TEACHERS & INSTRUCTORS
As students of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, WBC directors Jane and Derek Kolleeny and John Baker emphasize experiential Buddhism, which develops as meditation practice deepens and filters into one’s daily life. Trungpa Rinpoche was a Tibetan meditation master, scholar, and teacher who interpreted Buddhism for Western lifestyles and minds and who brought the Shambhala Buddhist teachings on creating enlightened society to the West.
The Center also offers more in-depth classes on Sunday afternoons for students who have been practicing meditation and studying the Buddhist teachings for a year or more.
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 in Boulder for the first five years of its existence.
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Derek Kolleeny began the practice and study of Buddhism in 1976 and became a student of Trungpa Rinpoche. After graduating from high school in 1977, he attended his first of many Naropa Institute summer sessions. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College in the Comparative Study of World Religions, focused on Buddhism, including study of Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. Learn more >
Jane Kolleeny has been studying and practicing Buddhism since the early seventies when her teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche arrived in Boulder, Colorado. A native Coloradan, she moved to New York in 1990 and taught classes at the New York Shambhala Center for many years, organizing and teaching at the Tuesday dharma gatherings for nine years. She serves as retreats and business development director at Garrison Institute producing over 100 retreats a year. She lives in Sleepy Hollow with her husband Derek and two dogs. She is a cofounder of the Westchester Buddhist center where she teaches regularly. She has completed the 8-week MBSR training and has taught meditation to a variety of groups at Garrison Institute including student groups and staff retreats for nonprofits.
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Gene Bobker met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as a student at University of Colorado the summer of 1971. She attended the 1974 Seminary and became a meditation instructor in 1976. In the late seventies she became a teacher at the New York Shambhala Center and also served as director of the center from 1977 to 1982. Working as a public school teacher, Genie currently lives in Westchester County and is the mother of two.