Impermanent Sangha Retreats
Jon Aaron is a teacher at New York Insight Meditation Center, the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM as well as a certified training of MBSR teachers. He co-leads retreats under the auspices of the CFM and Mindful-Way. His primary Buddhist teacher has been Matthew Flickstein and sits retreats often with Ajahn Sucitto. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and is certified as a Somatic Experience Practitioner.
Growing up in New Hampshire, wilderness activities have been part of Jon's life since he was a teenager. He has participated in several IS retreats, including one of the first retreats at RMERC, and looks forward to returning.
Impermanent Sangha is a small non-profit dedicated to offering meditation retreats in nature and wilderness. One of a handful of such groups in the U.S., our organization and meditation retreats are run solely on a donation (Dana) basis. No one is paid for administering Impermanent Sangha, and the teachers and most staff receive only the Dana (donations) given by participants.
Alice Robbins has been on retreat with Impermanent Sangha every year since the retreats began in 2002, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. For many years she has helped manage retreats, including the kitchen and logistics, providing wonderful meals for participants and teachers. Alice first started meditating in 1998, and is an experienced and avid boater, licensed river guide, camper, hiker, and musician, and has a deep connection to meditating in nature and wilderness. She is a "recovering" attorney, having recently retired from law, and now practices family law mediation.
David Loy comes from both the Japanese Zen tradition and Insight. He began Zen practice in Hawaii in 1971 with Yamada Koun and Robert Aitken, and continued with Koun-roshi in Japan, where he lived for almost twenty years. He was authorized to teach in 1988 and leads retreats and workshops nationally and internationally in places such as at Spirit Rock, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Omega Institute, Cambridge Insight Center, Terre d’Eveil in Paris, and Dharma Gate in Budapest. David recently received an honorary PhD from his Alma Mater, Carleton College, for his years of work on socially engaged Buddhism. Check out David's new book "Ecodharma", available in January.
David’s spiritual journey began when he lived for several years 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. He is co-editor of A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency (Wisdom Publications) and has written many articles and blogs on Buddhism, ecology, and activism. He is very interested in the parallels between what Buddhism teaches about our personal predicament, and our current collective environmental predicament. David's writings and videos are available at davidloy.org and at ecobuddhism.org. This will be his fifth year with Impermanent Sangha.
Johann Robbins is the founder and director of Impermanent Sangha, and the Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center. He is a teacher of Mindfulness Meditation, also known as Insight or Vipassana. Johann has been meditating since 1974 with a focus on Mindfulness since 1997. He was asked to teach in 2008, and has completed the two year Community Dharma Leader teacher training program at Spirit Rock. 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). His style is light and open, yet focused and clear.
Johann started backpacking as a teenager, and deepened his spiritual journey on solo wilderness trips in his teens and twenties. His passion is teaching spiritual practice in nature, and he has guided and taught wilderness retreats in various traditions for almost 30 years, including being a Vision Quest guide in the late 1990's. Johann founded Impermanent Sangha in 2002 and has led dozens of nature meditation retreats since then, including backpacking, camping, canoeing, and rafting.
Johann also offers a variety of meditation classes, daylongs, and weekend retreats in Boulder. To find out more or join his Boulder email list go to BoulderMindfulness.org.
Peter Williams has been teaching wilderness and nature retreats with Impermanent Sangha since 2010. He has practiced meditation for over 20 years in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, including many months of intensive silent retreat, and has taught mindfulness meditation in Boulder since 2003. Peter is certified as a Community Dharma Leader by Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and teaches retreats in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Peter also practices as a transpersonal psychotherapist in Boulder.
Peter has deep wilderness experience; he was an ecologist and wildlife biologist for 12 years, working with black bears, songbirds, beaver and wetlands, and also as an environmental educator for Massachusetts Audubon Society.