Board Members

Board Members 2019-11-04T20:22:06+00:00

Board Members

The Pointing Out the Great Way Foundation is inspired by the work and vision of Daniel Brown, Ph.D. Our mission is to promote an exchange of gifts between East and West. The gifts from the East are the precious teachings of the Bon and Buddhist indo-Tibetan lineages. The Foundation acts as facilitator for these gifts through its support of meditation practices in the pointing-out method and the translation of sacred texts for the Western practitioner. For more about these these texts and practices, please visit www.pointingoutway.org.

Paula Sacks

I’ve always been interested in meditation and using the different methods to focus the mind. I was introduced to Dan through my work, and he wouldn’t stop raving about the benefits of concentration meditation. I decided to join a level one class and have been committed to the Pointing Out Way style since. I love that it serves as a connection to ancient and sacred teachings.

A culture has no future without the next generation. The Tibetan Bon-Buddhism traditions have survived thousands of years of change and this foundation helps the youngest members reconnect and learn their history and traditions. I was lucky enough to travel to Nepal and see the work we are doing on the ground. By keeping a culture alive we are enriching communities. It’s important to me to sustain these teaching and be a part of a foundation that supports a holistic approach to cultural preservation.

I am a clinical social worker who specializes in attachment disorders and other mental health issues. Since 2004 I have been working at a non-profit clinic in Cambridge that provides long-term psychotherapy for low-income clients. I also served for five years on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Work after being appointed by then Governor Deval Patrick.

Rich Colman

I came to meditation kicking screaming. However, my wife had started meditating, and I saw the benefits for her. When she met Dan Brown she said, “I met your teacher.” I immediately objected, but after the first retreat I experienced the benefit despite my doubts. I then attended 12 more level one courses to get my mind under control. The experience has convinced me that Dan has a huge caring heart and is truly motivated to help all sentient beings. I remain a devoted student of his.

We receive so many blessings by being in the West where we can learn these great teachings in the comfort of our homes. I have witnessed the strife caused by individuals being torn from their culture. I have met the villagers to whom we brought water and the school children that our foundation supports. With such need, I feel compelled to devote my time to assisting these people as they share their most precious teachings with us. The other board members are like-minded in their devotion to assisting all beings, and they bring their great skills and heart to this group.

I am fortunate to have started my career in advising almost 80 different nonprofits based in Massachusetts as well as corporations based in New England concerning legal and financial issues. Currently, I am the managing member and co-founder of Colman Knight Advisory Group, LLC, an investment advisory firm that my wife and I have built up over the past 30 years. I also have taught Trusts and Estates for over 10 years at Suffolk University finance school and have a small solo legal practice.

I love assisting others (I made a career of it), and this passion continues with my work through the board. I also enjoy reading, swimming, hiking, and traveling with my wife and soul mate Gayle Colman! I used to make jewelry and hope to return to it at some future date.

Dianne desRoches

I am one of those people that have explored, investigated and dabbled in a variety of healing and awakening modalities since I was a teenager. Meditation always eluded me as a practice and I honestly had a misconception of its value and purpose. I also could not imagine sitting still for more than five minutes. All that changed when I sat in on my first Pointing Out the Great Way class with Dan Brown. The combination of being based in ancient texts with an authentic focus on awakening, grounded in scientific study and being followed by a teacher with years of experience means POGW provides a profound and clear access to awakening while you still live every day life.

Using a combined MBA and Masters in Counseling Psychology, I and my partners built a successful advertising agency in New York that was dedicated to partnering with clients to uncover the truth of their brand, strategically and creatively, while building the emotional connection with the consumer. We were fortunate in that we could experiment with how meditation and spiritual practices could make us better managers and business people and see the results immediately.

Most recently I have returned to executive coaching and working with clients that are focused on creating positive impact for the planet. The work that the POGW Foundation is doing in connecting the West with these Eastern sacred teachings and culture has inspired me.

Torben Pedersen

Throughout most of my life, my understanding of meditation and its benefits to the mind was extremely limited. I had absolutely no prior experience with meditation when I first got introduced to Pointing Out the Great Way and I was initially quite sceptical. As many other people, my perception of meditation was that it was a form of relaxation technique with limited or no application to real life which was reserved primarily for “spiritual” hipsters. How wrong I turned out to be! The practices not only had an immediate and profound impact on my ability to concentrate and think clearly it has also brought tremendous value to my work environment and to my relationship with family, friends and people in a wider sense. I have since witnessed the impact of the teachings on people across all walks of life and decided in was time to give something back to the people that developed and offered these precious teachings and practices to us.

My professional background is in technology start-ups. I have started, invested and advised technology companies in both Europe and the US and are currently running a small capital brookerage firm in London focused on both early and later stage technology firms.

Keith Zimmerman

Growing up in Ohio in the 1970’s I experienced the oil price shocks of 1973 and 1979 and reflected on the sheer inefficiency that exists in the production of energy. Interested in addressing that inefficiency, I obtained my college degree in Chemical Engineering and in a short time co-led the first enhanced oil recovery project in the Alaskan Prudhoe Bay Oil Field. My ordinary life took me to San Fransico and Alaska where I was exposed to a variety of spiritual practices and the wonders of nature. Though on reflection I clearly see where the opportunities existed to pursue the ancient teachings, my path lead through the sublime presence of being in nature and usually in a physically challenging activity such as skiing, climbing, sailing etc. These peak experiences took me, if only temporarily, to a state beyond myself and encouraged me to come back for more.

Along the way, I balanced life with adventure. In the late 1980’s I made a transition from a pure engineering career to a career focused on the economics of energy. I obtained an advanced degree from Stanford and then traveled the world for a year which was to that point my most significant education. Traveling on a budget put me very close to the host culture and I was fascinated to see the different types of conditioning that led to one cultural view point versus another. It is often easier to see the cultural conditioning in others, but after a year, my biggest culture shock was returning to the consumerism of the United States.

For the next 30 years I combined my knowledge of the energy extraction industry and international relations and worked in the identification and execution of exploration and production projects in more that 30 countries. I eventually led a major oil company’s activity as country manager in Ecuador and then in Russia. I far preferred Ecuador for its warm and outgoing culture.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, in 2008 I suffered a rather severe concussion in a ski accident and experienced moderate traumatic brain injury. I also developed a serious case of sciatica. As life would unfold, these two injuries set the stage for a committed yoga practice to address the sciatica and an unrefined meditation practice, as I went to an ashram in the Bahamas which led me to an undeniable meditative experience that bordered on bliss. Through Hatha Yoga and meta and mindfulness meditation, I developed without much specific intent, a rather strong ability to concentrate. It seemed to be the perfect self arising practice to address both my sciatica and traumatic brain injury. At that point I described my practice as self medication through meditation. It worked while I was on the pillow but it only had a half live of several hours. I think that had I not been introduced to the natural state of the mind by Dan Brown, I would have been stuck in a bliss mindfulness mediative practice for years.

The Pointing Out Way meditative practice that Dan has tailored for the western practitioner enables direct introduction to the natural state of the mind. Dan’s transmission of the Bonpo/Dzogchen teachings also helps one refine his or her practice. Dan and Geshe Sonam, at the direction of His Holiness Menri Trizin the 33rd, have translated a number of the Bonpo Dzogchen practices and I truly hope these practices will prove very beneficial to the many westerners who are drawn to the teachings.

Completed Projects

The Pointing Out The Great Way Foundation has done much to bring the precious lineage teachings of the Bon and Buddhist Indo-Tibetan meditation practices to the West, as well as to provide the necessary support to preserve and revitalize these precious teachings in their indigenous settings.

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