Conversations With Contemplatives

Tsadra Foundation has been offering grants and scholarships to those entering into long-term retreat since its inception in 2000. Since 2010, the Foundation has offered specialized three-year retreat scholarships and more than 137 people have completed retreats at 18 retreat centers in Europe and North America since that time. 

Much of Tibetan Buddhist retreat and the retreat experience is hidden from the general public, but as a way of providing access and insight into this esoteric world, we have created a series of “Conversations With Contemplatives” where Lama Drupgyu Anthony Chapman explores the lives and retreat experiences with a number of our contemplative scholarship graduates.

Learn more in the video below, in which Lama Drupgyu discusses the history of Three-Year retreat or watch the full conversation recordings below.

The History of Three-Year Retreat and Tsadra Foundation Scholarships with Lama Drupgyu Anthony Chapman

Lama Drupgyu (Anthony Chapman) participated in the first Three-year retreat to take place in the west in Bourgogne, France from 1976 to 1980. Upon completion of this retreat, he was appointed lama in Paris, France. He subsequently became the first western Buddhist to be named Druppon, or Retreat Master, leading Three-year retreats on Saltspring Island, B.C. Canada from 1982.

In this video, Marcus Perman interviews Lama Drupgyu as we explore the history of the three-year retreat and how it came to West.



Lama Liza Baer – June 27, 2023

Retreat April 2015 to July 2018

Lama Liza engaged in environmental studies and subtle body work before entering the Portland Oregon center’s retreat at Serchö Osel Ling retreat center in eastern Washington State. Following retreat she resided, then became a resident teacher in Ashland Oregon for three years, and now is administrator at Kagyu Changchub Choling, Portland Oregon.


Retreat February 2013 to May 2016

Lamas Yeshe and Zopa, a married couple, were translators for many years at Pullahari Monastery in Nepal; they completed their retreat at Vajra Vidya Retreat Center, Crestone, Colorado. Living in Santa Fe, they are fully engaged in teaching online through their online presence Prajna Fire and podcast Prajna Sparks.


Lama Karma (Justin Wall) – June 26, 2023

Retreats: 2002-2007 and 2008-2011

Lama Karma completed degrees at Columbia University before engaging in two Three-year retreats at Kagyu Thubten Choling, New York. Lama Karma is now married with a child; he divides his time between Tennessee and upstate New York.

Lama Döndrup Drolma (Jennifer Grant) – June 10, 2022

Retreat April 2002 – July 2005

Lama Dondrup is a professional pianist – both performing and teaching. Since completing her retreat she has been teaching as a lama at Sukhasiddhi Foundation, San Rafael, California, and is now the Resident Teacher of Sukhasiddi Foundation. Since Covid, Lama Dondrup has developed a vibrant online presence with regular meditations, teachings, and courses.