The Team

Carolina v. Gravenreuth


Carolina v. Gravenreuth studied business management and marketing.

After graduating she did an internship with De Beers in New York and an additional internship with the magazine Harper’s Bazaar in Munich, where she worked as an editor after completing the internship.
In 1990, she founded a PR and advertising agency in Munich. She began her Buddhist studies following her first encounter with H. H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup in the late 1990’s. Inspired by Tibetan Buddhism, she founded Otter Verlag in 2000, and at the wish of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup published an art volume on the Drikung residence monastery Phiyang in Ladakh. From 2005 until 2011, she worked for Vodafone Group R&D as executive assistant.
In 2012 she moved to Schneverdingen, and since then has been serving as the Milarepa Retreat Center’s Managing Director.

Angelika Binczik

Real Estate and Technique & Deputy Management

As the daughter of an architect, Angelika Binczik spent her childhood at construction sites, learned all the tricks and tools of the trade at an early age and together with her family, always accompanied her father when he visited his many construction sites throughout Germany.

It was there that she also acquired the knowledge of the various responsibilities of particular skilled tradespeople and what one must bear in mind when one checks the work of individual tradespeople. The idea of studying something in the areas of building and landscape architecture suggested itself. As she sang in a choir, she soon was given solo parts due to her tonal assurance and good voice, opening her path to music. She completed a study as an opera singer and was active as a concert singer until 1993. Following an automobile accident, she worked as a commercial graphic artist and coach.
In 1998 she met H. H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup and then travelled to Dehradun in India and visited H. H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup there.

At H. H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup’s request, together with Carolina von Gravenreuth, she undertook the task of photographing the entire art objects of the Drikung residence monastery Phiyang in Ladakh, interpreting them iconographically and in terms of art history, and publishing the results in an art volume. Thus she entered more deeply into Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice. Now she is delighted to devote all her energy and abilities in the Garchen Foundation and Milarepa Retreat Center.

Inga Kirsch

Management Assistent

After she completed her vocational training as a wholesale and foreign trade clerk at BVG Cementmüller in Soltau, Inga Kirsch went to Spain in 2003, where she initially worked as a clerk in a Real Estate company in Denia.

From 2006 to 2011 she worked on the island of Menorca as a coordinator, receptionist and chief receptionist in the hospitality industry. This followed by two years of Sailing and Cruise Ships between Spitsbergen and South Africa, on which she was responsible for service and reception. 2015 she returned to Spain, where she worked in the Hotel Business. As Tourism had come to a standstill due to the Corona Pandemic, Inga Kirsch returned to Germany in December 2020 and served as a volunteer in the German Army (Örtzetal barracks, Munster) where she worked as a Material Manager.
She has been working at the Milarepa Retreat Center since February 2023.

Angela Borkenstein

Office Administrator

After completing her training as an industrial clerk, she went into the freight forwarding industry. She worked for various freight forwarding companies for a total of 25 years, mainly in the import and export sector in Switzerland and Austria, as well as in accounting.

12 years ago she moved from the Ruhr area to Schneverdingen. She worked for almost 10 years as a management secretary in an office of an Icelandic horse stud farm with riding guests and the rental of holiday apartments.
Since March 2024 she has been working in the office of the Milarepa Retreat Center.

Piotr Krupa

Piotr Krupa is our professional Polish Vegetable Chef with many years of experience in the Gastronomy.

In 1993, he met Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche in Krakow and began practicing Dzogchen. For several years before cooking, he worked as a sales manager, sales trainer. He also was engaged in social and ecological activities. In 2014, he met H.E. Garchen Rinpoche for the first time. A great inspiration for continuing cooking, were the words of Garchen Rinpoche, who, when he received a plate of Pakora during Teachings, said "This food is so good, that whoever made it must be a Bodhisattva".
At the same time, he cooked for Drubpon Rachel during her first visit to Poland. Since 2019 he works for the Milarepa Retreat Center in Germany, where H.E.Garchen Rinpoche is one of the Patrons. His decision to cook for the Milarepa Center, was an obvious choice and fulfillment of the inspiration and blessing of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche.