The Governing Council


AMELIE BRACHERGC_AmelieBracher_5515

Amelie is a psychotherapist who specializes in body-centered counseling, EMDR and infant and early childhood mental health. She maintains a private practice in Boulder, CO where she provides treatment, education and training. Amelie is an alumna and former adjunct faculty at Naropa University.

A native of Germany, Amelie first came to SMC in 1998 on a visit to the United States. Since that time, she has been haunted by the magical beauty and transformative power of the “Land” and the dharma being taught here. She has regularly come back here for visits, work at the Stupa, retreats, Scorpion Seal Assemblies, and a number of volunteer roles.

Amelie is a teacher and meditation instructor in the Shambhala tradition. She encountered the dharma in 1995 as a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, and in 2004 became a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She joined the Shambhala Mountain Center Governing Council in 2012. She is married, has a daughter, and lives in Boulder, CO.

She has a Bachelors degree in Literature, Philosophy and Roman languages from University of Tuebingen and a Masters in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University (2003).


MICHAEL GAYNERGC_MichaelGayner_515

Dr. Michael Gayner has been the Executive Director of Shambhala Mountain Center since the summer of 2012. Prior to taking on the role of Executive Director, he served here as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Guest Services. Michael has served in a number of capacities in the Shambhala community, including those of Denma Corps Officer and Head of Protocol in the Office of the Kalapa Court. Michael is a student of the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche and travelled with him as an attendant and secretary.

Prior to coming to Shambhala Mountain Center, Michael owned a benefits management company in Canada, serving not-for-profit organizations across the country.  He worked as a teacher in Canada and Japan, and served as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Michael first came to Shambhala Mountain Center in 1994 for a three-month seminary, and has been returning regularly since, taking most of his core path Shambhala programs here, including Scorpion Seal Assemblies and Monarch Retreats.

He earned a Ph.D. in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.



Ming has worked in advertising and technology for over 15 years and currently leads the Project Management and Client Solutions groups for a Software Engineering and Consulting company in Denver.

Ming first fell in love with Shambhala Mountain Center as a child in 1990. Over the years, she has returned again and again, both as a practitioner and a program staffer. Serving on the SMC Governance Council is a natural expression of Ming’s aspiration to support and serve the Shambhala community and to preserve the longevity of SMC. Before moving to Colorado, Ming previously served on the Governance Council of Karme Choling and the board of the New York Shambhala Center. She now lives in Denver with her wife and two children, and continually strives to join her meditation practice with family and work.


CLIFFORD NEUMAN (Council Chair)GC_CliffNeumann_515

Cliff has been engaged as a principal in his own law firms for over 40 years, emphasizing corporate and securities law in the representation of companies in matters of corporate finance, mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and public and private offerings.  He has served on the boards of directors of numerous public, private and non-profit companies and has been actively involved in the process of capital formation on behalf of his clients for many years. He is also the Managing Partner of Gemini Gaming, LLC, which owns and operates a gaming casino in Blackhawk, Colorado.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Medicine Horse Program, a non-profit equine assisted psychotherapy facility in Boulder, and as Director and CEO of Ratna Foundation, a non-profit charitable foundation, which he founded with his wife Margot.

Cliff has been attending dharma programs at SMC since 1975 and was a student of the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who officiated his wedding ceremony with Margot that same year. He has three adult children and four grandchildren.

He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.



Connie Rogers is the principal of Terra Law Group LLC, practicing in the environmental regulatory field with an emphasis in public lands, permitting, Federal Indian law and historic preservation.  She is a former partner in the Denver law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.  Prior to law school, Connie was a professional potter and active in feminist politics.  She has served as a board member and board chair for several non-profits in Colorado.

In the first term of the Obama Administration, Connie was a political appointee serving as Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Mineral Resources for the U.S. Department of the Interior, where among other things she advised the Secretary of the Interior on renewable energy development on public lands and Interior’s regulatory response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Connie first came to Shambhala Mountain Center in 2008 for a retreat on mindfulness as has been returning ever since. A Mahayana student in the Shambhala lineage, Connie is authorized as a Shambhala Guide.  She joined the Governing Council in 2016.

She received her juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from William Jewell College. She is married to Lisa Timmon.


KAREN WILDINGGC_KarenWilding_515

Karen Wilding is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice in Boulder Colorado. She is a member of Boulder Psychological Services and serves on their leadership team. She was previously the Director of Counseling at September School for 17 years.  She has served as chairperson of several non-profit boards including Attention Homes, Boulder County AIDS Project, Tibetan Village Project, and Shambhala Mountain Center.

Karen moved to Boulder in 1975 because the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche told her that families should gather there for the early years of Karma Dzong and Naropa University.

She has taught at Naropa, Boulder Shambhala Center and Shambhala Mountain Center, and served as an MI for many years. She is currently a student of the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and attends Scorpion Seal Assemblies.

Karen has been attending programs at Shambhala Mountain Center since 1976, and considers it the most magical, open-hearted and spacious place in the world.  She received a B.A. in English cum laude from University of Rochester and a Master of Social Work from University of Denver.