Directors and Staff


ATR_4 wdmtAnam Thubten/teacher

Anam Thubten is a founding member of WDM and is passionate about the wilderness retreats and the possibilities of chöd practice in support of the modern day meditator’s awakening. He lives in San Francisco, California with his wife and children.

Full biography is available on the teachers’ page.


Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel/teacher

Elizabeth is a founding member of WDM with a passion and long history of solitary retreat. She brings the Buddhist tradition of inquiry and self reflection to modern day practitioners. She lives and works in Crestone, Colorado.

Full biography is available on the teachers’ page.



Owsley Brown/president

logistics and finance/scholarship fund management

Owsley Brown III is a documentary filmmaker and social entrepreneur whose work explores and promotes cultural, spiritual and civic life. Owsley is the host and director of the Festival of Faiths and he serves on the boards of the Sustainable Food Alliance, Center for Interfaith Relations, and as an advisor to the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia. Owsley is a long time practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, studying under the guidance of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, attending annual solitary and group retreats in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their three children. Owsley serves as scholarship fund developer and manager for the CDC retreats.


Tatjana Krizmanic Meyerowitz/vice-president

communications/CDC retreat coordinator

Tatjana is a painter and meditator from Croatia. In 1988 through her work with Robert Morehouse, a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she was introduced to meditation and has been practicing and studying ever since. She is student of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and spends 100 days each year in solitary meditation retreat at Samten Ling retreat center in Crestone, CO.  Tatjana’s enthusiasm for practice in wilderness and the beauty and challenges it brings led her to join WDM as a founding member. She lives in New York City, NY with her husband and children. Tatjana serves as retreat coordinator and participant support for CDC retreat. If you have questions about the retreat that are not addressed on our FAQ page please, reach out to her at


Victress Hitchcock/secretary

communications/outreach/applicant interface

Victress has been directing award winning documentary and educational films for 40 years. She has been studying and practicing Buddhism for the same length of time initially as a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who she met in 1972. Her travels took her around the world to remote wilderness places, including accompanying Tsoknyi Rinpoche on a journey to visit his nunneries in Eastern Tibet, a journey documented in the film – Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet. She is currently studying and practicing under the guidance of Anam Thubten. She is a founding member of WDM and was instrumental in securing the Canyon de Chelly location – a rare opportunity for retreat in this sacred place. She will be providing assistance with retreatant communication and registration logistics.  If you have questions about the retreat that are not addressed on our FAQ page please reach out to her at


Neil Hogan/treasurer

logistics/CDC retreat coordinator

As a student of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Neil has been studying and practicing meditation for many years. He spends much of his time in solitary retreat in the mountains of Colorado.  He has attended many retreats with Anam Thubten and is a founding member of WDM. He will be organizing logistics and transportation for our Canyon de Chelly retreat, working closely with Susan Pierce, our wilderness guide. Neil lives in Crestone, CO and kindly serves as treasurer for our organization.


Susan Pierce/wilderness guide/administrator for CDC retreat/participant interface for CDC retreat

Susan is a certified NOLS Wilderness First Responder, fully trained in medical emergency and routine medical issues that may occur in a wilderness setting, where regular medical supplies may be limited and help could be slow in arriving. She serves on the EMS team for Baca/Crestone, Colorado Ambulance Service. Susan has been doing solitary retreats in wilderness since 1987 when she was introduced to the practice by John Milton.  Much of Susan’s life’s work has been centered on nature conservation, biology and education.  She has worked in Central African Republic (U.S. Peace Corps), The Republic of Seychelles, Brazil, Argentina, United States and Costa Rica and traveled in Mexico, Central America, Morocco and Europe.  Susan is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French. Susan lives in Crestone, Colorado with her children and is most at home in nature.

If you have any questions about the logistics that are not answered on our FAQ page please, reach out to her at