About Our Teachers
Our Teachers and Community Dharma Leaders include: Jokai Blackwell, Tim Colohan, Jane Broadwell, Brad Gibson, Khaydroup Zangmo, Jampa Seas, Susy Keely, Franz Manfredi, and Robert Miller.
We invite you to explore information about our Teachers as well as contact them with your questions or comments.
Jokai Blackwell Sensei relocated to Southern California from the UK in 2000 to study with Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. After completing formal study, encompassing over a decade of residential training and service, he received Dharma Transmission (full authorization to teach) in the White Plum Lineage of Zen Buddhism. Jokai emphasizes the direct experience of awakening using contemporary language and time-honored methods.
Tim Colohan is currently a Senior Dharma Teacher at the Kwan Um School of Zen.
While waiting tables in Los Angeles and pursuing a fine arts career, Tim found Zen. Or it found him. Tim’s very first introduction to Zen principles was in a biography of California artist Robert Irwin-- titled “Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing Seen”. It grabbed his attention. It lead him down a path. He started training with Zen Master Seung Sahn at the Dharma Zen Center in 1985. He took 5 precepts in 1991 and 10 precepts in 1993.
In 1995 he went to Korea and sat a 90 day silent Kyol Che retreat which he sat again in 1997. His practice supports him in the day to day realities of the contemporary world. In 1992, he began a career in Set Decoration for TV and Film. He worked on the TV show “ER” from 1999 to 2009. Production work on the TV show ER was strenuous and challenging. He was able to apply the benefits and wisdom of these retreats into the “the marketplace” of production work.
Inspiring him to use his down time to sit a 21 day solo retreat in 2001. In 2005, he trained and took 16 precepts at the Golden Wind Zen Center in Long Beach. He lead a series of 90 day American Kyol Che retreats annually from 2009 to 2015. He completed his training with the Golden Wind Zen Center in 2015. He currently enjoys practicing at Dharma Zen Center, Los Angeles as a Senior Dharma Teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen. He is invited periodically to teach at Long Beach Meditation. He practices with: “Against the Stream”, “Angel City Zen Center”, and a Pasadena interfaith group that is close to his heart, composed of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists. He is currently completing certifications in Yoga Nidra, and iRest Integration.
His intention is to use these protocols to help veterans, the homeless, and other underserved communities.
Jane began her meditation practice at age 19, but was not introduced to Buddhist meditation practices until 2007, when she signed up for a 10-‐day retreat, not realizing what type of meditation it was! The potential for freedom that Buddhist practice holds became almost immediately apparent to her.
In 2010, Victor Byrd encouraged her to do extended silent retreat practice. Since then, she has done three long silent retreats, the longest of which was 11 months. In the course of this practice, she has had the good fortune to study with many remarkable teachers, including Ajahn Succito, Sayadaw Vivekanada, Rodney Smith, Joseph Goldstein, Marcia Rose - and quite a few others - to all of whom she feels immense gratitude.
Through Insight LA, she has participated in Trudy Goodman’s Dedicated Practitioners Group for several years and is currently enrolled in Facilitator Training led by Trudy and other teachers.
And last but by no means least, she continues to benefit from Victor’s wisdom and encouragement right here at Long Beach Meditation.
Community Dharma Leader
Brad Gibson has been studying Vipassana meditation since 1980.
He has studied and attended meditation retreats with Jack Engler, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, as well as others. In addition, he studied many years in the Tibetan Mahamudra tradition with Ken McCleod. He is a high school teacher by profession and lives with his wife and daughter in Long Beach, California
Community Dharma Leader
Robert Miller began his formal meditation journey in 1983.
Starting in 1976 he became fascinated by a series of talks by Ram Dass and eventually he learned meditation from his first teacher, Roy Masters. His early period was heavily influenced by the works of Carlos Castaneda and eventually he began working with a spiritual advisor. He has studied with Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Brother David Steindl-Rast, and has been studying with Shinzen Young since 1983. He has also been heavily influenced by Krishnamurti, Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts and a multitude of teachers who have all contributed to his learning experiences.
Robert also has an extensive background in Native American ceremonies and has attended numerous meditation retreats ranging from 10 days to 6 weeks. His latest endeavors have connected him to Long Beach Meditation.
Khaydroup moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1981 to join a newly formed team of psychologists from The Naropa Institute led by the psychiatrist, Edward Podvoll, whom Khaydroup eventually married in 1986. She would be the first roommate in their innovative home environment approach to treating those suffering from the extremes of psychological illness. This group called Windhorse Associates, has now mushroomed both in the US and Europe. Khaydroup maintains keen interest in their accomplishments.
Impressed by her colleagues, many of whom were students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she began to study and practice the Buddha’s teachings in earnest. In 1990, during a three month stay in India, many auspicious events led Khaydroup straight to the monastic community of Gendun Rinpoche in the Auvergne Region of France where she had the good fortune to be guided in two consecutive traditional Three Year retreats by this highly respected meditation master. After completing her second retreat in 1997, Khaydroup joined the women’s monastery and began teaching the Dharma in centers, schools and organizations in Europe and in the USA. At the request of Shamar Rinpoche, Khaydroup moved back to the US in 2000 to be a resident teacher at the Santa Barbara Bodhi Path Center. During the two years she was there, she helped found both the San Luis Obispo Bodhi Path and West Los Angeles Bodhi Path Centers. The West Los Angeles group moved to Pasadena in 2004 where Khaydroup continues as the resident teacher. Lately she has been making use of the internet to give teachings online. Khaydroup was invited to teach at Long Beach Meditation in 2014 and has enjoyed being part of the community ever since. Her latest endeavor has been to employ the use of the internet to give monthly online teachings.
Khaydroup was also a primary school teacher for 15 years, owning and directing a Waldorf Preschool for the last five of those years. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she in now a lay practitioner and lives with her daughter, granddaughters, and assorted pets in South Pasadena.
Community Dharma Leader
Cesar encountered the Dharma in 1994. After many years of fumbling around, in early 2005 he found his home at the Pasadena Bodhi Path center and his teacher, Lama Khaydroup. He took refuge that same year and formally began his studies and practice. Although still fumbling and stumbling along the path, he has maintained a continuous Dharma practice for many years, enjoys a good book, jazz, and a pint with old and new friends.
Community Dharma Leader
Franz is a Community Dharma Leader at the Long Beach Meditation Center where his passion to share the teachings of the Buddha springs from the revolution they have created in his own life. He spent his youth life studying and practicing Hindu meditation and philosophy, which included several pilgrimages to Bengal, India (where he received tantric initiation and instruction in the Dakshina Kali tradition), and Vrindavan, India (where he received Vaishnava initiation and Mantra meditation instruction). After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in World Music performance (India/Indonesia), Franz started a family in Long Beach where he and his sons live today. For the past five years Franz has made an in-depth study of Early Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation rooted in Theravada Buddhism guided by the teachings of Gil Fronsdal.
Community Dharma Leader
Susy has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 2001. Her early years of practice were with the sangha at Deer Park Monastery (Thich Nhat Hanh). She began practicing Vipassana/Insight Meditation in 2005. She has attended dozens of residential retreats within the Insight Meditation and Zen traditions. She has also practiced and done retreat work engaged in a spiritually-oriented painting practice developed by Michele Cassou.
Susy completed a year-long Mindfulness Facilitator Training at InsightLA with Trudy Goodman, and participates in facilitator training with Shinzen Young. Her current teachers are Rob Burbea and Shinzen Young.
As the mother of a small child, she has a particular interest in how a vibrant meditation practice can be maintained in daily life, bringing with it the opportunity for so much healing and transformation. She is also passionately interested in the subtleties of samadhi and vipassana practice, and the intersection between spiritual practice, meditation, and creativity.