About Dharma River

Compassion | Activism | Presence

Dharma River began some years ago as the result of a recurring dream we,  Paul Kisho Stern and Trish Baishin Johnson, continued to have over the course of many years. Sometimes our ideas and inspirations showed up in the middle of a conversation, other times in the middle of the night, and other times in a quiet moment.   Although our ideas weren’t crystal clear, the soil from which these ideas were germinating remained the same; to provide a space that supported individuals and groups of people coming together to realize and manifest a more compassionate, intentional, engaged, and inclusive community. We knew from our own experiences (and from research!) that sustaining these kinds of efforts and commitments first requires being committed to learning about and caring for one’s own self. At the core, our idea were (and still are!) to create a space that provided diverse, holistic practices that supported the development of a healthy mind, body, and spirit, in a setting and manner accessible to as many people as possible. Our ongoing commitment and goal remains to offer programming that fosters individual and group cultivation of contemplative, movement, and healing practices that help folks live better within the spaces of their own lives so that they can both inspire and support a more compassionate, healthy, and safe world.

This dream came into fruition In 2010 with baby steps.  At that time, the primary training grounds were on a beautiful piece of land where Trish and Paul were living in Piepers Valley, near Winona, MN.  Most classes and  courses were offered outdoors year round, surrounded by natural beauty. Though an excellent study space, not everyone wanted to brave the snowy trails that led back to that valley. It became apparent that it was time to look for a building space in town.  In January 2011, the doors to  Dharma River (previously called Manitou Martial Arts and Wellness Center) on 3rd Street in downtown Winona.  Several years later we moved to our current location at 686 West 5th Street in Winona.

Over the last several years, Dharma River has continued to grow and strengthen partnerships throughout the community.  Today, we work with children, adolescents and adults throughout their lifespan. We work with individuals and families, community groups, social service organizations and workplaces. We lead holistic workshops and retreats and are involved in supporting partnerships working with trauma, youth, diversity, human rights, social justice and compassionate action. 

Our fabulous team of teachers, facilitators and contributors are professional and well-seasoned in their fields, and still after years of study and practice, we remain inspired and committed to current and future work and partnerships.  We are hopeful for the future and open and available to meeting the needs of individuals as well as local and global communities as life unfolds.

Paul Kisho Stern – Founder, Teacher

Kisho sees his work at Dharma River and in life in general as being focused on developing dynamic, holistic learning contexts that allow for a deeper engagement with and understanding of our human condition. Through developing compassionate and wise insights into our own humanity, we are enabled to more fully engage in life practices that allow deeper connection and compassion with ourselves, our communities, and our world.

Kisho’s Story

Trish Baishin Johnson – Founder, Teacher

Trish’s life passion and commitment is in supporting others on their journey in self exploration, discovery, care and authenticity. She has worked as an  educator, both overseas and throughout the Midwest, since the mid 1990. She has 10 years of experience developing and implementing holistic mind-body curriculum with children and adults in various settings, individually and in diverse group settings.  Trish is a mindfulness meditation teacher, a certified yoga instructor (trauma informed) and is one of the co- founders of Dharma River.

Trish’s Story

Trish Johnson – Founder, Teacher

Trish’s life passion and commitment is in supporting others on their journey in self exploration, discovery, care and authenticity. She has worked as an  educator, both overseas and throughout the Midwest, since the mid 1990. She has 10 years of experience developing and implementing holistic mind-body curriculum with children and adults in various settings, individually and in diverse group settings.  Trish is a mindfulness meditation teacher, a certified yoga instructor (trauma informed) and is one of the co- founders of Manitou Center.

Trish’s Story

Board of Directors

The Zen Garland Order Board provides leadership and vision is for Dharma River’s work. The Board meets monthly to discuss management, events, and other business across the Zen Garland order.

The membership of the Zen Garland Order Board is comprised of Roshi Paul Genki Kahn, Roshi Monika Genmitsu Kahn, Roshi Paul Kisho Stern, Roshi Karen Ma Sato, and Sensei Trish Baishin Johnson.

For Board related questions, please contact kishoroshi@zengarland.org .

Let's stay in touch!

Our newsletters and updates will keep you informed of local and regional classes, workshops, and retreats as well as online study opportunities, blogs, information, and inspiration to continue nurturing, healing, and caring for yourself and the world. (We do not share your information with anyone else.) See you soon!

Find Us

686 W. 5th St., Winona, Minnesota

(507) 961-5665    |    info@dharmariver.org

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