7 - 8 pm ET


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Guests are welcome to gather at 6:00pm in the Meeting House for a brown bag meal/snack beforehand.

For more information, Email Ellen Mintzer: pmintzer@earthlink.net

Paul Mintzer

Paul Mintzer

Meditation Teacher


Paul Mintzer is a mostly retired ophthalmologist. A long time meditator, Paul became interested in Tibetan Buddhism and Dzogchen in the mid 90’s and has been a student of John Makransky since John became a lama. Paul is a founding member of the Putney meditation group and lives in Southampton, MA, with his wife Ellen who is an FAC board member. Paul credits Lama John’s practices of Innate Wisdom and Compassion for radically changing his outlook on life.

Paul teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Northampton, MA.

Jane Vecchio

Jane Vecchio

Board of Directors, Meditation Teacher

Over time our sangha meditators begin to notice and remember more and more moments of care and connection in their lives, and hearing about those helps everyone in the group attune to the varied, powerful, and sometimes mysterious qualities of love all around us.

I'm increasingly in awe of the deep layers in people, way beyond what or who I think they are or should be. Paying attention to that has been transformative.

Bob Morrison

Bob Morrison

Board of Directors, Guiding Teacher, Meditation Teacher


Guiding Teacher

I was drawn first as a practitioner, because these practices offer a complete path of awakening based on direct experience and exploration – putting into practice the most profound essentials of the Dharma that might otherwise remain abstract or out of reach. As I began to lead meditation, they also seemed the most effective practices that I might be able to share. I especially appreciate how they can resonate with Buddhists as well as those of other faiths or no faith at all (being an initial skeptic myself, though now quite devotional) and how well they integrate into “real life.”

I love how these practices show up in and enrich every aspect of life. Joyous or caring moments take on greater meaning, treasured as sacred encounters and spiritual resources. Challenges can be met with a sense of being held in love and compassion, and solidarity with others in similar situations. Whether it’s personal hardship – like my treatment for cancer or the death of loved ones – or suffering in the world that troubles my heart, everything becomes part of the path. Through it all, the simple joy and deep wisdom of being is invited to shine through more and more.

It is sheer delight to share this path with others. Again and again, I have seen people in our sanghas grow and develop amazingly, each in their own way, discovering greater love, healing, confidence, joy and wisdom. It is of course deeply gratifying to help in that process, as others have done for me, for which I am eternally grateful. At the same time, we continue to learn from each other in such beautiful ways, as questions or struggles with practice become opportunities for deepening in clarity together. As John often says, awakening is a communal process. So true!

Read more about Bob on the Natural Dharma Fellowship website.

Julie Forsythe

Julie Forsythe

Board of Directors, Guiding Teacher, Meditation Teacher


Founding & Guiding Teacher

Julia Forsythe is a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion. She has been a student of Surya Das and John Makransky since 1995 and she has completed many meditation retreats in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. She serves as a practice leader in these retreat settings, and in weekly practice groups in Putney, VT, and Northampton, MA.

Julie served as secretary on the national board of the Dzogchen Center for eight years where she focused on development of community contemplative practice groups. She has been President of the Foundation for Active Compassion Board for five years, and was on the national board of the American Friends Service Committee for six years during which time she focused on international programs of relief and reconciliation.

Julie was introduced to Buddhism in 1969 when she was working at the Quaker Rehabilitation Center for Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War. A lifelong Quaker, she is also rooted in that contemplative Western mystical tradition. Julie is retired from her position as an Assistant Professor at Landmark College, a college for students with learning disabilities and ADHD. Beyond her teaching and departmental chair responsibilities, she regularly taught meditation to learning disabled students. She is an active participant in community work for the elderly in Putney and currently serves as Secretary of Putney Cares.