India Supera – Feathered Pipe Founder & Visionary
India left home in her teens for the adventure of foreign travel. After nearly dying in Pakistan, she began a spiritual quest in India and eventually found Satya Sai Baba, who is considered an avatar by millions of people. Receiving the major part of her education and understanding at his feet, she was able to bring those teachings to the Feathered Pipe Foundation to share with others.
After living at Sai Baba’s ashram for two and a half years, she was brought back to the US by a friend, Jermain Duncan. Within a year Jerri died of cancer and left India the Feathered Pipe Ranch near Helena, Montana. After making the difficult transition from penniless sadhu to administrator, India established the Ranch as a nationally known center for seminars in the field of yoga, holistic health and personal transformation.
In 1975 she co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation which later evolved into the Feathered Pipe Foundation and became one of the first yoga centers in the US which is not guru-based. India was also the president of the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation (TCEF). She founded TCEF along with Karma Tensum, Executive Director, in order to provide education, housing and support to the children of Tibetan refugees in India.
India was a passionate and vibrant leader inspiring many in their personal spiritual journeys. She was a strong voice for equality of those that are disadvantaged within today’s world, particularly on issues concerning Native America communities and women and children’s rights worldwide. India, along with long-time friend, social activist and author Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen who has taught at the Feathered Pipe Ranch many times, continued to push for a 5th World Conference on Women right up to India’s passing in October of 2019. Read more about India’s incredible life story here.
Crystal Water – Executive Director
Crystal, also known as the “daughter of the Pipe”, was born at the Feathered Pipe Ranch just outside the Lake Cabin and surrounded by about 2 dozen people who were just leaving an out of the body workshop. She was practically born onto her astrology chart that was being crafted while her mother was in labor. To this day, she still has random people coming up to her proclaiming, “I was at your birth.” Crystal’s first child was also born at the Ranch, but inside the Lake Cabin and without all the spectators.
Crystal is the daughter of India Supera, founder of the Feathered Pipe Foundation, and Laughing Water, who started the Real Food Store in Helena in 1975.
Her fairly unconventional childhood was spent at the Ranch where she got to meet interesting people who came to study and heal from around the world. She is spoiled forever because her first yoga classes were with top teachers like Judith Hanson Lasater and Patricia Walden, first nutrition lessons with Dr. Bernard Jensen and Dr. Andrew Weil and first massages with incredible body-workers who have worked at the Ranch.
International travel has also been a regular activity for Crystal starting at about 2 years old when India took her to meet Sai Baba in India for the first time. India was a firm believer in education through exposure to other countries and cultures. School was something to do in between trips. Crystal got the travel habit and continues to take her family on world-adventures.
Many people fall in love at the majestic Ranch, but Crystal had to make her way to Argentina to find her true love, Johnny Feron, whom she met in an anything-but-majestic cheap hostel in Buenos Aires. In 2006, they were married on painted elephants in India. They live with their three children in the Netherlands and spend every summer in Montana.
Her work at the Ranch began with 10-cent foot massages on the front lawn and selling splash paint t-shirts, then took the natural shift to cleaning and cooking. For the past 20 years, Crystal has been running Shanti Boutique, her own business in jewelry design and imports in addition to non-profit work with the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation.
After the death of India–who never could truly retire from her life’s work–Crystal carries forward India’s vision and expands it with her own vision of the Feathered Pipe Ranch to be a place of healing, love and inspiration for many. Anyway, what can you really do with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology but work as an Executive Director of the Feathered Pipe Foundation?
Anne Jablonski – Feathered Pipe Foundation Board President
Anne Jablonski joined the Board of the Feathered Pipe Foundation in 2011 after coming to the Ranch for Erich Schiffmann’s workshop for so many years running that everyone figured it was high time to put her to work. She was invited to the Board to translate her gratitude and passion for Feathered Pipe’s mission into action. She welcomed the opportunity to give back to the organization and place that played such a vital role in her search for meaningful ways to be of service to the world. She is eager to find new ways to support Feathered Pipe programs and initiatives that cultivate humanity’s deepest impulse to embrace humane and compassionate living.
She lives in Northern Virginia, teaches meditation and yoga at Sun & Moon Yoga Studio, works part-time for a New York-based startup company, and is deeply dedicated to the ongoing humanitarian service work of the Foundation. Yoga piece of paper-wise, Anne is registered with Yoga Alliance as E-RYT® 500, YACEP® In 2012, she completed the Embodyyoga® Mindful Yoga Therapy Teacher Training program presented under the auspices of the Veterans Yoga Project; she loves working with military veterans and other populations that benefit from the gift of trauma-sensitive yoga instruction.
Anne is keen on writing about yoga and dabbles in amateur photography.
Learn more about Anne and read some of her writing about yoga at: yogasetfree.com
Neil Boyd – Feathered Pipe Foundation Board Vice-President
Feathered Pipe embraced the arrival of Neil Boyd into its fold in March 2014. Neil stepped into his first yoga class during a trip to Maui in 2007 and little time passed before the effects of the practice began to sink in. He was hooked! He soon discovered the Feathered Pipe Ranch as a preferred spot to study and practice yoga with teachers he admired, such as Dr. Baxter Bell and Erich Schiffmann. Meanwhile, it was soon clear to the Feathered Pipe family that Neil’s warm presence, big smile, and involvement with global humanitarian and sustainability issues would bring a welcome new voice to the Foundation.
Neil credits his Dad’s lifelong encouragement to stay physically fit and his wife Ruby’s beautiful spirituality for nudging him toward the life of a yogi. He describes the Ranch as a “life altering” place that introduced him to teachers he would never have met elsewhere and holds very dear the people he’s met through Feathered Pipe who have become some of his best friends. Neil observes that Ranch is not just a place, but a state of mind that stays with someone all year round – a keen reflection that accounts for his commitment to Feathered Pipe’s vibrancy and its help to people that, in turn, serves others as its good work ripples out into the world.
Known affectionately by his yoga friends as ‘The Happy Farmer,’ Neil was born and raised on a farm outside of Fairview, Alberta in Canada. In 1974 he bought a farm next to the property that his grandfather Ernest Boyd homesteaded in 1913. Following his graduation from agricultural college, he and his wife raised three children on the farm. Neil weaves his deep commitment to issues of soil and economic sustainability in to the day-to-day care and feeding of the land on which he and his family continue to live and work.
Neil has been actively involved in service work on boards involved in agricultural issues since the 1970s, where he’s contributed his knowledge of and experience with issues around research, environment, livestock, crops, and local government. He’s traveled around the globe for leadership training and has been a presenter on innovative farming practices in four western provinces. Says Neil, “This sounds ‘big deal,’ but mostly I like putting on my coveralls in the morning and seeing what needs to be done outside.”
Neil credits his training in Holistic Management for influencing his farming practices in a way that works continuously to build the health of the land by addressing issues at their source, rather than reacting to symptoms. In recent years, Neil has deepened his involvement in humanitarian issues. He works closely with educational and clean water NGOs in Africa, including Poverty Relief Africa in Northern Uganda and The Malawi Water Project in Malawi and Zambia.
Clint Willis – Feathered Pipe Foundation Board Treasurer
Clint grew up in South Louisiana, lived in New York City for a while, and now hails from Cape Elizabeth Maine. He began talk therapy in 1987 and mindfulness practice in 1996, and that work has made him a nicer person. Clint has spent most of his career as a writer, editor and entrepreneur.
His work, which has been nominated for the National Magazine Award and the Banff Mountain Literature Award, includes The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing’s Greatest Generation, as well as more than 40 anthologies on adventure, politics, religion, war and other subjects.
Clint also is founder and president of The Writing Company, which creates content for clients in media and financial services. His countless teachers include many dear friends in the Feathered Pipe Community, among them his wife and fellow Feathered Pipe board member Jennifer Willis and his sons Harper and Abner. He loves Gary Lemons’ poetry, surfs Maine in winter, and recently laid down harmonica tracks for a new song by the electro country pop group Eighty Ninety.
Jennifer Willis – Feathered Pipe Foundation Board Secretary
Born and raised in New York City, Jennifer received a BA in French Language and Literature from Princeton University and spent the six months immediately after graduation living and working on an agricultural Kibbutz in Israel. She subsequently returned to New York, completed a degree in design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a hat designer and interior designer before throwing over big city life to move to Maine in 1993 with her husband Clint and two small boys.
Jennifer studied yoga with her mother as a young child in the 1970s, but didn’t rediscover it until her late 30s after relocating to Maine. Although she had studied with a variety of master teachers, it wasn’t until her first workshop with Erich Schiffmann at the Ranch that she realized she might have something valuable to contribute as a teacher. Her experience at the Ranch in the summer of 2001 changed the course of her life.
She currently runs a yoga program for the Waynflete School in Portland, Maine, where she has been teaching yoga to teens for well over a decade; Jennifer also teaches privately out of her home, working frequently with teens who suffer from anxiety. Since taking the Veterans Yoga Project’s Level One training in 2014 and becoming more comfortable with the idea of working with victims of trauma, she has been volunteering at the local teen shelter helping provide hot meals for kids and hoping to bring yoga to this under-served population.
She is the mother of two grown sons, Harper and Abner, both of whom are now regulars at the Ranch. Jennifer was welcomed on to the Feathered Pipe Foundation Board in September 2016.
Angie Dickson – Feathered Pipe Foundation Board Member
Angie Dickson joined the Foundation board in 2016 to fuse her talents and experience in the nonprofit and business world with her appreciation of the power of the Feathered Pipe to magnify the best in the human spirit. Angie is a Partner in The Simple Sol, a travel and lifestyle company, and serves as a Founding Board Member and Development Director of Kids On the Land, a nonprofit providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) environmental programs that teach children about the regions where they live. She is also a Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Board Trustee. Angie had an extensive career in finance and investing, including serving as Vice President for Goldman Sachs in Dallas and Partner/CFO/COO of Valencia Capital Management. Deeply involved in her local community, she’s served as a founding board member and past president on the school boards of Uplift Education West Dallas Campuses.
She attributes her love of yoga to the inspiration of her mother — and teacher and guru — Katherine Dickson. Angie first set foot on the Ranch in summer 2012 along with her mom and her daughter, and the three generations together fell in love with the Ranch. Their family pilgrimages to ‘the Pipe’ are now annual affairs when they gather with friends to share their practice, deepen their family bond, and celebrate their appreciation for the Ranch. Angie credits her yoga practice for enriching the qualities of wisdom, calm and equanimity she works to bring to all aspects of her professional and nonprofit endeavors.