John Baker grew up in Summit, New Jersey and attended Yale majoring in Chinese Studies and also did graduate work at the University of Chicago. In 1970 John moved to Boulder, Colorado to serve and study with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. John lived with Rinpoche for a year and a half, during which time he co-founded and ran the Karma Dzong Buddhist Center. In 1973 John co-founded the Naropa Institute and served as its first CEO until 1975. He taught at Naropa until 1978, lecturing on Buddhist psychology and meditation practice and Asian history, philosophy, and religion. He co-edited Trungpa, Rinpoche’s Cutting through Spiritual Materialism and The Myth of Freedom and wrote and published articles on Buddhist psychology and meditation.
In 1977 John and his father founded a business providing computer and marketing services to travel agencies worldwide, which he helped run until selling the business in 1999. During the 1990s John also served for the seven years as a board member, treasurer and president of the Boulder County Mental Health Center, delivering mental health services to the chronically mentally ill. John is married to Natalie Nance Baker. He has two daughters.
In 2000 John and Natalie moved to New York to continue their study and practice of Buddhism and the Shambhala teachings, as well as the study and practice of group therapy in the tradition of Modern Psychoanalysis, which they feel enriches their Buddhist/Shambhala practice. John and Natalie currently co-lead two groups at the Shambhala Center on working with the emotions. John also works regularly as a personal and executive coach for the Maitri Group.
John teaches regularly at the Weekly Dharma Gatherings at the Shambhala Center in NYC, Tuesday evenings at 7 pm. www.ny.shambhala.org and at the Westchester Buddhist Center which can be found online on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/westchester.buddhist.center