Director and President
Johann teaches Dharma and meditation in the Insight/Vipassana tradition. Johann has been meditating since 1974 and was asked to teach in 2008. He completed the Community Dharma Leader teacher training program at Spirit Rock, and also has a strong interest in Non-dual practice. In 2002 Johann founded Impermanent Sangha, and has taught and guided Insight meditation retreats in nature and wilderness since then, including backpacking, camping, canoeing, and rafting.
Johann started backpacking as a teenager, and deepened his spiritual journey on long solo wilderness trips in his teens and twenties. His passion is teaching spiritual practice in nature, and he has guided and taught wilderness retreats in various traditions for over 25 years, including being a Vision Quest guide in the late 1990’s. Johann is also a successful entrepreneur, and has been a general contractor, a business development and marketing consultant with a focus on non-profits, and has also owned and restored historic buildings.
David Loy, PhD
Director and Vice President
David’s practice tradition is Japanese Zen tradition. He began Zen practice in Hawaii in 1971 with Yamada Koun and Robert Aitken, and continued with Koun-roshi in Japan, where he lived for almost twenty years. He was authorized to teach in 1988 and has led retreats and workshops nationally and internationally in places such as at Spirit Rock, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Omega Institute, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, Terre d’Eveil in Paris, and Dharma Gate in Budapest.
David is a professor of Asian and Comparative Philosophy (now retired). In June 2014 he received an honorary PhD from his Alma Mater, Carleton College, for his writings on socially engaged Buddhism. In April 2016 David returned his honorary degree to the College, to protest the decision of the Board of Trustees not to divest from fossil fuel investments.
David is a well-known writer, whose books and articles have been translated into many languages. His most recent book is Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis, and he is co-editor of A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency (both Wisdom Publications). His writing focuses primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity: what each can learn from the other. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues. David’s writings, podcasts, and videos are available at davidloy.org.
Kritee (Kanko), PhD
Director and Secretary
Kritee (dharma name Kanko), is a Zen teacher, scientist, activist, dancer and permaculture designer. She directs and teaches Boundless in Motion Sangha in Boulder in the Rinzai-Obaku Buddhist lineage of Cold Mountain and is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Boulder Eco-Dharma Sangha. She is also a co-founding teacher of Earthlovego, a community of meditation practitioners, teachers/professors & environmental advocates from different backgrounds seek ways to deepen synergy between their spiritual practices and their activism through workshops at Lama Foundation in New Mexico.
Kritee trained as an environmental microbiologist and biogeochemist at Rutgers and Princeton Universities, and has done over ten years of research on mercury pollution. She currently works as a senior scientist in the Global Climate Program at Environmental Defense Fund and is helping implement environment and climate-friendly methods of farming at large scales in Asia with a three-fold goal of poverty alleviation, food security and climate mitigation and adaptation among small scale farms. She places deep importance on the need of diversity, and the alignment of climate advocacy with social justice movements.
Peter has practiced meditation for 23 years in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He has taught meditation since 2003 and has completed the Community Dharma Leader training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Peter also practices as a psychotherapist, specializing in bringing mindfulness and other spiritual perspectives to healing emotional distress. In addition to teaching retreats and dedicated practitioner groups, Peter has taught mindfulness to diverse audiences, from Colorado juvenile justices to school teachers to environmental gatherings.
As a scientist, he worked for 18 years as an environmental educator for Massachusetts Audubon Society, a wildlife biologist and lecturer in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, and as a consulting ecologist for
the Nature Conservancy and the U. S. Forest Service. He served as a board member of the Vermont Wetlands Association. Peter has a special passion for teaching meditation in nature and for bringing spiritual perspectives to advocating for the environment.
Director and Treasurer
Russ has been involved with real estate investment and development for over 30 years, in residential, retail, office, light industrial, and vacation properties in Rhode Island and the western states. He began with historic restorations of multi-family Victorians wearing a tool belt and acting as his own general contractor, then moved to oversight of projects and partnering with others as an investor. He was a partner in Coffee Haus in the late nineties, which owned specialty coffee shops in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and surrounding cities while licensing franchises in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.
Russ has practiced meditation for 30 years in the Vedanta and Insight traditions, and has become a dedicated practitioner in the past several years. He attended graduate school in Contemplative Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, and in Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Russ enjoys playing fingerstyle guitar. His love of contemporary folk music led to the creation of Living Room Live in 2013, a house concert series where he hosts, along with his wife, nationally recognized singer-songwriters in their living room.
Russ joined our board in May 2017.
Jean Leonard, Ph.D.
Jean is a licensed psychologist and a registered yoga teacher in private practice in Louisville, Colorado with 26 years clinical experience. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) classes and other mindfulness workshops throughout Colorado, and virtually nationwide, and is a mentor for Jack Kornfield’s and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, supporting students’ development as meditation teachers.
Jean has practiced yoga for over 28 years and vipassana meditation since 2003, and has completed several multi-year training programs through Spirit Rock Meditation Center including Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training (MYMT), Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP), Heavenly Messengers (HM) Program, and Advanced Practitioners’ Program (APP). She studied MBSR with the Duke University Center for Integrative Medicine, and completed the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training with Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer, and the staff of UCSD and has completed advanced supervision for MSC teacher certification. She will be participating in a year-long Buddhist Eco-chaplaincy Program through the Sati Center in Buddhist Studies beginning January 2021. Particular passions include women in the dharma, mindfulness related to aging, illness and dying, ecodharma, and cultivating the heart for difficult times. She is honored to have joined the board in 2020 and to support ongoing community building and diversity, equity and inclusion at RMERC and in the Ecodharma community.