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.jpg

Debra Thornburg, Secretary, 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. Debra is also the center's appointed grievance steward as well as one of the center's designated protection persons. 

Debb Colony.png

Debb Colony, Treasurer

Debb has long been connected to the FPMT and to the dharma since taking
refuge with Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche in 2001.  Her interest in Buddhism was
sparked in college where she majored in philosophy with a focus on eastern
thought. Debb has had various connections to the Milarepa Center over the
years both directly and through her son, Venerable Tenzin Gache, as well as her
sister, past Milarepa Center & FPMT education director, Merry Colony. Debb
also served as a board member for Kurukulla Center for many years. Debb
travels to India often to visit her son at the Sera Monastery and to attend
the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa, the late Choden
Rinpoche, and others.