Acharya Mathias Pongracz was born to Hungarian parents, and lives in Vienna, Austria. He was formerly a television reporter for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) where he was the East European Correspondent. Acharya Pongracz joined Shambhala in 1983 and attended seminary in 1984. He studied closely with Kobun Chino Roshi from 1992 until his paranirvana in 2002. Acharya Pongracz is the former director of Shambhala Training in Vienna and the father of one daughter. He currently lives at Dechen Chöling, Shambhala's European land center, where he has been the resident Acharya since May 2006.