Mahakaruna Teachers

Kelsang Chogyop – resident teacher

Kelsang Chogyop is the main teacher at Mahakaruna Center.  She is a modern Kadampa nun, who has studied extensively and practiced Kadampa Buddhism for 13 years under the guidance of Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.  Chogyop has taught meditation classes across the country.  She is known for her warm heart, practical teachings and sincere practice of the Dharma.

Chogyop teaches Wednesday night general classes, the in-depth study programs and various day courses, retreats and special events at the Center.


Anna Abeyta

Anna has been meditating for over 6 years. As a student of religious studies in college she longed to find a spiritual path that gave her life great meaning. She believes that she has found it at Mahakaruna. She serves as the Education Program Coordinator for the Center, and teaches when Kelsang Chogyop is away. She is also the Kids Club teacher, once a month on Sundays.

Chris Taylor

Chris has been practicing meditation for many years.  With his warm and down to earth style, he delights in bringing Buddha’s teachings to the area.  Chris teaches Sunday morning Meditations for World Peace.

 Steve T close-up

Steve Tuscher

Steve has been studying and meditating on Kadampa Buddhism for almost 10 years. His teachings are clear and gentle and he teaches from how own experience.

Scott Hemmingsen

Scott has studied and practiced Buddhism for over ten years and is a long-time practitioner within the Kadampa tradition. Scott has a solid understanding of Buddhist wisdom and is a wonderful example of how to apply Dharma teachings as practical advice in daily life. Married for 34 years, Scott is a loving husband and father of three. He is known for his kind and sincere manner.


Robin Merod

Robin has been practicing meditation for almost a decade. He shows the example of how to combine modern Buddhism with a busy family life. His teachings are practical and gentle. He teaches at the Sacramento branch.



ChanChandradra Merod

Chandra is a long-time meditator and teacher in Sacramento. She is married to Robin and they have a beautiful little girl, named Ruby. She teaches how to integrate meditation into motherhood. She is very devoted to her practice and teaches others how to be happy while raising a family.





Sharla Smith

Sharla has been studying Buddhism and meditating for many years and teaches with great clarity and humor.  She shows how to incorporate meditation into a high profile job, thus transforming it into a happy and meaningful experience. She teaches in Sacramento.