Eric Triebelhorn, Resident Lama

Lama Eric Triebelhorn first came to KCC not long after graduating from college and quickly immersed himself in the center’s activities. He served as Board president for four years and was the first caretaker of our retreat land, Ser Chö Ösel Ling. In 2002, he moved to India to study Tibetan language and practice with Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche. He requested and was finally granted permission to participate in a traditional Shangpa three-year retreat at Bokar Monastery, which he completed in 2008. Following retreat, Lama Eric translated for Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche, and others and eventually served as an English teacher for the reincarnation of his teacher, Bokar Rinpoche. Lama Eric became KCC’s resident lama in January 2020.

Schedule an appointment to meet with Lama Eric.

Michael Conklin, Lama Emeritus

Lama Michael Conklin served as KCC’s resident lama from 1993 until 2019. An early American student of Kalu Rinpoche, Michael was one of the founding members of Kagyu Droden Kunchab in San Francisco and participated in a three-year Shangpa retreat led by Lama Tsang Tsing from 1986-’89. During his time at KCC, Lama Michael led the project to build our retreat center and acquire a new Portland dharma center. Through his leadership, KCC maintained a close relationship to lineage masters Bokar Rinpoche and later Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche. He led KCC’s first one-year and, with Lama Tara Goforth, three-year retreat.

Liza Baer, Executive Director

Liza first came to KCC in 2014 for a weekend teaching on the Seven Points of Mind Training. Hearing teachings on the nature of mind, she knew she had found her home. Previously, Liza spent a year in Nepal and India where she attended teachings and retreats, took refuge with Tenga Rinpoche, and trekked in the Himalaya. From 2015-2018, Liza participated in KCC’s three-year retreat led by Lama Michael Conklin and Lama Tara Goforth. After completing retreat, Liza served as Associate Lama at Kagyu Sukha Chöling in Ashland, Oregon for four years. Liza’s background is in botany and ecology, yoga and structural bodywork, with a great love of pottery.

Cynthia Irvine, KCC Bookkeeper

Cynthia began meditating in 2000, biking to a sangha in Southeast Portland. She found KCC just four blocks from her home when her husband brought their son to the KCC kids program, some time around 2007. Later, Kathleen Benz recruited Cynthia as a volunteer check writer, and over the years this has evolved into a paid position overseeing the finances of KCC. As a former librarian and current yoga teacher, she claims to have had no official qualifications for this job, and expresses gratitude for wonderful on-the-job training by a number of folks.

Gwen Wolfenbarger, Portland Center Operations Manager

Gwen first arrived at KCC in June 2022 after testing the waters via Zoom and immediately immersed themself in volunteer service. They took refuge in September 2022 at KCC with Khenchen Konchog Gyalsten Rinpoche. Gwen has a B.A. in Music, studies music therapy at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, and is completing their clinical internship at Cedar Hills Hospital. Gwen is transgender and nonbinary; please use they/them pronouns when referring to them!

Sarah Lyon, SCOL Staff

Sarah came to SCOL as a staff member at the end of 2019 after doing considerable volunteer work at both SCOL and the Urban Center in Portland. She began attending KCC in 2007, after many years of engagement in meditation and Buddhist study. Interest in the language led her to study Tibetan in Nepal. She has a M.S. in Biology, and spent many years working in the field and lab in Alaska and Oregon as a fisheries biologist.

Vicki Fields, SCOL Staff

Vicki first took refuge at KCC in the early 90’s. Since that time, she has received teachings from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Her home in Bend was a Rimey meditation retreat center. For the past several years she worked as an Oregon Fish & Wildlife Host Volunteer at wildlife areas and coastal hatcheries doing habitat restoration, salmon spawning, and public education. She has a BS in Social Science and worked many years as a social service manager for the state of Oregon. Presently she is in the OSU Master Naturalist Program and will complete her field work specializing in Columbia Gorge ecosystems. Vicki is grateful for the opportunity to combine these skills and experiences to serve SCOL.