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If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything.
In the beginner's mind there are many posibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
-Shunryu Suzuki Roshi


  Charles Wolf Drimal, M.S., M.A.   Executive Director & Guide

Charles Wolf Drimal is a Zen Buddhist practitioner, wilderness guide, conservationist, adventurer, musician and poet. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Environmental Studies and Ecopsychology from Dartmouth College, the University of Montana and Naropa University, respectively. His experiences have clarified that meditation practice and direct contact with the living world serve as catalysts for transformation. Charles has integrated zazen (Zen meditation) practice as a professional field instructor with organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School, guiding and educating people in wild land settings from the tundra slopes of Alaska to the glaciers of Patagonia.



  Jonathan Barfield, Ph.D.   Guide

Jonathan earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He earned his M.A. in Transpersonal Theory. His undergraduate degrees were in ecology and psychology. His recent work has focused on the psychology of freedom and the relationships between Buddhist psychology and ecopsychology, on which he has published and presented internationally. Jonathan currently lives in Placerville, Colorado, and is an ecologist and psychotherapist using original methods based upon Depth Ecology and Eastern psychological principles. He teaches classes in rural communities on the psychology of meditation, mindfulness, and ecopsychology. Apart from academics, Jonathan’s understanding about the relationship of nature and psyche is grounded in fourteen years of meditation practice—six of those years were spent living in a tipi on the Colorado Plateau.



  Zenki Christian Dillo Sensei,   Zen Teacher & Guide

Zenki Christian Dillo Sensei is Baker Roshi’s Dharma Heir and a Resident Teacher at Crestone Mountain Zen Center. He practices in the Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, author of “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,” and one of the first Japanese Zen masters to develop Zen practice in America. Zenki began practicing Zen at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1996. He has been Baker Roshi’s student since 1997. From 2000-2003 he lived and practiced at Dharma Zentrum Quellenweg, Dharma Sangha’s Buddhist Study Center in the Black Forest, Germany. In 2003 he received monk and priest ordination from Baker Roshi and became a full-time resident at Crestone Mountain Zen Center. In 2013 he received dharma transmission from Baker Roshi.



  Hal Hallstein,  Board Member

Hal Hallstein first took interest in the dharma and the backcountry in high school. He eventually enrolled at Colby College where he was able to combine a major in Asian regional studies with exploring Maine's vast woods and coastline. His path has led him to 501(c)3 work with the Walden Woods Project, Wisdom Publications, and the Winter Wildlands Alliance. The Absaroka Institute is a natural extension of his non-profit interests, and he is particularly fascinated with reinvigorating the spiritual use of public lands. When he is not breathing in the backcountry he is running the Sankala Group, an investment advisory business in Boulder, CO.



  Michael Madura, M.A.   Board Member

Michael Madura is a professional grant writer from Boulder, Colorado. He is a native of New England where he enjoyed exploring the rocky coast of Rhode Island’s Narraganssett Bay by boat and regularly hiked the Pine Barrens near the South County Watershed. Mike has spent the majority of his professional career in non-profit development, working for both local and national non-profit organizations primarily specializing in the green industry. In addition, Mike spent several years on the Board of Directors of the New England Museums. Mike now serves as Senior Research Analyst for Naropa University's Office of Advancement. Mike has dedicated his private time to sustainable living and green initiatives all over Southern New England. Mike is committed to inspiring and nurturing appreciation of the natural world and to fostering a rich environmental ethic.



  Anna Ourusoff,  Yoga Instructor & Guide

As a student and teacher of yoga for over 20 years, Anna has explored many methods of yoga including Ashtanga, Iyengar and Anusara. Anna co-owns and directs Montana Lotus Yoga in Bozeman, Montana. She also holds classes in Big Sky, Montana at various venues, including in her own home studio, Big Sky Om Yoga, where she lives with her daughter and six chickens. After graduating from Brown University and having studied the relationship of personhood and culture, she discovered through yoga the realm of the inner relationship of self to Self, from which all experience and relationship derives. She has found the journey of discovery within the context of wild landscape to be particularly healing. Anna is passionate about using yoga tools therapeutically for optimal bio mechanical alignment, for healing from injury or chronic patterns, and for emotional, mental and physical well being. She is inspired to share her knowledge and experience in the hopes of helping students move through life’s challenges and cultivate faith that they can open, heal and become more joyfully themselves.



  Jared White, M.S.   Board Member

Jared is a writer, naturalist, sportsmen, and explorer of Wilderness. In his professional capacity, Jared works for the Western Conservation Foundation. For five years he served as communications manager at The Wilderness Society in Bozeman, Montana. Jared works to empower local citizens to effectively communicate their stories and influence change. Throughout his career, Jared has led multiple robust communication campaigns to protect wild country and keep encroaching industrial energy development out of special places. He has degrees in Anthropology from Skidmore College and Environmental Science from the University of Montana.


Absaroka Institute   PO Box 6486   Bozeman, Montana  59771
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