2021 Retreat Leaders
Select a Leader to see the Events that they are guiding this summer!
Asia Dorsey embraces the earth. Ear to the soil, she heeds the instruction of mineral, microbial, and botanical beings. She uses her gift of pattern recognition to embed organizational culture with the ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. She studied Non-Profit Management at the Wagner School for Public Service at New York University and uses her training in Kingian Non-Violence facilitation to create frameworks for beloved communities. Asia seeds indigenous centered Permaculture Design and Social Permaculture Design education with the Denver Permaculture Guild. She has centered ecological design in building her own, regenerative worker’s cooperative, the Five Points Fermentation Company and as a current Coop Educator and Board Member of the Community Wealth Building Network. Asia ensures that the frameworks for world building center joy, creativity and pleasure. She has, to this end, become a pillar of play using art, authentic relating and performance to cultivate strategic imagination through her innovative Dreamplay modality. She engages communities and organizations in dreaming themselves back home. From this dreaming, she perpetuates the notion that home is in our bodies and facilitates from frameworks of Healing Justice to shape everyday organizations to embody liberation. Asia has personally, grounded and centered Black bodies in these…
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.
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
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 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 brings over 28 years of experience as a family therapist, vipassana meditation practitioner, MBSR teacher, certified IFS therapist and trained MSC teacher into her coaching practice. She works specifically with women in midlife transitions such as divorce, death of a loved one, empty-nesting, caretaking a loved one, menopause or major medical issues, and retirement or work transitions. Her unique coaching program, “The Midlife Voyage to Transformation,” offers a powerful mindfulness toolbox that ignites fierce courage in the face of fear. This roadmap through your grief brings true authenticity, clarity, and passion back into your life again. You can read more about this voyage and take her Assessment here.
Frederic is a renaissance kind of guy — scholar and published author of Between Two Worlds: The Riddle of Wholeness; Founder and Director of two nonprofits; community activist through the MIT U-Lab; working in fields as diverse as pregnancy and infant loss to Human Resources VP for an entrepreneurial start-up rocketing to $50,000,000 sales; poet of over 200 poems; and an active coaching and mentoring practice for those wanting clarity and connection with their deeper soul. He has deliberately synthesized his background in 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. The theme running through his diverse life is to explore, embody, and share Wholeness. His heart is to be of benefit — whether befriending a homeless on the streets, joining a local cause to stop fracking, writing a poem, or mentoring those in his coaching practice of 40 years.
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
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.
Jeannie Zandi is a mother, teacher and revolutionary of the heart whose 4 year dark night of the soul culminated in a shift to unitive consciousness. She is Spiritual Director of Living as Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeding a culture of Love on the planet. Through retreats and online programs, participants explore what it means to live from the alive present moment. This teaching is deeply spiritual and grounded in practicality, as Jeannie’s skill at untangling the complexities of mind and emotion bring each participant back to resting simplicity. She is known for her fearless clarity, tender mercy toward humanness, and a juicy, poetic and often humorous style that draws from Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Christian mysticism and the ongoing revelation of fully engaged living.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Maria Talero is a long-time educator and facilitator who believes that lasting social change arises from a deeper level than our fiery and righteous ideas of right and wrong – and that this level can be accessed by fostering empathetic and trusting relationships in organizations, workplaces and communities. She is a native of Colombia and was raised bi-culturally in the U.S., and is now raising two small kids and looking at the future through their young eyes. She partners with non-profits, faith communities, and educational and grassroots organizations in Colorado and is involved with Social Permaculture Design Course and Rocky Mountain Mutual Aid Network, two organizations focused on social change through the vehicle of closely-knit relational pods. She is a 2014 NAAEE Community Climate Change Fellow through the Environmental Protection Agency-sponsored EECapacity program and the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.
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.
Peter has practiced meditation for 28 years in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He has done more than 30 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 16 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 also facilitates professional trainings in mindfulness for clinicians and travels the country teaching seminars. 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 is a licensed clinical psychologist and somatic experiencing practitioner. She practices mindfulness-based meditation rooted in the Buddhist Theravada Tradition and practices meditation outside in nature daily.
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…
Other RMERC Retreat Leaders
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…
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.
David Chernikoff began the study and practice of meditation in 1971 and started teaching insight meditation in 1988. He trained as a yoga teacher at the Integral Yoga Institute and completed the Community Dharma Leader program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. His teaching has been influenced by senior teachers from the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock, Tibetan teachers he studied with during a 3-year stay in Nepal, and Zen teacher Yvonne Rand. As someone with a longtime interest in interspiritual dialogue, David has also studied and practiced with spiritual guides from other contemplative traditions, most notably Ram Dass, Father Thomas Keating, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. He taught psychology and meditation at Naropa University for many years and worked as the education and training director of the Spiritual Eldering Institute, a conscious aging program later renamed Sage-ing International. Currently David is one of the guiding teachers of the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado (IMCC) and has a private practice as a spiritual counselor and life coach in Boulder, Colorado. He teaches workshops and retreats throughout the U.S.
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.
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.
Jean Leonard, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and a registered yoga teacher in private practice in Louisville, Colorado with 25 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. She has practiced yoga for over 25 years and vipassana meditation since 2003, and holds the Dharma as a sacred compass that guides her personal and professional life. She has completed the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training (MYMT), the Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP), and the Heavenly Messengers (HM) Program, and is currently enrolled in the Advanced Practitioners’ Program (APP, 2019-2020) through Spirit Rock Meditation Center and feels deeply nourished by many years of long retreat practice. 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 has a particular passion in supporting women blossoming into wholeness and is delighted to be bringing together her love of psychology, yoga,…
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.