Teachers

MSC Teachers

All Dharma teachers have completed an 18-course curriculum in the Dalai Lamas’ lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Some have graduated from the 18-course advanced studies as well, while others continue their studies. The 36-course curriculum consists of one of the most comprehensive and rigorous teacher-training programs in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for laypeople. All Yoga teachers are professionally certified in 200-hour or more teacher-training programs. Each teacher has served the community and the center from scrubbing floors to producing special events. All are practitioners who carry their own personal lineage of spiritual influences such as Christianity to Judaism or agnosticism to secular humanism.

Our Teachers

  • Lauren Lauren Benjamin Lauren Benjamin was born in New York City to Jewish parents. She began seeking an alternative to the modern western lifestyle in 1968 when, at the age of 16, her “career” as a dancer with the Pacific Ballet Theater in Los Angeles ended. In the same year, her family moved into Synanon, a resident-drug-program-turned-alternative-community. Lauren […] Read more about Lauren
  • Rick Rick Blue “As far back as grade school, I remember picking up a book on religions of the world, and the section on Buddhism held a particular fascination for me. In high school, I was given the reading assignment of Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha and again it sparked an interest. The thread continued to college, (the ancient times […] Read more about Rick
  • Cliff Cliff Spencer Cliff hails from Birmingham, Alabama. Raised in the Presbyterian Church, he followed in his father’s footsteps as an usher, taking collections from parishioners at the age of 5. By his early 20s, he was still searching to define himself spiritually, while working as an actor in New York City. One eventful day he discovered the […] Read more about Cliff
  • Lindsay Lindsay Crouse Lindsay Crouse completed the 18-course foundational program in 2004 and graduated from the advanced program in 2010. She helped found Mahasukha Center and continues to serve as a Senior Teacher and Advisory Board member. Lindsay has taken teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the U.S. and India, and continues to study with Lama […] Read more about Lindsay
  • Mira Kingsley Mira Kingsley Mira has spent her adult life in the study and practice of the Buddhist and Yogic traditions along with participating in the development of contemporary somatic based spiritual practices. She offers a spacious presence in which others may witness their own unique spiritual path take shape. For those who are so called, Mira offers intensive […] Read more about Mira
  • alicia Alicia Tolbert Alicia is a graduate of the foundational course curriculum and is currently studying the advanced courses with her teacher Lauren Benjamin. A previous Treasurer and Board member, Alicia continues to serve the Mahasukha community as a teacher and a member of the curriculum committee. Read more about Alicia
  • Brian Brian Reid While admiring the unshakeable groundedness yet passionate preaching of his Pentecostal minister grandfather, Brian was raised in a strong Catholic household. Thanks to some of his parents’ closest friends, he celebrated many Seder meals and discovered how Christ was actually raised as a Jew. By the time Brian got to college, he noticed that he […] Read more about Brian
  • Jason Jason Rosenfield Like so many of my generation of American Jews, I was raised in a tradition more cultural than spiritual, steeped in a powerful sense of responsibility for our relationship with God and the lineage I held. I went to Hebrew school and was Bar Mitzvah. But by the time my father died when I was […] Read more about Jason
  • Claire Claire Thompson Claire began her Buddhist studies in New York City in the New Kadampa Tradition, while also practicing Yoga at the Sivananda Yoga Center. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2007, she started studying with Lauren Benjamin and Lama Marut and under their guidance went on to complete the 36-course program of Tibetan Buddhist studies. Claire […] Read more about Claire
  • Darin_slideshow Darin McFayden Darin McFayden was raised a Christian. He has practiced Yoga since 1998 in the Satyananda/Sivananda Yoga tradition. Darin has studied the great texts of Yoga as well as those of the Tibetan Buddhist Sutra and Tantra systems under Lama Marut. More recently, he has done retreat with and studied the teachings of Upasaka Culadasa (Professor […] Read more about Darin
  • Rebecca Rebecca Stanley Since finding her way to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and through the blessings of her teachers Lama Kimberley Teresa, Lama Douglas Veenhof, Kristina Pao-Cheng, Mira Shani and Ted Lafferty, Rebecca has been given the tools to help others help themselves. In 2009, she received her 300-Hour Yoga Alliance Certification through the Yoga Studies Institute […] Read more about Rebecca
  • Jed Jed Forman Jed Forman has been part of Mahasukha Center since 2011 under the tutelage of his heart teacher Mira Kingsley. Studying Buddhist philosophy at Amherst college and Tufts University in Massachusetts, he didn’t immerse himself in Buddhist practice until his arrival in Los Angeles. Jed’s undergraduate study in philosophy, volunteer work in South Africa, and life […] Read more about Jed
  • Kelli Forman Kelli Forman Kelli Forman became a certified yoga instructor through Three Sisters Yoga while living in New York City. She is currently finishing her 500-hour Yoga Certification with Ganga White and Tracy Rich at White Lotus Yoga. Kelli completed her 900-hour Massage Therapy Certification through the National Holistic Institute. A graduate of the 18 foundational course curriculum […] Read more about Kelli
  • Dima Dmitriy Yepishin Dima has been debating his own spiritual confusion since his first introduction to Orthodox Judaism at age 12 during a summer camp in his hometown in Ukraine. Since then, he has graduated from a Jewish seminary, completed the 18 core courses in Buddhism at Mahasukha Center and continues to study the advanced curriculum. In his […] Read more about Dmitriy
  • Marc Marc Landau Marc Landau has been part of Mahasukha Center since 2011. Being involved professionally with Transformational work for nearly 20 years, Marc was drawn to Buddhism for its focus on transformation. He has completed a number of solo meditation retreats and regards meditation as one of the most important aspects of his life. A graduate of […] Read more about Marc
  • Caitlyn Caitlyn Conlin Caitlyn Conlin is a Los Angeles-based actress, singer, musician, interdisciplinary artist and seeker of ridiculous play. A graduate of the 18 foundational course curriculum at Mahasukha Center, Caitlyn is currently studying the advanced courses with her teacher Mira Kingsley. She holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and serves as Mahasukha’s Arts […] Read more about Caitlyn
  • Lynn Lynn Lobban Lynn Lobban is an actor/singer/playwright who has been practicing Integral Yoga for over 40 years. She is a certified Integral Yoga Hatha teacher (RYT 200 hours), who continues to learn from the teachings of Integral Yoga’s founder, Swami Satchidananda. She is also a Shambhala Buddhist who has been on the Shambhala Path (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, […] Read more about Lynn