WILDERNESS MEDITATION & YOGA EXPEDITIONS

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When the doors of perception are cleansed,
all will appear to man as it truly is: infinite.
-William Blake


 

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

Charles Wolf Drimal is an ecopsychologist, wilderness educator, conservation advocate, Zen Buddhist meditation practitioner, 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 thought, practice, and writing explore how direct contact with the living world serves as a catalyst for experiences of transformation. For over a decade he has made zazen (Zen meditation) a daily practice. Charles has integrated zazen 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. Charles is a proud father of one junior mountain goat in training - his son, Elias Winter Drimal.

 

 

  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.

 

 

  Gretchen Druliner,   Art & Media Savant & Guide

Gretchen has spent much of her adult life living and working in the out of doors. Her endeavors have included many years as a field biologist working on endangered species reintroduction, seed dispersal studies, and natural history studies. She has also spent several years as a river guide in the Grand Canyon. Working as a field biologist and a guide has provided Gretchen the lucky opportunity to have spent many years in a variety of environments, from desert to rainforest. Just sitting, observing the leaves moving in the wind and the innumerable sensations of time under the sky has taught Gretchen the lessons of solace, rhythm, and volition of the natural world. Through academic studies at Rhode Island School of Design and Evergreen State College, Gretchen brings a unique mergence of art design and geosciences to AI. She now spends an abundance of time with her son, playing in the mud and willows along the banks of the Yellowstone River, eating apples in an orchard, and hiking along mountain creeks.

 

 

  Reverend David Gunderson,   Advisor

David Gunderson is a native of Seattle who moved to Livingston, Montana in 2004 to become the Rector of three Episcopal parishes in Livingston, Emigrant, and Big Timber. Since his ordination in 1981, he has spent fifteen years in the practice of psychotherapy while also serving as a parish priest. He has degrees in English Literature, Theology, and Pastoral Psychotherapy. His primary interests include the contemplative life of meditation and prayer; the dialogue between faith traditions, especially Christian and Buddhist; the care for and receptivity to the wild nature of the earth; and literature, poetry, philosophy, and music. David is a skier and climber, and regularly fishes the Yellowstone River. He is married to Kory Gunderson. David has one son, Niles, who is studying the cello at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

 

 

  John Hykes, M.A.   Board Member

John Hykes is a longtime resident of Livingston, Montana. Originally from Chicago and St. Louis, he moved to Montana after a successful management career with the Neiman Marcus Group and the City of Chicago. John has contributed to the retail success of several companies in Montana before choosing to work for Elichai Fine Jewelry as a Director of National Sales and Marketing. With a degree in social work from the University of Chicago, he shares his work skills with several non-profit organizations: CASA, Gallatin County Fair Grounds Summer Fair and Tri-County Network. John enjoys everyday life with a passion for deep breathing, the examination of color in the phenomenal world, and embracing life moment-by moment with his partner Bonnie, his mother Judith, Rowan, the family dog, and Blu and Sysco the cats. All share the daily practices of organic gardening and hiking the natural paths that meander to points unknown around the state.

 

 

  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.

 

 

  Susan Tixier,  Board Member

Born and raised in Aspen, Colorado, Susan has spent her lifetime exploring the American West and defending its wilderness character. With a law degree from the University of New Mexico, Susan worked in the New Mexico legislature, served as editor of the New Mexico Environmental Law Journal and worked for former New Mexico Governor Anaya as an environmental policy aide. She was on the founding board of the Forest Guardians (now WildEarth Guardians) before moving to Utah to serve as the associate executive director to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. While with SUWA, Susan founded the Great Old Broads for Wilderness. Eventually Susan moved to Boulder, Colorado to join the founding board of the nonprofit environmental law group, the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, that has since become the Western Resources Advocates. Years later, Susan became the executive director of the Colorado Environmental Coalition, now Conservation Colorado. Somewhere in her service to the environment, Susan found time to pick up two Masters' Degrees at St. John's College in Eastern and Western philosophy. Susan now lives in Pinedale, Wyoming and is plotting her next life adventure.

 

 

  Ryan Van Luit,   Board Member & Guide

As a wilderness educator, guide and a risk management consultant, Ryan has spent his entire career focused on facilitating outdoor experiences for people of all walks of life. Working for organizations including Outward Bound, The National Outdoor Leadership School and Outdoor Safety Institute, Ryan has directed courses, trained staff, led teams, and managed groups in the mountains, rivers and deserts throughout the U.S. and abroad. Ryan finds inspiration from: creative living, Taoist philosophy, contemporary artwork, having adventures, his wife’s cooking, reducing impacts on the earth; and exploring: cultural habits, paradox, self awareness, collective consciousness, and poetry. Aside from abundant clean air and water, he deeply enjoys the rhythm of wild places. Ryan lives a 1/4 mile from the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, the Yellowstone.

 

 

  Jared White, M.S.   Board Member

Jared is a writer, naturalist, sportsmen, and explorer of Wilderness. In his professional capacity, Jared is Communications Manager at The Wilderness Society in Bozeman, Montana. To that end he works to empower local citizens to effectively communicate their stories and influence change. Since starting at The Wilderness Society 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.

 

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