John Baker has been a student Buddhism for almost 50 years. A close student of the Tibetan teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, he co-founded and taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, serving as its first CEO for three years and teaching 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 the author numerous articles on Buddhist thought and practice.
In 1977 John co-founded Travel Industries, Inc. d/b/a THOR, Inc. and served as its CEO for 23 years. In 1999 John sold the company to Galileo International, a New York Stock Exchange mid-cap, retiring in 2000. At the time of the sale the company employed 125 people and provided computer, marketing, and 24-hour call services to more than 14,000 travel agencies in the US, Europe, and the Pacific rim, as well as to every major hotel chain in the world, comprising more than 11,000 individual hotel properties.
During the years with Travel Industries, John continued teaching Buddhist thought and meditation practice throughout North America, and today remains a senior teacher in the North American Buddhist community. After moving to New York in 2000 and Westchester in 2006, John co-founded the Westchester Buddhist Center in Irvington, New York and subsequently the New York Buddha Dharma Center in Manhattan. He currently teaches actively at both centers.
From 1990 until 2005 John studied psychoanalysis at Manhattan’s Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies and group therapy at the New York Center for Group Studies. He holds a certificate in group work and led psychotherapy groups as an avocation for 15 years.
John has led a number of month-long meditation programs at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado and Karme Chöling Meditation Center in Vermont and has been a principle teacher at the Vajradhatu Seminary. He has also co-led a number of week-long silent retreats at Garrison Institute and other locations.
John holds coach certification from the Coaches Training Institute and currently enjoys working as a life and executive coach, serving clients in Manhattan and around the world. He has a daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in Boulder, Colorado and a 14-year old daughter in New York City.