Welcome Kathy Southard, our new P&E Coordinator

Kathy Castillo Southard is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who has been meditating in the Shambhala community for over 15 years. After her first introductory meditation weekend class, someone uttered the word “dathun” and that’s what Kathy set out to try a couple months later, at Shambhala Mountain Center.  Actually it was half a dathun (a 14 day silent meditation retreat) while she also took refuge vows to formally become a Buddhist.  The heart connection to this practice and lineage stuck.

She’s a former personnel manager of Dechen Choling, the residential retreat center of Shambhala in France, and former head of programming for the London Shambhala Meditation Center.   Kathy went to Sutrayana Seminary in 2005 and Vajrayana Seminary in 2007.  She’s been an authorized meditation instructor in Shambhala since 2010.

Kathy also spent 6 months at Gampo Abbey, 2012-2013, with the intention of taking temporary monastic vows, however she actually left without the monastic haircut, but with having completed 6 months of daily practice and studying with Pema Chodron.

Just prior to leaving her hometown of Cambridge, MA, in 2017, before arriving to Hawaii a few months later, Kathy was invited to express her thoughts as a faculty member for a Harvard Medical School continuing education course entitled “Psychotherapy and Meditation.”  Kathy is currently working as a clinical social worker for The Queens Medical Center in Honolulu.  Kathy is a hapa-Filipina and feels very at home in Hawaii because of this, but also knows she’s a hapa-haole, too.