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John Baker

John Baker

John Baker has been a student Buddhism for more than 41 years.   A close disciple of Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, he co-founded and taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, serving as its CEO for the first three years of its existence and teaching Buddhism there for five.  He also co-founded and co-directed the Karma Dzong Meditation Center in Boulder for the first five years of its existence.  He is the co-editor of Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and The Myth of Freedom and author numerous articles.  After 23 years in private business, he retired in 2000.  During this time he continued teaching Buddhist thought and meditation practice throughout North America, delivering lectures, weekend programs, and multi-month courses.  Today he is a senior teacher in the North American Buddhist community and at the New York Shambhala Center and the Westchester Buddhist Center, of which he is a founder.  He has led a number of month-long meditation programs at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado and Karme Chöling Meditation Center in Vermont and has taught at the Vajradhatu Seminary.  He currently enjoys working as a life and executive coach.  John lives in Bedford, NY and is married to Natalie Baker with whom he has a daughter, Olivia, age 7.  He also has a daughter, Cara, age 38, a son-in-law, Vajra Rich, and a granddaughter Stella, age 10 in Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about John, go to www.johnbakercoaching.com

In the fall of 1970 Bob Lester, then Chairman of the Religious Studies Department at the University of Colorado, invited Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a highly ranked, Tibetan Buddhist lama, to teach a course on Buddhism to undergraduates.  Rinpoche had arrived in the U.S. that spring from Scotland, landing at Tail of the Tiger (now Karme Chöling) in Barnet, Vermont, where he gave summer seminars on the teachings of Milarepa and other subjects.  In August some CU professors had invited Rinpoche, then about 31 years old, to come to Boulder, and I and another student, Marvin Casper, both in our mid-twenties, had asked him if we could accompany him.  So in October of 1970 the three of us moved to Colorado, initially living together in a stone cabin with a pot-bellied stove and outhouse at 10,000 feet in Gold Hill, but later moving to a modern duplex in Four-Mile Canyon just outside of town.  Rinpoche’s wife, Diana, joined us after a few months, and they lived together in the first floor apartment, while Marvin and I inhabited the upstairs.