About Our Teachers
With Founding Teacher Victor Byrd and Community Dharma Leaders Jane Broadwell, Brad Gibson, Khaydroup Zangmo, Cesar Seas, Tim Colohan, Susy Keely, Franz Manfredi & Robert Miller.
We invite you to explore information about our Teachers as well as contact them with your questions or comments.
Dr. Victor Byrd, Psy.D.
Teacher and Founder
Dr. Victor Byrd is the founding teacher of Long Beach Meditation and author of The Bare Bones of the Buddhist Teaching. He has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Long Beach, California for over twenty five years. Dr. Byrd’s interest in psychology began in 1984 when he began an analysis with the noted Jungian analyst, Dr. Edward C. Whitmont in New York City. During this same period he began to practice Vipassana meditation at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. His life’s passion is the intersection and synergy of Western Psychotherapy and Eastern Mindfulness practices.
In the late 1970’s, long before it was a household word in the U.S., Victor traveled to India in order to study yoga. He taught yoga at the United Nations in New York as well as teaching hundreds of students at the Integral Yoga Institute. At the same time, Victor was a professional musician, performing as a pianist and accompanist for Broadway singers.
Beginning in the early 1980’s, Victor tenuously began to practice meditation at the Insight Center in Barre, MA: first with short weekend retreats, later expanding them to 10-day meditation retreats, and eventually meditating for three month retreats. His experience of how concentration gained through meditation can dramatically improve a condition such as ADHD was first-hand and, for him, life changing.
Grounded in both Western psychology and Eastern wisdom teaching, Victor shares a deep respect for the psyche, soul and Self.
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 our teacher, Victor Byrd, at 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.
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 younger life studying and practicing Hindu meditation and philosophy, which included several pilgrimages to Bengal, India (where he received tantrick 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 and his wife Adriana started a family in Long Beach where they live today. For the past five years Franz has made an in-depth study of traditional 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 many 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 trainings 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.
The guidance and interaction between teacher and student are very important in the Buddhist tradition. Victor offers student interviews for those who are interested in deepening their Vipassana practice. As we study the dharma and begin to practice concentration and mindfulness, not only in meditation, but in our daily lives, we all experience trials and triumphs along the way. Our teacher is here for us.
Interviews are 20 minutes long and the student is asked to describe a typical sit, such as the meditation object (i.e. the rise and fall of the abdomen or the touch of the breath in the nostrils). What happens in the sit? Distractions? Problems with concentration? Are the fire truck sirens making you crazy? Are you planning dinner instead of watching your breath? Are you angry? Happy? Bored? Sleepy? Afraid? Are you asking yourself “what’s the point?” or trying to recapture that splendid moment of bliss?
Welcome to meditation!
It is important to remember that student interviews are not psychological sessions. It’s about a sit and what happens during that sit.
There are no fees for student interviews.
Please contact Victor directly to set up an interview: firstname.lastname@example.org or call LBM at (562) 606-0643.