"Over the past ten years, I have had the great fortune of studying Yoga,
Pranayama, Vedanta and Meditation with many incredible spiritual teachers
from many different traditions, both in the USA and in India. One
experience that had a great impact on the success in my life as a
businessman, yogi and teacher of yoga was the 9 days I spent in silent
meditation (Sesshin) at the
Dai Bosatsu Zendo in upstate New York. The experience had a most
powerful effect on me as a beginning student of meditation and has continued
to inspire me to carry on the practice for the past ten years. The
physical, mental and spiritual peace and clarity that I experienced still
serve me in my everyday life as I believe the experience is responsible for
my ability to make clear and more accurate decisions due to a more useful
perspective gained on life.
Because of how instrumental the experience was in my life, I now attend
Sesshin every year (sometimes twice a year). Also, I recently invited a few
close friends from many different walks of life to attend (some having no
prior spiritual practice). They all have found great value in this work and
many have returned on their own. I would be remiss if I failed to inform
you that sitting during one of these Sesshin is one of the most difficult
things I have ever done. It is both challenging to the mind and can be quite
rigorous on the body. However, I have not swayed as the benefits have been
so far reaching".
Peace, Love and Light.
"On day 5 of the Sesshin, I felt a profound internal shift that is difficult
to word out. You become your own silent teacher until the "you" part of it
disappears and only practice remains".
"When I came back my voice was deeper and stronger, my listening skills more
acute. A clear sense that I had gone somewhere deep inside this body-mind
continuum I call 'me'".
"I extend my deepest gratitude to you for the priceless gift of Sesshin.
Words cannot express my life changing experience. Fortunately, my
experience is continuing now that I am home.
I have no doubt that I will return to Sesshin again and again. I am an avid
student of ways to see myself more clearly, and I learned more about the
quality of mindfulness and my relative lack of it in one Sesshin than I have
in all the previous years of my life.
My meditation practice is now the technique I learned during Sesshin and I
am grateful for that as well. I can see now that meditation techniques that
I learned through Yoga have not served me as well. I feel so happy to have
finally learned a physical technique that works for me after all these long
years of practice".
"I was truly fortunate that my spiritual path guided me to the DAI BOSATSU
ZENDO. I sat in a Sesshin with the obesity of "spiritual knowledge" and quickly
came to realize that I had to let it all go to find a drop of true wisdom.
The Sesshin gave me this privileged opportunity with full protection, support and strong discipline."
"To study Yoga in India shifted my perception on my teaching ,life and Yoga.
I was deeply touched by my teachers incredible endless knowledge on this
infinite multiple level science and certainly their humbleness. It was real
and coming from its authentic roots. It was a rich education and to be in
their culture and reality made me understand and respect so many things. One
sure example is "SHRADDHA".
I loved India, I learned or discovered that I was comfortable with things
just the way they are. It is nothing like our world. The only way you can
get inside and live it is to know that. Let go of all you know and enjoy
the ride. I met many wonderful people, had many fantastic experiences and
saw much beauty everyday, all of which I brought home within me.
Bridget A. Shields
In August 2005, I traveled to southern India to study traditional and
natural healing systems and further an ongoing inquiry into Ayurveda's 6000
year history, it's link to Yoga, meditation, marma and plant based remedies.
The scholarship provided an in-depth, educational and demystifying global,
communal and spiritual journey. The travels throughout Kerala and Tamil Nadu
immeasurably enriched my life, career as a yoga teacher, body worker and
photographer. The experience has proven to have also greatly enhanced many
inspired students and their practices, as well. I have continued to further
a deep desire to learn, experience and share more about yoga and the
essential connection to the ancient "science of life", Ayurveda.