Our center is sustained and guided by two entities. The Dharma Council is responsible for the teaching, programming, and the overall spiritual leadership of the center. The board of directors, a group of six to eight members of the sangha, is responsible for overseeing operations, raising money, paying bills, and attending to the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Our center is also supported by community dharma elders. Dharma elders formally served on the Dharma Council and have stepped back from their organizational responsibilities. They offer dharma talks, mentor groups, and support practitioners with individual practice discussions.
A robust team of volunteers supports virtually all other aspects of the Dharma Center. Specialized committees oversee cleaning, greeting, gratitude, facilities management, and retreats and programs. Our center runs on the generosity, hard work, and talent of our volunteers.
Committed to the safety and well-being of our practitioners, we also maintain a Dharma Ethics and Reconciliation (DEAR) Council. This council consists of a small group of people in leadership who field any ethical concerns, conflicts, or grievances so that the Dharma Center may continue to be a safe and welcoming place for all.
“Mindfulness meditation is not a quick fix, nor is it about denying what we feel by replacing negative experiences with positive ones. It’s about embracing the truth of the moment and discovering the liberating power and beauty of pure awareness.”
Erin Treat serves as the Guiding Teacher for the Durango Dharma Center. She has sat on the Dharma Council since 2005 and on the board of directors since 2001. Erin is a graduate of the retreat teacher training program at Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Meditation Center and regularly teaches retreats at those centers as well as Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center.Show More
Yong Oh entered the Buddhist path through Soto Zen and now practices and offers teachings primarily within the insight meditation tradition. He is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders program and is currently a participant in the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Retreat Teacher Training program as well as the Sacred Mountain Sangha Dharmapala Training with his primary teachers Kittisaro and Thanissara.Show More
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Victor Lopez currently serves as president of the board of directors. He has been practicing meditation since 2012 and has attended many residential retreats and classes over the years. As a physician, Vic has practiced family medicine and provided medical care in our community since 1980. He has also offered his medical skills through volunteering at the local hospice and in Guatemala.
Cindy Dunbar is vice president of the board. She also oversees the Dharma Center’s programs and retreats committee. Cindy has been practicing meditation since 2009. She is currently retired and loves spending time outdoors skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and doing trail work.
Lynne Sholler is secretary for the board of directors. She has been practicing meditation since 2012 and has served as a board member since 2017. She enjoys taking classes for greater depth of her practice as well as attending daylong and residential retreats. Lynne is a civil rights attorney and has been a volunteer and board member for numerous local organizations, including Manna Soup Kitchen, Women’s Resource Center, and Access to Justice.
Margi Buiso currently acts as the board liaison with the homeowner’s association and the BASE committee, which cares for our building. As a self-confessed dharma bum, she chose the path of meditation at age 18. Since retiring from nursing, she has been fortunate to attend several long retreats at IMS in Barre, Massachusetts. With a passion for anything outdoors, Margi enjoys gardening, hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, water sports, arch hunting, and lots of solitary time in nature. numerous local organizations, including Manna Soup Kitchen, Women’s Resource Center, and Access to Justice.
Kate Siber oversees all communications, marketing and publicity for the center. She has been practicing meditation since 2013, when she first attended the Next Gen group and a beginning meditation class at the Dharma Center. She is a freelance magazine journalist, a correspondent for Outside magazine, and the author of a children’s book, National Parks of the U.S.A.
Paula Dunne is a former nurse and founder of the Durango and Aztec Urgent Care Centers. She currently works as an executive coach and brings her business background to her board service. Paula has been meditating for 20 years and enjoys going on retreats at Vallecitos, Spirit Rock and Tara Mandala. She also loves to ski and mountain bike.
Alena George joined the board in 2020. She has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 2012 and has attended numerous silent retreats with a variety of teachers. A retired public health nurse with a background in computer science, she now volunteers for the Dharma Center and other organizations in Durango. Alena enjoys travel, motorcycles, classic skiing, hiking and gardening.
COMMUNITY DHARMA ELDERS
Our dharma elders have been part of laying the foundation for the success the Dharma Center enjoys today. For many years, they lovingly supported the growth and development of the Dharma Center, volunteering countless hours over the last two decades. While they have stepped back from their positions on the Dharma Council and from overseeing the busy day-to-day activities of the center, they still contribute in important and meaningful ways and hold cherished roles in our community.
Katherine Barr has been practicing Buddhist vipassana meditation since 1995. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders (CDL) program, which trains leaders to share the dharma in their communities, as well as the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP), a course of deepening study of the Buddha’s teachings for devoted practitioners.Show More
Bill Ball has been practicing meditation for 25 years. He has been influenced primarily by the vipassana traditions of Southeast Asia but also by Christian contemplative tradition and Tibetan Dzogchen practices. Bill holds a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a master of social work degree from Rutgers University.Show More
ETHICS & RECONCILIATION COUNCIL
At the Durango Dharma Center, we are committed to practicing within a clear Buddhist code of ethics. In support of this practice, we are dedicated to addressing the inevitable conflicts that arise within any community. For this reason, the board of directors and Dharma Council established a Dharma Ethics and Reconciliation Council (DEAR). The council is designed to offer support should ethical breaches or serious complaints having to do with leadership or operation of the center arise.
The council is currently made up of one member of the Dharma Council (Erin Treat), a community dharma elder (Katherine Barr), the president of the board (Vic Lopez), and one other member of the board (Kate Siber). Any sangha member who would like help with ethical grievances that arise within the Durango Dharma Center community can reach out to any of the DEAR Council members. The council will then follow a clearly defined grievance process for any complaints that cannot be resolved through dialogue and informal mediation.
It is important to note that any alleged illegal or criminal behavior must be reported to appropriate legal authorities and that the council does not offer legal counsel.