Alice Robbins (Retreat Manager) – My life’s passion has been a calling to be of service to others and has taken form in many different capacities. My love of the wilderness drew me to meditation and the Dharma over 24 years ago when I attended an 11-day silent backpacking meditation retreat in the Sierra mountains. Since then, I found my place of service as a meditation retreat manager and have had the privilege over the past 20 years of managing meditation retreats in the wilderness and wild rivers of Colorado and Southern Utah, and more recently at Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center (RMERC). This service experience has been profound beyond words. I retired from my professional life three years ago, but as a family law lawyer and mediator, including participation in many different related volunteer legal projects, my focus was primarily on the rights of women who came to me ready to make important life changes, many times in extremely difficult circumstances. Since retirement, and as a long-time amateur dancer, I have launched a dance class in Boulder and am collaborating with a fellow teacher who leads dance teacher trainings in women’s prisons. Assisting her in the prisons with women whose…
Alice Robison is a Restorative and Yin Yoga teacher and a dedicated Buddhist practitioner in the Theravada tradition. She sits retreats at Spirit Rock, IMS, Forest Refuge, Barre Center of Buddhist Studies, Cloud Mountain, and participated in an EcoDharma retreat on the Green River with Impermanent Sangha. Alice was on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA as a Retreat Support Fellow for one year. She has completed the Advanced Practitioner Program (APP), Dedicated Practitioner’s Program (DPP), the Community Dharma Leader training (CDL), and Mindfulness and Yoga Teacher Training (MYMT) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. She is also a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner. Alice is a co-founder of the Bozeman Dharma Center. Alice has co-facilitated book studies and group classes to/for white folks around privilege, supremacy, fragility, and finds benefit in participating in on-going white affinity groups (WAG) for women on a weekly basis. Alice wants to acknowledge the people, past, present and future, on whose traditional lands she lives, practices and works in the town of Bozeman, MT: The Apsaalooke (Crow), Northern Cheyenne, and the Blackfeet Tribe. She thanks the Indigenous Peoples for taking care of these lands, waters, and mountains. Currently, Alice lives with her musician and story telling husband,Tom, and…
Asia Dorsey is at home in her body. She deepened her practice as a Kingian Nonviolence facilitator at Navdanya International studying with the great Gandhian Satish Kumar and the earth warrior Vandana Shiva. Asia completed her first Yoga Teacher Training in Denver with Lakshmi Nair in 2016. They later collectively organized the Satya Yoga Cooperative, an organization that empowers people of color to use yoga as a tool for personal liberation and social transformation. Asia’s tantric style of teaching cultivates the seeds of collective creativity and play, seeing the goal of any practice as coming home to the divinity that lives in our bodies. To this end, Asia has over 600 hours of embodied practice of Yoga Nidra and is skilled at fostering spontaneous regeneration in others. She has trained in the Bihar School style with Lakshmi, and received certification from the Amrit School of Yoga Nidra with Kamini Desai. Join in her creations @bonesbugsandbotany and http://bonesbugsandbotany.com/
Asia Whitlock is passionate about building and sustaining people of color (POC) communities, decolonizing our minds, reparations by any means necessary, and growing her own foods. After several years in real estate, Asia co-founded Southwest Van Builders where she converts vans into tiny homes as an alternative housing solution. She currently lives in New Mexico. Asia is a two year alumni of People of Color Ecodharma Retreat and in summer 2022 stepped into the retreat manager role for these retreats which are co-hosted at least once a year by Boundless in Motion sangha and the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center. Asia can be reached at pocretreats AT gmail DOT com.
Ayya Dhammadhira is a Bhikkhuni trained in the Theravada tradition. She first took ordination in 2001 at Amaravati Monastery in the lineage of the Thai Forest Master Ajahn Chah. Later, she traveled to Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, and India to continue her practice. In 2012, she retrurned to her native land of California where she took bhikkhuni ordination in Los Angeles. Ayya presently lives at Deer Park in Colorado Springs, CO where she engages in community-wide outreach through the non-profit Web of Connection. Her aim is to build a resilient, regerative and integrated community by bringing the essence of timeless wisdom to the challenges we face in the modern world.
Barry Gillespie was introduced to meditation practice in 1978, through the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram. In 2003 he began exploring Theravada Buddhist practice, sitting many long retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and Spirit Rock in Woodacre, CA. His principal teacher is Guy Armstrong. Barry is an affiliated teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado (IMCC). He teaches mainly in Boulder and at the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center.
Bianca is originally from Zacatecas, Mexico and has been living in Colorado for over 17 years. She describes herself as a student, walker and steward of the Earth. She is proud of her indigenous roots and her life’s prayer is to be an active co-creator of a more beautiful world by sharing her gifts, being in synergetic relationships with Mother Earth, the diverse communities she is part of and embracing the multi-dimensionality of their being. She is a student and practitioner of traditional ecological design best known as permaculture, teacher by trade, and currently is in her second year of Capulli, a four year immersive program in curanderismo and ancestral/traditional healing.
Bridget Blomfield has had a life-long interest in mysticism, leading her to pursue a PhD in Religious Studies where she focused on Islamic Studies. She has had a forty-year meditation practice and has studied and taught Buddhism and Sufism in the United States, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Morocco and Turkey. Her master’s thesis, “Dance as a Body-Centered Psycho/Spiritual Practice” was written while she attended Pacifica Graduate School. Bridget has studied and developed somatic movement practices for 30 years and has offered movement and meditation workshops globally. Her work stresses intimacy and relatedness with all things. Supposedly retired, Bridget currently teaches adjunct at DU and CU and offers teacher training at her daughter’s Montessori school. She continues to study Persian and African dance and loves to eat almost anything.
Carla Brennan, M.Ed., has trained in the Zen, Insight Meditation and Tibetan Buddhist traditions since 1975 and is an authorized Spirit Rock Teacher. She founded Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation (bloomofthepresent.org) in 2014. Carla also taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for 18 years and is a former transpersonal psychotherapist. Currently, she teaches with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach in the Mindfulness Meditation Teachers Certification Program (MMTCP) and with Cloud Sangha. Carla has spent many months in silent retreat including two monthlong solos in the wilderness. Her dharma approach emphasizes integrating wisdom into everyday life, releasing the qualities of the awakened heart and abiding in the openness of presence. Her work also includes guiding people to the direct experience of our indivisibility from the living world, thus uniting our inner and outer nature to discover our true nature. As a photographer, she is dedicated to documenting the disappearing beauty and wonder of the natural world. Carla believes that we now must mobilize all of our wisdom and compassion to respond to the dire consequences of climate collapse and social injustice. Dedicated to spending as much time outdoors as possible, Carla is a nomad, exploring the world along side her partner of…
Carol was born in Africa, educated in Canada, and then worked internationally building community in different forms. After 25 years in psychotherapy and group practice at Stonehaven Commons in Radnor, PA., she now offers nature-based retreats in Colorado as a Courage & Renewal group facilitator, trained by Parker J. Palmer. She is now blending the Earth-based practices of Animas Valley Institute (Bill Plotkin) and other local organizations in a visionary program called ElderSoul. As a life adventurer and Earth listener, she recognizes our essential and critical human need to stop, slow down, and listen to our lives and all our relations speak.
Cat’s indigenous heritage is native to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. Her soul’s journey began with answering a subtle call to learn the healing arts. Since then, she has contributed to the healing and education of humanity as a Curandera/healer and teacher. She integrates her training at the Four Winds with shamanic teachings from Aztec, Incan, Mayan and many other spiritual traditions; encouraging and empowering others to heal and find the path of their Divine Destiny. She is passionate about inspiring others and resurrecting ancient wisdom to address contemporary issues facing Earth and humanity. She founded worldwide “Eternal Bond” Gatherings to assist humanity with re-establishing their sacred bond with Spirit and now blends ageless wisdom with innovative techniques in the “Medicine Wheel Retreat” to help us reconnect with our True Identity through integration of ancient rituals and shamanic journeying.
Caverly Morgan is a meditation teacher, author, speaker, and nonprofit founder. Her new book, The Heart of Who We Are: Realizing Freedom Together through Sounds True is available here. She is the founder and Lead Contemplative of Peace in Schools—a nonprofit which created the nation’s first for-credit mindfulness class in public high schools. She is also the founder of Presence Collective, a community of cross-cultural contemplatives committed to personal and collective transformation. Caverly blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern nondual approach. Her practice began in 1995 and has included eight years of training in a silent Zen monastery. She has been teaching contemplative practice since 2001 and leads meditation retreats, workshops and online classes internationally.
Cornelia (Punnya) Santschi is a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher. She is deeply committed to environmental conservation and social justice. At the RWJ Barnabas Health Institute of Neurology in NJ, she has specialized in brain-behavior relationships for over 20 years. Cornelia is a devoted student of Buddhism with a dedicated insight meditation practice since 2000. She completed yoga teacher training at Integral Yoga in NYC in 2001, and graduated from the Community Dharma Leader Program in 2017. As founder/president of non-profit Anatta World Health & Education Outreach, Cornelia has organized culturally sensitive health, education, and women’s empowerment programs in multiple countries, with local partners since 2006, and co-leads yearly meaningful travel tours in Nepal. Cornelia is co-founder/board member of Newark Center for Meditative Culture in NJ, where she serves as meditation teacher and insight community liaison; working to increase access to socially engaged programs within a diverse urban community. She is co-founder/vice-president of the Alegria Dharma Center, a meditation retreat center in Costa Rica, where she is developing a comprehensive EcoDharma retreat program.
My personal journey is in coming to live from embodied presence, listening to the wisdom of the body, with compassion. I value seeing the goodness and beauty in others, walking alongside, supporting and trusting each one’s own knowing. I hold space and steadiness and hope. I have confidence in this path. The teachings offered here have evolved through integration of various traditions which have been my personal path over the last 14 years: Insight Meditation, Buddhist psychology, Realization Process (a series of practices for opening the body, heart and mind to nondual reality through inward contact with the internal space of the body, Judith Blackstone). I teach residential retreats and groups (in person and by videoconference) for deepening embodied practice and unwinding interpersonal patterns, as well as courses for therapists aspiring to hold the healing space of compassion and awareness in their work with clients. I was formerly an adjunct teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. I currently mentor numerous programs with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, including the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program through SoundsTrue.
David Chernikoff is a meditation teacher, spiritual counselor, and life coach who taught psychology and meditation at Naropa University for many years. A student of meditation since 1971, David completed the inaugural Community Dharma Leader Training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and began teaching Insight Meditation in 1988. His teaching has been influenced by senior teachers from the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock, Zen teacher Yvonne Rand, and spiritual guides from other contemplative traditions, most notably Ram Dass, Father Thomas Keating, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. In the early 1980s, he worked at Ram Dass’s Hanuman Foundation Dying Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then became the director of Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M. He later spent three years in Nepal doing public health development work for the Seva Foundation and studying with Tibetan Buddhist teachers. After returning to the U.S., he became the education and training director for the Spiritual Eldering Institute, now called Sage-ing International. In that role, he taught conscious aging programs throughout the U.S., in Canada, and in Ireland. David is currently one of the guiding teachers of the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado and teaches retreats and workshops throughout the U.S. He is the author of Life, Part…
David identifies his spiritual roots as primarily in the Japanese Zen tradition. His Zen practice began 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 Spirit Rock, the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, Terre d’Eveil in Paris, and Dharma Gate University in Budapest. In 2014 David received an honorary PhD from Carleton College, his alma mater, for his contributions to socially engaged Buddhism. (He returned it in 2016, to protest the decision of the Board of Trustees not to divest from fossil fuel corporations.) David’s spiritual journey began when he lived in a remote valley on Molokai, Hawaii. There he fell in love with backpacking, meditating in nature, and solo wilderness retreats. David is a well-known writer, whose books and articles have been translated into many languages. His latest book, Ecodharma: Buddhist teachings for the ecological crisis, was published in 2019. He is also co-editor of A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency and has written many articles and blogs on Buddhism,…
Donna Roe Daniell LCSW brings over 35 years of experience as a family therapist, trauma therapist, Zen and Vipassana meditation practitioner and Ecodharma teacher, MBSR teacher, Certified IFS therapist, Mindful Self Compassion teacher, retreat leader and climate activist. Her unique retreat offers women in major transitions in their lives a mindful path through grief to true authenticity and fierce compassion. She has received training in The Work that Reconnects and has completed trainings with Deborah Eden Tull, bringing her facilitation tools more specifically focused on bringing women through their personal and global darkness safely to an emerging role in the transition. She has written a personal memoir of her own midlife struggles, “A Midlife Voyage to Transformation” published in 2021, which shows how these tools have guided her own personal transformation, and how this work has become her emerging contribution to global healing.
Doshin is a poet, teacher, and troublemaker – a Zen Master of no rank. He is the founder of Integral Zen and the Poetry of Dying Project, which uses the mirror of death to point to the essence of life. Doshin worked directly with JunPo as he first released and then developed the Process of Mondo Zen. Doshin uses several similar practice methods, he calls “Wu Technologies” to initiate curious seekers into a direct experience, a glimpse of the deepest truth of who we are – pure selfless awareness unpolluted by the perceptual illusion of self and the perpetual delusions of conditioned ego mind.
Frederic is an elder sage … and renaissance kind-of-guy. He “downloaded” his life/soul mission in his 30’s. The essence hasn’t changed in these 40 years since: “to explore, embody, and share paradoxical Wholeness.” His 50 years of journeying with this mission –and catalyzing others to find theirs — has led him to: founding and directing two educational nonprofits; local community activist for Dharma’s Garden — a 5 acre, educational farm in the heart of Boulder living abroad for total of five years; Human Resources VP for an entrepreneurial start-up rocketing to $50,000,000 sales; poet of over 200 poems; two year “walk-about” in Kashmir, India and Maui; total psycholgical crash and burn in mid-life: sleepless, homeless, penniless, suicidal; scholar and published author of Between Two Worlds: The Riddle of Wholeness; active coaching and mentoring practice for those wanting clarity and connection with their deeper soul. delving into extraordinary teachings, healings and soul medicine coming from entheogens; deliberately synthesizing his background in PhD clinical psychology, spirituality, meditation, mindfulness, energy medicine, somatic experience, neuroscience, wisdom traditions, evolutionary psychology, yoga, solo vision quests, professional dance and world travel adventures — into practical and loving teachings. More at his elder sage website: https://ultimateadventure.life/
Gene is dedicated to the project of rewilding the human spirit as an essential dimension of being fully alive in these times. Facilitating deep inquiry into the mystery of one’s true nature through meaningful engagement with the more-than-human world, he supports individuals to discover, re-member and live from their soul-rooted sense of belonging to the world. Gene is founder of Wild Heart Center for Nature & Psyche and is a lead guide at Animas Valley Institute
Grace Fisher, MFT, JD, MEd, is the Staff Dharma teacher at Spirit Rock and a psychotherapist in private practice in the Bay Area. She is a former lawyer who holds a Masters in Education from Stanford, and is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. She recently completed the Somatic Experiencing training and has studied at the Money Coaching Institute. At Spirit Rock, Grace also teaches a weekly women’s class and various daylongs. She is committed to exploring how the teachings support us navigating the gritty, the challenging and the beautiful. A former Coloradan, she lives in Marin county with her daughter. For more information, please visit her website at www.gracefishermft.com.
Gregory Crespo is an Awake in the Wild nature meditation teacher, having trained with Mark Coleman to learn to foster a rich sensitivity and connection to the natural world through mindfulness and contemplative practices. He has led weekend retreats and workshops and finds sharing mindfulness and nature practices with others to be a rewarding and inspiring part of life. He believes deeply that nature can be a healing and supportive element of meditation practice and that—for our own health and for the health of our planet—we as a species desperately need to reconnect with nature. Gregory is also a husband, father, veteran, and attorney. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he works in civil rights enforcement and compliance.
Gulwinder “Gullu” Singh is a corporate real estate attorney who regularly teaches both secular and Buddhist classes, groups and retreats at Insight LA and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, including Mindful-Based Stress Reduction. He has taught mindfulness at the University of Southern California and has been a guest lecturer on mindfulness at UCLA Law School. Although he was exposed to meditation as a child, he found his own practice when he started his legal career, working at firms where the job was extremely stressful. Gullu is deeply inspired to share meditation as an antidote to stress, a way to cope more effectively with the challenges of work and life and to inject more sanity, compassion and wisdom into this world,
Imtiaz Rangwala has been practicing meditation for ~20 years and is a lay meditation teacher in the lineage of Cold Mountain Zen. He is also one of the founding members of Boulder Ecodharma Sangha. Professionally, he is a Climate Scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he provides climate science support to people managing our land, water and wildlife. He loves to nurture community through his love for cooking, gardening and sharing of songs and stories. He also greatly loves the outdoors and considers nature to be a very important teacher. Imtiaz was raised in the Islamic tradition of progressive Dawoodi Bohras and remained influenced by Sufism. He will primarily serve as the chef and kitchen logistics manager for this retreat.
Janet Surrey, PhD is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a longstanding practice group in the Boston area. Her first meditation teacher was Vimala Thakar . She has practiced in the Insight tradition for over 30 years, and trained as a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock. Since 2007, Jan has worked intensively with Gregory Kramer and is currently serving on the Teachers Council of the Insight Dialogue Community. Jan is a practicing clinical psychologist and founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is on the faculty and board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. She is the author of The Buddha’s Wife: The Path of Awakening Together.
Jean Leonard, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher in private practice in Louisville, Colorado with 27 years clinical experience. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) classes and other mindfulness classes and 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. She has practiced yoga for over 30 years and vipassana meditation since 2003, and holds the Dharma as a sacred compass that guides her personal and professional life, and is currently in training as an Insight teacher with James Baraz. She has completed the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training (MYMT), the Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP), the Heavenly Messengers (HM) Program, and the Advanced Practitioners’ Program (APP) through Spirit Rock Meditation Center and feels deeply nourished by many years of long retreat practice. In February 2022 she completed a one-year Buddhist Eco-Chaplaincy Program through the Sati Center with Gil Fronsdal, Susie Harrington, and Kirstin Rudestam, and is trained to offer emotional and spiritual support to individuals and communities impacted by the environmental and ecological crises of our times. She has a particular passion in supporting women…
Johann started backpacking and meditating as a teenager, and deepened his spiritual journey on frequent solo wilderness trips. His passion is facilitating spiritual practice in nature: he has guided and taught wilderness retreats and workshops in various traditions for over 25 years, including as a Vision Quest guide in the late 1990s. Johann founded Impermanent Sangha in 2002 and has led dozens of Ecodharma and nature meditation retreats, including backpacking, camping, canoeing and rafting. Johann founded Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center in 2016 and is its Executive Director. Johann teaches Mindfulness Meditation, also known as Insight or Vipassana, with a modern secular approach. He has been meditating since 1974 and was asked to teach in 2008. He completed the two-year CDL teacher training program at Spirit Rock in 2012. His primary teachers include Shinzen Young and Eric Kolvig (who also helped found Impermanent Sangha and taught wilderness retreats for many years before his retirement).
A Dharma and Mindfulness teacher at New York Insight Meditation Center Jon first came across meditation in the 1970s, and then became interested in Insight and Mindfulness practices in the late 1990s, studying mindfulness meditation and Buddhism, which have since become central to his life. A Certified MBSR Teacher and Teacher Trainer, Jon trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Brown University. In 2016 he completed his training with Breathworks in the UK and has integrated many of these techniques and modalities into all his teaching. He is a co-founding member of New York Mindfulness Meditation Collaborative and founding member of the Global Mindfulness Collaborative. In addition to his work in these communities and following an interest in working with people struggling with trauma, Jon studied with the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which qualified him as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner®, having completed the 3-year professional training. Most recently he started teaching mindfulness for the New York Police Department. Growing up in New Hampshire wilderness activities have been part of his life since he was a teenager. He participated in one of the first retreats at RMERC and last taught there…
Josh Ellis is a mindfulness teacher, wilderness guide, and the former Resident Manager of RMERC. He is certified to teach mindfulness through Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program. He is the founder and lead guide of Maui Mindful Adventures, a group dedicated to practicing mindfulness in motion in nature.
Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher who has a lifelong interest in blending spirituality and meditation with social justice. Having grown up in an ecumenical Christian community where families practiced a new kind of monasticism and worked with the poor, at the age of twenty-five she entered a Buddhist monastery in the Plum Village tradition and spent fifteen years living as a nun under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She received Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh and became a Zen teacher in 2007, and is also a teacher in the Vipassana Insight lineage through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Today she sees her work as a continuation of the Engaged Buddhism developed by Thich Nhat Hanh as well as the work of her parents, inspired by their stories and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King Jr. on desegregating the South. In addition to writing We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption, she is also the editor of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children. Now based in New York, she teaches and leads retreats internationally, provides spiritual mentoring, and interweaves art, play, nature, racial and…
Kathleen Rude fell in love with the natural world as a young child and found her voice for environmental activism at age 10. She has a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and an M.S. in Natural Resources. Kathleen began her career as an environmental writer. Her studies of indigenous spiritual practice eventually led her to become a shamanic practitioner, ceremonial leader and teacher. She is a senior facilitator of the Work That Reconnects (WTR), an interactive process/workshop that helps to transform despair and overwhelm into empowerment and inspiration. She has been mentored by Joanna Macy, the internationally-acclaimed root teacher of the WTR. Building on the brilliance of WTR, Kathleen is developing her own process for helping people be an effective force for change in their lives and in the world through the choices they make every day. She will detail this practice in her upcoming book, How To Become An Every Day Difference Maker. She is the author of the novel, The Redemption of Red Fire Women, a spiritual story of suspense and romance in the Colorado high country.
Born in Japan, Kazu has been engaged in social change work since participating in the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage at 17 years old. He has over 20 years of experience in nonviolence training and organizing work, and has been trained by elders such as Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Rev. James Lawson. He has been a Kingian Nonviolence trainer since 2009, is a restorative justice facilitator, a core member of the Ahimsa Collective, and sits on the board of PeaceWorkers. He is the author of the upcoming book, Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm. He is also involved with the “Yet-to-be-named” direct action network at the interface of racial healing and climate justice.
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.
Lakshmi Nair: Lakshmi Nair is a yoga educator, engaged in reclaiming the pre-patriarchal, non-hierarchical indigenous resilience and resistance of her ancestral tradition of yoga and creating spaces for herself and others to authentically engage with the practices of yoga for self and collective healing and liberation. In 2014, Lakshmi created a yoga immersion and teacher training program exclusively for BIPOC which has since grown into Satya Yoga Cooperative, one of the first BIPOC owned and operated yoga cooperatives in the country.
Lauren Golten is a nature-based therapist and a group facilitator drawing upon her extensive training and experience with the Wild Mind model of Animas Valley Institute, the Work That Reconnects, and Matrix Leadership Institute. She holds masters degrees in Field Biology and Wilderness Therapy. Lauren’s 20-year practice and study of meditation and mindfulness, and her life-long love of the natural world, are core to her work as a therapist and facilitator. She sees clients and leads nature-based programs at her home-place of Wild Tinaja Ridge near Lyons, Colorado. https://www.mountainsandrivers.com/
Laurie was raised among mountains and rivers of Idaho and lives with a felt sense of the sacred threads that weave through this wild world. She longs to hear the thrum of soul’s truth and guides humans on the journey home to intimacy with the world’s sovereign aliveness, and their own, in this cosmic web. She is part of the Animas Valley Institute Soul Initiation and Apprenticeship program. Laurie has a passion for nature based, soul-connected ancestral work and intergenerational ceremony and journeys in which humans of many ages find themselves longing for and risking stepping through thresholds of becoming. Once an ordained clergy and hospice chaplain, she is steeped in Joanna Macy’s The Work that Reconnects, Permaculture, and Bill Plotkin’s Soulcraft work, among other embodied, earth based wisdom practices. http://www.sacredsoulwaters.net/
Over the past decade, Lin has studied insight meditation (vipassana) under the guidance of Jonathan Foust and Mark Coleman. In stillness and silence, she discovers the transformative power of meditation to help live a life of flow, joy, grace and gratitude. She was particularly moved by the power of nature meditation to connect with a deep sense of love, wonder, resilience, and belonging. She graduated from Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Nature Meditation Teacher Training in 2017. Since then, she has taught at Kripalu and other retreat centers around the country, has attended several programs at RMERC including the Ecodharma Training Retreat, and was enrolled in the Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders Program (CDL6). She also co-hosts the Sacred Earth Sangha of the New York Insight Meditation Center. Besides meditation, Lin is a kundalini yoga teacher and a reiki practitioner, and has served on the Board of the New York Insight Meditation Center. She holds a BA from Barnard College, and an MBA from New York University.
Linda Modaro is the founder and lead teacher at Sati Sangha, a vibrant online meditation community that offers daily virtual meditation sittings, online retreats and in-person retreats throughout the year. Linda began teaching Buddhist meditation in 2008 after she completed her intensive training for meditation and dharma teaching in Recollective Awareness Meditation with Jason Siff. Previously, she had a thriving acupuncture practice in Santa Monica, California, for more than 20 years. A master of Qi Gong, Linda also created a best-selling, four-part instructive Qi Gong video series called Discovering Chi: Energy Exercises (offered freely on the Sati Sangha website). Now teaching Reflective Meditation, Linda and Sati Sangha collaborate with Nelly Kaufer of Pine Street Sangha to creatively evolve the practice and the ways it is offered.
Liz Reynolds (she/her) Originally from east Tennessee, Liz began her meditation practice in 2010 while living and working in the Russian Far East. Her practice has accompanied her through living and working in Russia, Japan, Greece, Germany, several US states and through several Dharma study and leadership programs. In 2020, Liz became a teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, in central Virginia. She is currently in Upaya Zen Center’s two-year Buddhist chaplaincy training program and volunteers as a chaplain intern at UVA hospital, and is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Liz believes that the dharma can inform a socially engaged life, and feels passionately about justice (and fun!) in all forms. She is grateful to the Mother trees, mountain streams and mossy rocks for supporting her life and spirit each day! https://www.liz-reynolds.com/
Mark Coleman is an inner and outer explorer, who has devotedly studied mindfulness meditation practices for three decades and has taught mindfulness workshops and meditation retreats on six continents for the past twenty years. Mark is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and cofounder of the Mindfulness Training Institute. Mark is an unabashed nature lover and, through his organization Awake in the Wild, he leads wilderness meditation retreats integrating meditation and nature. Based on his book, Awake in the Wild, Mark leads year-long meditation-in-nature teacher training programs in the US. Mark also holds a MA in Clinical Psychology and draws on his extensive experience in working with people as a therapist and coach. Mark is the author of From Suffering to Peace: The True Promise of Mindfulness, Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery. www.markcoleman.org
As a child growing up in Venezuela, Natasha learned some of her most valuable lessons outside the classroom – from indigenous people living on their ancestral lands. As an adult, she studied with the Dalai Lama for more than 20 years and had the opportunity to attend nature-based retreats with Thich Naht Han in his monastery. As a professional nature meditation teacher and certified moon guide, she has taught groups from the United Nations, Google and Airbnb as well as medical practitioners, politicians, nonprofit leaders and filmmakers in the US, Latin America and Asia. Natasha is also a documentary filmmaker. Her experiential nature meditation film, Inmanencia, has been selected for festivals around the world from Boulder to Buenos Aires to Bhutan where it won the Audience Choice award. Her current series of short films, One Word, was selected by Robert Redford and the Redford Center as a powerful voice at the intersection of youth, indigenous wisdom and climate resilience.
Naveed (he/they) creates relational contexts in which regeneration is the norm. They identify in the spaces in between with regards to sexual identity (queer), culture (Ecuadorean, Persian, American), spiritual orientation, and profession. He is a master revealer, and uses this superpower to open a field in which others feel safe to reveal their deeper truths to be witnessed by the collective. After a period of commitment pruning, Naveed has found his niche with the social permaculture community; he thrives cultivating the relational soil and creating the conditions that support a more resilient “we-space”, or mycelial network. They are an embodied practitioner in the fields of walking, yoga, and authentic expression. Long multi-week solo walks across Colorado, their hometown, are their favorite method to connect deeply to self, place, and the interbeing-ness of the world. Recently, they joined the cooperative Walk2Connect as Movement Builder Owner and feels in deep alignment around moving at the speed of trust.
Nelly Kaufer is the founder and lead teacher at Pine Street Sangha, a meditation center in Portland, Oregon. Nelly was introduced to Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation in 1978 on retreats taught by Ruth Denison and began teaching women meditation soon thereafter, as there were no female teachers in her community at that time. She co-authored A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Renewal (HarperOne,1994), a book for which she interviewed women about their spiritual experiences. She completed two intensive teacher trainings, one in Vipassana with Jacqueline Mandell and the other in Recollective Awareness Meditation with Jason Siff. Nelly is a psychotherapist in private practice, integrating Buddhist psychology into her clinical orientation and has been teaching continuing education workshops for mental health professionals for about twenty-five years.
Peter has practiced meditation for 29 years in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He has done more than 31 months of silent retreat. He has taught insight meditation (mindfulness) since 2003 and has completed the Community Dharma Leader training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Peter teaches retreats and dedicated practitioner groups based in Longmont, CO. He has taught mindfulness to diverse audiences, from Colorado juvenile justices to school teachers to environmentalists. He is one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center in the mountains near Boulder, CO. Peter has been practicing as a transpersonal psychotherapist since 2007, using mindfulness and spirituality to heal emotional distress. In an 18-year career in the environmental field, Peter worked as an environmental educator for Massachusetts Audubon Society, as a wildlife biologist and lecturer at the University of Vermont, and as a consulting ecologist for groups such as the Nature Conservancy and the U. S. Forest Service. Peter enjoys playing piano, golfing, bird watching, hiking and being outdoors as much as possible.
Ramon Gabrieloff-Parish has developed a pedagogy that synthesizes ritual and ceremony, embodied imagination, social justice, and environment for over a decade. As an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Naropa University he teaches foundations in contemplative learning and theory, diversity and social identity and sustainability. He also focuses on the equity dimensions of the environment through courses in food and environmental justice. He serves as a freelance educator, lecturer and consultant on the links between social justice, sustainability and mindfulness for universities, businesses, outdoor organizations, non-profits and government. Ramon is a certified practitioner of SomaSource and longtime leader/facilitator in the Surfing The Creative®International Youth Leadership Camps, having helped usher hundreds of young people through contemporary threshold experiences. As a previous board member of Youth Passageways and a current board chair for Frontline Farming, Ramon is committed to the revival of rites of passage, community regeneration and imaginal renaissance. He will lead a weekend session at this retreat.
Rochelle Calvert has a devoted love to share the power and healing potential of mindfulness, somatic awareness, and nature. She has studied and taught mindfulness for the past 19 years and knows personally the transformational potential. Rochelle currently leads courses and retreats in mindfulness, somatic experiencing, and Awake in the Wild- nature-based mindfulness. She is also the Eco-Therapy director for Southwestern College and New Earth Institue. She is a certified mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Teaching Institute and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. She has also trained and assisted with Mark Coleman and as an Awake in the Wild meditation teacher. She practices mindfulness-based meditation rooted in the Buddhist Theravada Tradition and practices meditation outside in nature daily.
Sarah Heffron, LSCSW is a licensed clinical therapist and began sharing insight meditation in 1999. Her first degree was in environmental studies and her first refuge was in the natural world. It was in the whirlwind of defending the natural world, that she attended her first Vipassana retreat and then dove deeply into the Dharma, with the blessing of many longer retreats. Since becoming a mother 14 years ago, she has practiced the more worldly and often messy Dharma of a parent-householder. Participation in the Community Dharma Leader program and Dedicated Practitioner Program through Spirit Rock Meditation Center greatly contributed to finding grace amidst the grit whether in parenting, work, or activism. In the past two decades, she has taught Dharma class series, daylong and weekend retreats (Utah, Colorado, and Kathmandu), as well as teaching mindfulness and yoga in schools for five years. She is currently in the Buddhist Eco-Chaplaincy Program where she feels called to support the great transformation from the current paradigm of social and ecological injustice to a paradigm that respects and nourishes all beings.
Satya discovered yoga and meditation in 1993 out of her need to be happy. She was desperate to heal from the depression and anxiety she felt in her mind/body. She was a work study student at an ashram for many years and while “chopping wood and carrying water” she underwent a rigorous training to teach yoga, starting in 1997. Satya currently owns the Whole Yoga Center in Denver and has led numerous yoga teacher training‘s and daylong meditation retreats there, since 2004. Her calling in life is in the healing arts, she’s a body worker with an emphasis on somatics and she’s earned multiple certifications in ayurvedic and yogic studies, massage therapy and Qigong. Satya specializes in teaching embodiment and mindfulness to people who are in recovery from eating disorders and mood and anxiety disorders in a hospital setting. She started sitting with Johann Robbins’s meditation group in 2016 and was introduced to Vipassana Meditation, the Eco Dharma Center and nature practice, she is immensely grateful for RMERC and her deepening relationship to the land. Satya enjoy’s practicing mindfulness in nature while cross country skiing, paddle boarding, and hiking with her dog. She is learning how to lift weights safely. Satya resides in Louisville, CO and aside from being a yogini, she is also a mother and a wife.
Shinei Sara Monial and Soten Danney Lynch are ordained Soto Zen Priests. They lived and practiced full-time at Great Vow Zen Monastery with Chozen and Hogen Bays for a decade (https://zendust.org/). Shinei is a yoga teacher and Soten is a long distance ultra-runner and musician. Together they have been leading annual backpacking meditation retreats in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest since 2016. Recently they embarked upon a pilgrimage through Mexico and Central America, covering 3,000 miles purely on foot. Back from this journey they each seek to merge their passions for Embodiment, Nature and Dharma and share this unique offering with others.
Susie Harrington teaches meditation nationwide and is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, which serves many communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, Utah. She has trained in the Insight tradition since 1989, and in 2005 was invited into teaching by Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Guy Armstrong. In 2016 she formally received lineage transmission in the Thai Forest and Burmese Mahasi lineages. She has also received teachings from many others, including Tory Capron, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Lama Drimed, and Lama P.S. Dorji Rinpoche in Bhutan. She loves offering retreats outside, believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to our true self. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body and often emphasizes the expression of mindfulness in speech and daily life. Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological/spiritual interface to her teaching, informed by her ongoing study of the Diamond Approach by A.H.Almaas and as a graduate of Hakomi Therapy (a somatic psychotherapy modality). She delights in mentoring the innate qualities of heart and wisdom in everyday practice. She teaches regularly at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and co-leads the advanced student LEAP program as well as being a member of their…
Sylvie is a certified nature-therapy guide, mindfulness teacher in the Vipassana tradition, and an Emmy-nominated filmmaker. By blending these three disciplines, Sylvie offers simple but powerful techniques that help participants find freedom from suffering, to access the healing, wisdom, and wonder that can only be found in mindful relationship with nature. Narrated by Liam Neeson, her film Love Thy Nature earned 27 awards and has helped viewers realize that the illusion of separation from the natural world is at the root cause of our dire human condition. Through her teaching, Sylvie helps participants rekindle mindful loving awareness, awakening to the power of nature to help transform their lives. They often share that they take home a renewed sense of belonging, joy, aliveness, and a desire to protect our spellbinding world.
Tara-Lloyd Burton sat their first Insight Meditation retreat with Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg in 1975, as a spiritually wounded Vietnam Veteran. In 1985 they incorporated the organization that founded Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. In 2000 they graduated with the charter class of SRMC’s Community Dharma Leader training program. From that time forward they have served as resident guiding teacher (and more recently, environmental chaplain) for the Insight Meditation Community of Denver, Colorado. They have periodically assisted or co-taught Jhana retreats with Leigh Brasington since 2005. Lloyd’s inner deva Tara came forth in their affirmation of gender fluidity in 2017, on retreat at the center they helped bring into being.
Terry Ray is a licensed psychotherapist who has been practicing Insight (Vipassana) meditation since 1974, and teaching for over 45 years. She completed the first Community Dharma Leader’s program at Spirit Rock, leads retreats and teaches through the Insight Meditation Community and at Naropa. Terry also studied intensively with Charlotte Selver in Sensory Awareness, and is certified to lead this somatic based mindfulness practice. Terry is the author of Embodied Presence, A Spiritual Memoir. For information go to www.TerryRay.org
Victoria (Tory) Wolf Capron is the principle teacher for the Golden Bowl Foundation. Inspired by Buddhism, particularly the crazy wisdom teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the body, nondual teachings, the natural world, and shamanism, Tory weaves together Buddhist practices, meditation, and psychology to challenge her students to be fearless and gentle in uncovering the truth of their own true nature and experiencing the sacredness of life. Tory has been working with individuals, couples, women and groups for the last 25 years. From 1980-1996, her life and career was deeply connected with the natural world. She worked as a wildlife biologist, backcountry ranger, and wilderness guide. Tory has been practicing Buddhism since 1978, including 8 years of Zen training, 8 years of Vipassana, and since 1994 in the Tibetan tradition. Tory has studied with many teachers, and her root teachers are Chogyam Trungpa, Reggie Ray and Adyashanti. She became a Buddhist minister in 2000. Her Master’s degree in Buddhist studies included training in counseling, group facilitation, and chaplaincy. She is also certified in body-mind psychotherapy and Somatic Archeology. She has trained in shamanism, including shamanic journeying. Tory works with beginning students of meditation as well as being authorized to teach more advanced practices of the Vajrayana. She…
Upasaka Upali is a Dharma teacher who aims to demystify meditation, provide tangible instruction, and create a rewarding experience for practitioners. Upali received transmission in a lineage that can be traced back to the Buddha through Namgyal Rinpoche (Ananda Bodhi), and he took his Upasaka vows in 2015. He has a degree from St. Olaf College and has studied Dharma and meditation with Tucker Peck, Ph.D. and Upasaka Culadasa. Upali was the founding director of Open Dharma Foundation and currently serves as the Board Chair for Center Space, a non-profit community meditation studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He also co-hosts the podcast Teaching Meditation and serves as a somatic facilitator for Neurosystemics Dharma. Upali is formally trained in the Shamatha Vipassana path expounded upon in The Mind Illuminated. He teaches with a student-centric approach, meaning the student guides the practice based on personal benefits rather than adhering to a single tradition or technique. Upali has taught a wide audience, including Amazon employees, elementary students, and prison inmates, but he primarily teaches residential retreats across North America and Europe and online to practitioners interested in creating depth and consistency in their practice amidst daily life.
“Viviane Ephraimson-Abt,, MS, M.Ed, LPC (she, her) has practiced with the Plum Village Community since 1998. In 2002 she co-founded a local and a regional OI sangha. Viviane, True Mountain of Peace, ordained in 2005 and received the lamp transmission in Plum Village in 2018. As a Dharma Teacher she teaches with the Lotus Institute, the Mindful Educators Network, with diversity and inclusion efforts, and days of mindfulness and retreats with various sanghas. She has been on the planning team of many retreats in Colorado, including 6 monastic retreats with Thay, as part of the Colorado Community for Mindful Living. Viviane is a co-founder of the ARISE sangha( 2015-17) and has served on the Dharma Teachers Nourishment and Life Committee of the Dharma Teachers Council since 2020. For the past 25 years Viviane has developed initiatives and taught for faculty, staff and students at Colorado State University. Currently, she is the Manager of Wellbeing Initiatives and serves on the leadership team of CSU’s Center for Mindfulness.”