Board of Directors

A 500 year vision

Clear Sky was founded on a belief that everything we do is for the benefit of all beings. Our vision is to still be doing that 500 years from now. Our Board is helping us achieve that.

Ensuring that everything we do honours our quadruple bottom line, vision and mission, our Board is what brings our inner intentions and outer actions into alignment.  

In order to achieve this, our Board members are leaders in strategic planning. And, because our Chair is a Certified Money Coach, we are pioneers in ensuring that all members have a healthy relationship with money. By bringing all organizational shadows into the light, our Board helps the Clear Sky truly shine.

Board of Directors -Clear Sky Meditation Centre

Karen McAllister

Board Chair

After meeting our founding teachers in Japan, I managed their meditation center in Kyoto for many years. In 2003, I helped search for a site for Clear Sky, looking at around 30 properties until we found our current location in the magical Kootenays.

I am privileged to have been part of the team that took the center from self-starter to second-stage growth.

It has been an amazing journey of training and skill development – from leadership, organisational, and systems training, to learning about social capital, marketing, and sales, and how to be impeccable land stewards. One of the highlights of my Clear Sky career was helping to establish a green building on site through leading a fundraising campaign. This sounds like a lot. Yet, the most important lessons were that I learned to ride the emotional ups-and-downs of building something for the greater good and for future generations, with a bunch of people with a heart for awakening. I am now clearer, more joyful, and better able to be really present to whatever is going on and actually be of greater service to others & the planet. This is what I call “the hands-on way of doing an MBA with a spiritual bottom line!”
meditation course online

Dan O'Brien

Board Secretary

Daniel O’Brien met the teachers of Clear Sky while living in Japan.

With a masters degree in Advanced Japanese Studies, he teaches History, and Literature, American Government as well as an Eastern Studies course at Eagle Ridge Academy High School.
He enjoys learning–especially when things are hands on as in meditation practice.
As Secretary for the Clear Sky Board of directors since 2015, Daniel continues to grow in his understanding of meditation while happily supporting Clear Sky in various ways as such as teaching meditation classes in his local community, board related tasks, and most recently by becoming a member of the Clear Sky Marketing team as both a writer and an editor putting to work skills developed as a novelist. 
Daniel has attended numerous retreats since 1998 both in Japan and at Clear Sky.

Dean Nicholson


I have an M.A. in Counselling Psychology and have worked as a counsellor in the mental health and substance use field for over 29 years, including the last 18 years as the Executive Director with East Kootenay Addiction Services Society in Cranbrook, B.C.

I’m Continuing as a Board Member at Large as I pass off the role of Treasurer on the Clear Sky Board of Directors to the next Treasure. I continue to be involved with the financial administration of the Centre.

My Clear Sky role allows me to support the ongoing sustainability and growth of the center. I’m passionate about helping people unfold, and this starts with myself. I’ve dedicated my life to spiritual growth and discovery. I’d been a Lay Minister with the local Anglican Church for many years, and since 2014 have been a student of Doug and Cata Senseis at Clear Sky. For me, living at Clear Sky since December 2016 has been a crash course in spiritual and personal growth through the practice of Karma Yoga and actively facing the shadow. As a teacher, I want to support others to grow and awaken as well. I’m the only person who currently lives at Clear Sky who was born and raised in the East Kootenay area. At different times in my life, I’ve been a classical musician, a stage actor, a poet, an addictions researcher, a world traveler, and a self-trained field naturalist. At Clear Sky, I hold the unofficial title of resident bird and butterfly expert. I’ve also a keen interest in sciences, history, and literature. I like to combine all of these interests into my own way of teaching and supporting people.

Maryline Fortier

Board Member at Large

I was introduced to Clear Sky through joining the Karma Yoga program (a 3-month service stay). I was instantly seduced by a new way of life – a way that my depth was seeking. I found a place, a community where people work together and accompany yogis like me in the awakening process.

There, I discovered what I’m passionate about: diving deeper inside, understanding what it is to be a wholesome, spiritual being – a being that is participating in the creation of abundant life and that believes in the powerful ideal of service for the benefit of all. What an incredible journey! Originally trained as a social work educator, eight years of work with youth in schools has convinced me to find a better, deeper way to teach life skills to our next generation. I am now a Montessori guide, supporting our children to grow from their inner strength while developing their sovereignty.

Richard Arnfield


Richard has been on the Clear Sky Advisory Board since 2020 and became the Clear Sky Treasurer in February of 2022. A student of Namgyal Rinpoche since 1975, Richard has participated in retreats at Clear Sky since 2009. He has run his own ceramic glaze manufacturing company since 1983.