Derek Kolleeny

Westchester Buddhist Center Founder and Teacher

Derek began the practice and study of Buddhism in 1976 and became a student of Trungpa Rinpoche. After graduating from high school in 1977, he attended his first of many Naropa Institute summer sessions. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College in the Comparative Study of World Religions, focused on Buddhism, including study of Sanskrit and Tibetan languages.

During a year away from college, Derek was the assistant coordinator of the six-month US tour of HH the XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa in 1980 and attended the Vajradhatu Seminary and the Kalapa Assembly in 1981 at Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada.

In 1982, he joined the Nalanda Translation Committee. He worked at Vajradhatu from 1982 through 1986 in the Department of External Affairs, coordinating the hosting of visiting teachers such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, as Buddhist News Editor for the Vajradhatu Sun and as Coordinator of the International Lumbini Development Project.

In 1987 he moved to NYC and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1989. Since then, he has served as CFO for various companies and not-for-profit organizations for almost 25 years.

In 1999 he became, and continues to serve as, a founding member of the Board of Directors and as the Treasurer of The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (, which is dedicated to preserving Tibetan Buddhist literature, and has created a massive archive and database to access this treasury, making it available worldwide through the Internet.

Starting in 1991 he studied for many years with other incredible holders of the dharma, primarily Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

In 2001, Derek became the Head of Practice and Study of the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York,and created and directed the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies for many years. In 2002 he started the Rime Shedra NYC – Advanced Buddhist Studies Program (, which he continues to direct and teach.


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Tags: chgyam trungpa rinpoche khenpo tsultrim gyamtso rinpoche tibetan buddhist resource center westchester buddhist center westchester buddhist teacher

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