At the Way Of Compassion Foundation, we are dedicated to making all of our programs accessible and available to all. We try to offer all of our programs on a free-will donation basis. When there is a fee to cover the overhead of a facility we use, scholarships are made available. In this way, we can ensure everyone can participate and benefit from our programs regardless of their financial situation. We are a nonprofit organization and do accept donations. The donations we receive allow us to meet our limited overhead and continue to offer programs throughout the country. We have found that those with resources contribute enough to provide for us to carry on our work.
John Bruna, Founder – John is an author, educator, mindfulness, and dharma teacher. In 1984 John had an experience that transformed his life and motivated him to live a life of service. John has had careers in counseling, primarily as a substance abuse counselor, and in education as a teacher in a low-income, urban high school. In 2001 John found his spiritual teacher, Venerable Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen, and, in 2005, traveled to Gaden Shartse Monastery in India to be ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Geluk tradition. After more than six years of monastic life, John has returned to life as a layperson. Drawing upon his education, training, and diverse life experience (not to mention his humor), John has dedicated his life to helping others overcome their personal obstacles and challenges. He facilitates a variety of workshops and public talks in the United States and abroad.
Aaron Taylor, Director: Aaron grew up enjoying the outdoors and many sports. His strong interest in outdoor recreation brought him to the mountains of Colorado to pursue a life devoted to environmental protection and education. He worked at the Aspen Center for Environmental studies leading kids and adults into a deeper connection with the natural world. In 2014, Aaron was fortunate to encounter the Mindful Life Program and the theme of inner sustainability began to take root and become the dominant focus of his daily practice. Aaron is passionate about creating opportunities to make a positive difference in the world and aspires to embody the compassion that the Way of Compassion teaches. Aaron has extensive training in meditation, mindfulness, and the application of compassion. He has completed many retreats and is a certified Mindful Life Program teacher. Aaron joined the Way of Compassion Foundation as the director at the end of 2017.
Rachel Currier, Program Coordinator: Rachel is deeply grateful to be a part of the Way of Compassion Foundation. She shares that it brings her great joy to help connect people to resources and communities that improve the quality of their lives. Having overcome many challenges in life, in 2012 she began a personal journey of inner development and helping others. She is certified as a yoga teacher, a Mindful Life Program teacher, and a Mindfulness in Recovery facilitator. Rachel lives in Syracuse, NY with her family, where she enjoys hiking, riding bikes, being of service, and raising her young son, Jesse.
Board of Directors
President: Jessica Sylvanson, L.Ac., M.Ac.O.M. is the owner and practitioner at Here and Now Acupuncture and Asian Medicine located in the Here and Now Center in Gunnison Colorado. She practices using acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, and other tools from traditional Asian medicine systems. She is also a Kundalini yoga instructor and integrates mindfulness and meditation techniques in her daily life.
Secretary: Pam Pacelli – Pam is retired from a fundraising career in the University of California system. Over her career, she worked at the Davis and Los Angeles campuses. She recently moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she enjoys both the cultural and recreational activities of the area. She feels very grateful to have the opportunity to serve the mission of the Way of Compassion and is an active participant in the Dharma center teachings and activities.
Treasurer: John Bruna – John is the founder of the Way of Compassion Foundation and the spiritual director of the Dharma center. He is dedicated to the mission of the foundation and offers all of his services without financial compensation.