Serenity Ridge Council
The all-volunteer Serenity Ridge Council assumes key roles of responsibility in accomplishing the mission and vision set by the Ligmincha International Board of Directors.
Mary Jo Herriman
Serenity Ridge Lama Committee
Mary Jo, English Instructor on the Lama Committee, provides regular English instruction for Geshe Tenzin Yangton, Serenity Ridge's resident lama, and other visiting lamas as needed. A student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche for a number of years, she was previously co-director of Retreat Coordinator and continues to provide support in that area. Mary Jo graduated from Grinnell College with an undergraduate major in Spanish language and literature and completed an MA in linguistics and language teaching at San Francisco State University in California. Since beginning her Bon studies with Ligmincha Institute, she has served as an English language tutor for four monks while they were in residence at Serenity Ridge. Mary Jo is retired from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she held the faculty rank of lecturer and was a grants administrator.
Maria works on the Lama Committee in addition to her duties as Serenity Ridge's Facilities, Grounds and Housekeeping Supervisor. Maria was first introduced Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in 2002 and is a devoted student and practitioner. She received Bon Ngondro teachings in 2000 from Lama Khemsar Rinpoche. Maria has studied, practiced and taught a t’ai chi for 25 years and is a World Champion and Olympic freestyle skier. She is a 2008 graduate of Stanford University, with a degree in teaching physical sciences. Among other positions, Maria has worked as an assistant program manager with Parks and Recreation in Santa Barbara, California, in charge of cleaning/maintenance of buildings and grounds and care of guests. She also is a volunteer with the Ocean of Wisdom website.
Vicki is the Lama Guest Services Manager. Vicki has studied with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche for more than 15 years. She attends Rinpoche during many of his retreats at Serenity Ridge and is responsible for oversight, training and guidance of guest services at Serenity Ridge for Rinpoche and other visiting lamas and their guests. She has been a nurse for 37 years with a specialty in alternative medicine, so caring for others is her natural role.
Director of Serenity Ridge Retreat Coordination
Beth coordinates and helps provide a supportive environment in which retreat participants at Serenity Ridge can focus attentively on the Bon wisdom teachings presented by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and other teachers. She has studied with Tenzin Wangle Rinpoche since 2006. Beth has a background in the arts and coordinates the adult education program at The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. A registered yoga teacher, she enjoys bringing newcomers to yoga and also teaches Nyoho-e- Zen sewing.
John, a longtime student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, develops and organizes long- and short-term building and development projects for the Serenity Ridge Retreat Center; including a new building project under way at Serenity Ridge to meet the needs of the growing community. John designs houses and gardens for private clients in the Winchester, Va., area. He first awakened to Buddhism at Tongdosa, one of the three founding Buddhist temples of Korea. This led to his studying temple gardens in Kyoto and, for the past 35 years, pursuing an interest in sacred gardens, art and architecture around the world. He received his bachelor of arts in German literature from Washington & Lee University and a bachelor of landscape architecture from Virginia Tech. He lives in Winchester, Virginia.
Vickie Walter has been a student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche since 2009 and a practitioner of Buddhist and other spiritual traditions since the 1970s. With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in psychology, she has worked as a daily newspaper reporter, newsletter and magazine editor, publications manager and communications specialist for a Washington, D.C.-area university and school system, and as a freelance editor. She is responsible for Ligmincha’s two websites, advertising and annual report, and works with Ligmincha’s newsletter Voice of Clear Light, among other areas. Vickie is the past president of the Washington Recorder Society, a group of amateur musicians who enjoy playing early music. She lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.