Guruma Amala Donna Elser

New Hampshire  

I attended my first sesshin in April 2010 at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center in Mountain Center, California, at the invitation of my husband Kodo Mike Elser. He had heard about Hollow Bones while attending a Mankind Project event and was intrigued. He invited me to a 7-day Silent Retreat fully expecting me to say NO! The retreat was quite on eye opening adventure - complete with kinhin in the snow!

I had practiced TM back in the 70's but stopped for some now forgotten reason, and this first Mondo Zen retreat rekindled my interest in meditation and was also a way to have a deeper, new connection with Mike, as a long married couple. Numerous sesshins later, I took Jukai in June of 2014 at Dai Bosatsu and then priest vows in June of 2015 also at Dai Bosatsu.

I continue my practice by attending and being on staff at sesshin, sitting regularly, practicing the Precepts and by being part of the leadership team to present the 4-day Integral Mondo Zen Retreats. I am also helping to build and nurture the “Rocks and Waters” sangha in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I am very active in the Woman Within Community where I staff weekends as a facilitator in training. I also present introduction to mediation workshops at our Community Weekend.

I have been married to Kodo Mike Elser for 48 years and counting. We have 2 grown, married children and 2 fantastic granddaughters.

“However endless my true path may be,
I vow to awaken and follow forever.”