About Us

Ozarks Dharma Community (ODC) is a non-profit organization made up of a diverse group of practitioners who share the teachings of the Buddha with each other and with the greater Springfield, Missouri region. We are inspired by the Theravada Buddhist tradition, but open to all.

Meet our Board & Co-Facilitators

Jeff Everett and his wife, Kera, moved from Dallas to downtown Springfield in 2016, looking for a change of pace. Jeff has stepped away from his corporate law practice to pursue other interests, including his marriage, health, working out, Buddhism, meditation, coffee houses, laughter, and long walks with Kera. Their daughter Kelsea lives with her husband in the California bay area. Jeff has an undergrad degree in religion, having been curious about the meaning of life for some time now. Jeff has also been meditating regularly for almost a decade, initially as a student of the School of Metaphysics, then as a member of the Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, and currently as a member of the Ozarks Dharma Community.

Don Hendricks has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1996 and a member of the Ozarks Dharma Community since 2010. He has attended retreats led by James Baraz, Shaila Catherine and Phil Jones. Don currently serves on the ODC Board of Trustees as Secretary.

Rowena Raborar has been interested in neuroscience and training the mind since 1999 while completing her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy. After surviving her first silent retreat at Spirit Rock in 2007 she has wholeheartedly practiced Insight Meditation ever since. Currently serving on the ODC Board of Trustees as President, she is graced by exceptional people who make Buddhism come alive in daily life.

Janet Rock first became interested in Buddhism in 1988 while studying the art history of India. Maybe not coincidentally, this is the same time she became a vegetarian. An avid traveler, she has visited Buddhist sites around the world including the largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, in Indonesia. While working in Shanghai, China, she lived near the Jing'an Temple, home to a large jade Buddha, and a very delicious vegan restaurant. Her current meditation interests include contemplative drawing as taught by John F. Simon, Jr., and radical self-acceptance as taught by Tara Brach. Janet joined Ozarks Dharma Community in 2016 and is currently on the ODC Board of Trustees as Treasurer.

John Ruff started practicing with Ozarks Dharma Community in 2007 or 2008 when it met on Walnut street and was known as Buddhists on Walnut or BOW. He is a big fan of silent retreat, attending his first week long retreat in 2008 with BOW, followed by at least one week long retreat a year since. He’s been meeting monthly with his teacher, Vincent Horn, and now, Emily Horn, for about six years and was trained as a facilitator by them. John is currently in the first year of a two-year teacher training with Vince and Emily through Heart of Insight.

Become a Member

ODC incorporated as a non-profit in Aug 2017 and welcomes members. ODC Members can nominate, apply to join and/or vote on ODC’s Board of Trustees. Elected Trustees then carry out ODC’s governance and programs. To be an ODC Member, you must be at least 16 years old with a current email address. Signup on the sheet when you attend Saturday meditation or let us know you're interested in membership by emailing us.

Our History

Our beginnings go back to 2001, when the Body of Works Meditation Group (BOW) was started by Dr. Neil and Cheryl Nathan, who invited two people from their Tai Chi class to begin a Buddhism study group. They would listen to recordings of prominent leaders of the Western tradition of Buddhism, meditate and then engage in discussion. Initially meeting in the Nathans’ home, they soon welcomed more practitioners and interested persons and moved to the BOW Yoga Studio at the Carlson Building in downtown Springfield in 2002.

In 2004, the time requirements of Dr. Nathan’s medical practice lead him to relinquish leadership to Sister Dipa, who held the position until 2009, when she joined the Mahapajapati Monastery in California. She was succeeded by Holly June Graves, who led our group through March 2015. Our community continued to grow, and with it our activities, including the Wednesday evening sitting at Brentwood Library (through June 2014), a Stream Team, a committed practice group, and an active online community. (See Visiting and Calendar for more information about times and formats.) We also have special activities, ranging from participating in a Kiva lending team to enjoying informal social gatherings to participating in online courses to organizing local retreats. In 2012, we began calling our group "Ozarks Dharma Community" to reflect these changes. 

In February 2013, the Saturday Meditation Group met for the last time at the Body of Work Yoga Studio, which was closing. (Thanks to Tom Carlson, Joan Rosen, Kirsten Kukal and all the others who made it possible for us to meet in that lovely space for so many years!) We started meeting at Dinh Quang Buddhist Temple in March 2013. Thay and the Vietnamese community welcomed us with open arms. We are grateful for their hospitality! 

Due to our growth, ODC moved to a new space in July 2017 at National Avenue Christian Church.

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