Ligmincha International Council
The all-volunteer Ligmincha International Council assumes key roles of responsibility in accomplishing the mission and vision set by the Board of Directors.
Director of Research
Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, Ph.D., is a senior student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. He completed the seven-year program at Ligmincha Institute in 1999 and also graduated as a teacher from the Three Doors Academy in 2011. Under the auspices of Ligmincha, since 1995 he has been leading meditation and trul khor (Tibetan yoga) retreats throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. He also serves as a board member of the Ligmincha Texas Institute for Tibetan Meditative and Healing Arts. Alejandro received his Ph.D. in Tibetan religions from Rice University and is a faculty member at the University of Texas (UT) M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where his team collaborates with Ligmincha in research funded by the National Cancer Institute to investigate possible benefits of Tibetan mind-body practices with different cancer populations, and teaches Bon meditation for patients and others. He also teaches in the area of spirituality and health and end-of-life care at UT’s Medical School in Houston and leads meditation for medical students, staff and faculty.
Director of Study and Practice
Marcy Vaughn is a senior student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and has been a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon since 1974. Marcy is the editor of Tenzin Wangyal's books Tibetan Sound Healing, Awakening the Sacred Body and Awakening the Luminous Mind. A graduate in the first class of the master's program in contemplative psychotherapy at Naropa University, she leads meditation retreats throughout the United States and Mexico, and conducts training programs in the therapeutic uses of mindfulness, imagery and contemplative practices. She is a therapist in private practice in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Marcy co-designed the curriculum and is a U.S. teacher for The Three Doors Academy, a three-year training program that presents experientially-based teachings and meditation practices to support connection to one’s sacred body, genuine speech and luminous mind.
Director of Webcasts and Social Media
Polly Turner has studied with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche since 1995. She served for six years as Ligmincha’s director of communications, and for another six years as primary meditation practice leader for Ligmincha’s Charlottesville, Virginia,, sangha. Since 1992 Polly has earned her living as a writer, ghostwriter and editor. She is editor of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s books Tibetan Yogas of Body, Speech and Mind and The True Source of Healing; and former publisher/founding editor of the subscription publication Sangha Journal. Polly previously served as director of quality control for seven national health-related publications. She received her BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia College of Art, taught art for four years, and continues to actively show and sell her artwork.
Director of Communications
Vickie Walter has been a student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche since 2009 and a practitioner of Buddhist and other spiritual traditions since the 1970s. With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in psychology, she has worked as a daily newspaper reporter, newsletter and magazine editor, publications manager and communications specialist for a Washington, D.C.-area university and school system, and as a freelance editor. She is responsible for Ligmincha’s two websites, advertising and annual report, and works with Ligmincha’s newsletter Voice of Clear Light, among other areas. Vickie is the past president of the Washington Recorder Society, a group of amateur musicians who enjoy playing early music. She lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.