Shambhala Facilitators

Erika Bjorum

Erika has been a Shambhala meditation practitioner since 2006. She has trained at Shambhala Centers in Alaska and Maine and has been a member of the Portland-Brunswick sangha since 2010. As a Shambhala Guide, Erika has co-taught Way of Shambhala classes in Portland and Rockland. She has a varied background as a community organizer, sled dog handler, and farm worker. Erika and her family moved to midcoast Maine in February 2016, and they are excited to have more space to grow food and raise chickens. She is now a full-time mom to her two daughters, and works part-time for Maine-Wabanaki REACH. Erika is also a licensed clinical social worker with a focus on understanding the impact of trauma on mental health and well-being. 

Julie Head

Julie started attending meditation programs at the Brunswick-Portland Shambhala Center in 2012 and has been a member of their sanga ever since. In 2015, shortly after moving back to Camden, she began working with Rachel to establish a meditation space and sanga at The Dancing Elephant. Julie has assisted book groups, classes, and weekend retreats in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition at Rockland Shambhala. In addition to her love of meditation, she also loves a good adventure outdoors. She has biked across the US, rafted in Nepal, and sailed transatlantic. She worked as an instructor and course director for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School for 20 years, and she is one the founders of Distant Journeys, an active travel company specializing in international hiking trips.

Rachel Nixon

Rachel was first introduced to the Shambhala teachings in 1999. Since then, she has developed a personal meditation practice and trained at Shambhala Centers in Maine, Vermont, Colorado, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. In 2015, Rachel helped to bring Shambhala programs to The Dancing Elephant where she now coordinates and facilitates programs regularly. As the Director of Rockland Shambhala and a trained Shambhala Guide, Rachel is deeply committed to sharing the Shambhala teachings on basic goodness with the community. In addition to teaching, Rachel loves to sail, visit islands, swim, and go on adventures with her family.

Sydney Hall

Sydney was first introduced to the Shambhala Buddhist teachings in Colorado in 2008, and she has since attended meditation programs at Shambhala Centers in Vermont, New York City, and Brunswick. Sydney has facilitated several study groups and assisted at weekend retreats. She will complete her Shambhala Guide training this winter. Sydney is delighted that a Shambhala Group is now established in Rockland. She and her family have lived in Hope for nearly 40 years. Sydney is a retired art teacher, and she and her husband have sailed extensively in Maine and the Caribbean.