Letter from Heidi to the Community
by Heidi Oehler
First published on: May 6, 2018
It’s so good to be sharing with you all! Excitement dances through me as I write about stepping into serving you all once again. Vajrapani Institute – the land, the founders, the staff (past and present) and the community, hold such a dear place in my heart.
I have such gratitude for Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s infinite wisdom in guiding this new change in leadership and trust that whatever the future may hold for us all, something beautiful is forming. I am also grateful for all the work Fabienne and past directors have done to transform and grow Vajrapani continually into what it is today. Have you seen this year’s program? Just amazing. Have you heard about all the amazing infrastructure work being done to ensure a strong foundation for Vajrapani Institute’s future? Or that the work on the prayer wheel with 5 trillion mantras of compassion will be starting soon? These are exciting times!
In stepping in as the new Executive Director of Vajrapani Institute, my aim is to bring my full self to the table — to choose love; to nurture, as Lama Yeshe would say, the “pamily peeling (family feeling)” at the heart of this community. I want people to be happy here as they grow and blossom into their best selves and highest potential. I have a huge passion for this! I will use my eight years of experience supporting Vajrapani in the past, as well as my recent development in coaching and leadership to bring a sense of joy and ease to all who are so blessed to be a part of this fantastic organization.
I realize the road ahead won’t necessarily be easy, no great tasks are. With the support of Rinpoche, this fantastic new team and all of you (the community), we can do this together!
In joy and love,
Heidi is a well known and well loved former staff member. In her eight years at Vajrapani Institute, she has held various roles including Spiritual Program Coordinator where she was a member of the Board of Directors and attended yearly FPMT North American regional meetings. During her time at Vajrapani, Heidi contributed in many ways to the growth of the organization through program development and project management. She was also a part of the team that crafted the current versions of Vajrapani Institute’s vision and mission statements, helped with the creation of its core values and developed the annual community celebration, Big Love Day.
Heidi has a degree in Fine art and Business Administration from the University of Oregon. Being interested in philosophy, world religions, and psychology, she eventually around SE Asia for a year and a half in a continued search to discover new ways of being in the world. It’s a time Heidi refers to as her "own anthropology experiment." Coming across Buddhism at Tushita Meditation Center in McLeod Ganj, India, she was immediately hooked and has been involved with the FPMT organization since — attending the one-month November course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal in 2006, volunteering at Jamyang center in London, UK and eventually coming to Vajrapani Institute in 2007.
Since leaving almost 3 years ago, Heidi has continued to grow her skills by training in co-active coaching and leadership with the Coaching Training Institute (CTI), as well as pursuing freelance marketing, design, and entrepreneurial consultant opportunities. She has also taken training in conflict resolution, non-violent communication, public speaking and Cultivating Emotional Balance Training.
Heidi's current interests include bringing creativity, play, exploration together with self-discovery in order to step into greater personal power. She loves helping to empower others to claim their own greatest gifts and to share those with the world.