thornburg, Board Member, FPMT Appointee
Debra first encountered Buddhism in 1978 when, on a whim, she attended a retreat in California with Mahasi Sayadaw on his first trip from Burma to the States. In the following years, she studied and practiced at Sayadaw’s center in Rangoon, Insight Meditation Society in Barre and Naropa Institute in Boulder. After a move to Boston and meeting Lama Zopa Rinpoche, she became an active member of Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies. Over the years, she has held various administrative and managerial positions at Insight Meditation Society, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and Kurukulla Center including tenures as Spiritual Program Coordinator and Director at the latter.
Denice Macy, Treasurer, FPMT Appointee
Denice came to the dharma in 2001. She met Western teachers Venerable Rita Riniker and Venerable Robina Courtin in 2004. Later that year she met Yangsi Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Kirti Tenshab Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Denice worked as an accountant until being appointed in 2007 as Center Director of Land of Medicine Buddha. where she served as director until 2017. Currently Denice is managing the 100,000 Stupa Project at Land of Medicine Buddha.
Merry Colony, Secretary
Merry Colony (Yeshy Dechen) met Buddhism in 1979 while in college at UCSC. In 1980 she made her first trip to Asia where she met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. She became a nun later that year and in 1982 moved to Dorje Pamo Monastery in France where she became director of a small community of FPMT nuns. In 1984 she gave back her ordination and spent the next 6 years coming and going to her hermitage in Solo Kumbu, Nepal. Following that she became director of the Maitreya Project in Bodhgaya, India and later the director of the Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program in Dharmsala, India. From 2000-2012 Merry was the director of FPMT Education Services and later became project manager of Buddha Amitabha Pure Land Retreat.