Dharma Teachers

Dr. Roger Irwin, Dharma Teacher

photo Roger irwin

Roger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, Master of Sciences degree in Social Sciences, and Doctor of Education degree. In 1968 Roger began his formal study of the Dharma with Rev. Gyoto Saito of Higashi Hongwangi Sect (Pure Land). From 1970 to 1998 Roger was full-time Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences at Pima Community College in Tucson. During that time over two thousand students enrolled in Roger's meditation classes. From 1975 to 1990 he was Adjunct Faculty in Religious Studies for the College of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois. In 1980 he founded the environmental non-profit, Amaterra, a secular organization based on the principles of "eco-Buddhism." He has been a Dharma Teacher and senior minister of Karida Buddhist Sangha since 1991 and is committed to the development of Buddhist teachings in the West. (Res. New Mexico)


Michael Elia, Dharma Teacher

photo Michael Elia

Jesuit trained, Michael received an Honors Ars Baccalaureate undergraduate degree in classical languages and philosophy, summa cum laude, from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1978. In 1981 he completed his Juris Doctor from St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to studying and practicing law, Michael has studied and practiced on the Path of the Inner Way for many years, and with many teachers, in both the Christian and Buddhist religious traditions. Michael is deeply committed to nurturing an authentic Western Buddhist Dharma. Currently, he teaches philosophy and ethics at the College of Southern Nevada. (Res. Nevada)


Jerry Harney, Dharma Teacher

photo Jerry Harney

Jerry holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. He continued his graduate studies in Management Information Systems and later in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jerry has been an avid student of the Buddha Dharma since 1955. Jerry studied with Reverend Gyoto Saito of Higashi Hongwangi. Reverend Saito continued to be a significant influence in Jerry's life. Jerry has worked with the rehabilitation of high school dropouts recovering from drug addiction. He also worked for the Rehabilitation Engineering Center at Wichita State University in conjunction with the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas. There he designed, fabricated and implemented test equipment and adaptive devices for handicapped individuals. Jerry has played several leadership roles in the University Congregational Church of Wichita, Kansas, including that of Moderator or Lay Head of that Church. In 1993 Jerry received direct teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Jerry is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Home of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Vinita, Oklahoma providing service and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. Jerry is also an active volunteer for the nonprofit Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita Kansas. He has been a member of Karida Buddhist Sangha since 1991 and is committed to the development of the Dharma in the West. Jerry's principle focus as a Karida Dharma Teacher is in hospice service. (Res. Kansas)


Kore Salvato, Dharma Teacher

photo Kore Salvato

A graduate of Cornell University, and long-time practitioner of the Sufi Path, Kore has, along with three other women, developed a program called “Earth Rising” in which certain practices help us discover our beloved world in us and as us. She credits Joanna Macy with helping her see that “dependent co-arising” is a clue to our future well-being. Kore, a member of Karida since 1991, expresses a deep wish to see through the eyes of Quan Yin and into the heart of every person, in a loving, supportive way. For many years Kore has been a spiritual guide in the Sufi tradition. (Res. France)


Joe Swaffar, Senior Elder

photo Joe Swaffer

Joe was one of the earliest members of the Karida Desert Sangha and was the main coordinator of its activities. He has actively served the community for over two decades. He studied oriental cultures and religions while residing in Japan and the Republic of China. (Res.Arizona)

Elizabeth Herron, Elder

photo Elizabeth Herron

I am proud to be deeply involved in the ongoing support of our Karida Sangha, out here in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico. Our sangha, known for its commitment to inclusivity, is an integral part of dharma study and practice in my life as well as the life of our community.


Jerry Harney and Roger Irwin - Web Co-Developers
Phil Van West - Media Czar
Tim Amsden - Poetry Site Steward

Comments or questions are welcome at: Karida@karidasangha.net.