Testimonials for David Seybert and Miriam Rodgers

Meditation Teachers

February 2017

It’s an ideal environment to quickly “unplug” from life’s daily stresses and learn lifelong techniques for an improved quality of life. The most usable idea was to make incremental changes. I loved the Chi gong practice. Miriam and David created a safe, loving environment. They have expanded thinking in an inclusive way. The retreat center has great energy, beautiful surroundings, and warm, open people. The food was excellent and the lodging comfortable. Grace G., Henderson, NV

It was a wonderfully orchestrated meditation for newbies! A relaxing, and peace filled retreat. I love the tips on making a meditation area and all the different positions to meditate. I can’t think of anything I would change. I loved Chi gong! Enjoyed Miriam and David very much as presenters. Excellent food, comfortable rooms, everything in one building. Fabulous! Cindy M., Vancouver, OR

If you’re seeking meditation and serenity… First Timers weekend retreat will get you started. Miriam and David work well together. Their voices are calm and restful. I liked most the community, the surrounding and peaceful presence of space. The food and lodging was outstanding/healing. Lynn M., Burns, OR

It was truly relaxing and ideal for winding down from stress. Was a healing and calming experience. I loved the meditation and breathing techniques and will incorporate into daily life. I hope there will be longer retreat offerings in the future. The yoga teachers were excellent. Loved the inclusion of affirmations in between poses. The presenters were perfect! Loved them both. I like most the staff and teachers of the program. Also the environment of the retreat facility with this food and clean rooms. The food was excellent. Yummy, tasty, and clean. Likivi F., Chicago, IL

The workshop gave me very practical and easy to understand information on how to practice meditation. Very supportive and encouraging. The most usable idea was that practicing, even a little bit, is better than an “all or nothing” approach. I liked the slower, “restorative type” yoga that we had on Sunday. The Chi gong was wonderful. The kirtan was beautiful. Both Miriam and David were great – I appreciate their mellow and encouraging style and honesty about it all being a constant learning process. The facility is restful with a quiet atmosphere. The rooms are clean and cheerful. The food is varied and I loved all the veggies! Lisa B., State College, PA

The weekend was an engaging entry into yoga and meditation. I enjoyed the meals and the lovely rooms. Joshua S., Vancouver, WA

It was nice but at times I thought it could move a little quicker. I felt too much explanation went into some things but not enough time to practice. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate it a 10 – excellent. The most usable technique is the breathing, chanting, and making space and time for meditation and yoga practices. I liked the Chi gong the would have liked to gone through the positions/poses rather than just listening all about them. The yoga was good. I enjoyed the kirtan and want to take the chants with me. The retreat facility is very peaceful. Dawn P., Vancouver, WA

I found the most usable ideas were the pranayama techniques. Yoga was great! Chi gong – I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out to be wonderful. Kirtan was okay. A few more Sanskrit chants would be fine. All the presenters were wonderful. Very knowledgeable and sincere in sharing their experiences. The retreat facility has a beautiful location. The food was amazing! Lodgings were nice, clean, and comfortable. Each day was very well-planned. Erik C., Portland, OR

It was a fun – knowledge and love filled experience. Lovely people, wonderful teachers in a learning weekend. It was great to brush up and relearn through a different voice. I enjoyed the yoga sessions. Chi gong was a little difficult to remember. Kirtan was also enjoyable. Everything was better than expectations. The retreat facility seems totally grounded because of the wonderful staff who are also spiritually grounded and it’s they who make this place wonderful and filled with warmth and hospitality and love. Totally unexpected. The food and lodging were excellent. Tonito S., Dimapur, India

Come find your center with the guide of David and Miriam. Enjoy good, thoughtful teaching and find that you too can meditate. I enjoyed the yoga. I think a restorative yoga at night would be great. Having different teachers was great and that the classes were different. I liked the Chi gong – it was new and different. I felt like the presenters could have a tad more structure to them but I’m very structured so there’s that. The food was AMAZING. The location is very serene and calming. I like the dorm style too. Kendra C., Portland, OR

The weekend was relaxing! Fun! I liked breaking up the meditation into smaller increments of time. Sitting on a specific shaped cushion was helpful. Yoga was good, different varieties of style would be fine. Kirtan was intriguing, though I’m not big on group chanting or singing. The walking trails were a nice place to take a break during the day. I especially enjoyed the silent breakfast. I’m normally so rushed in the morning before work, this enabled me to be mindful and present in the moment and to enjoy the meal. The rooms were clean and comfortable. I liked the experience of sharing a room with someone I didn’t know. It made the weekend more of an adventure. I met a lot of great people. The food was awesome!! Jenni K, Vancouver, WA

The weekend was a gentle, graceful introduction to meditation and Ananda yoga with lots of compassion and delicious meals. I found it most helpful to take time to find my seat, and to perform the simple breathing exercises and ease into meditation. The yoga sessions were really lovely. Appreciated that there were many different timeslots. The teachers were stellar. Had never done Chi gong before – enjoyed the practice and the metaphors. Kirtan had great energy and talented performers. The presentations were all quite good. David has a knack for explaining things well. The campus is beautiful. The teachers are talented. The food is delicious. The overall energy of the center is powerful and peaceful. Lisa A., Vancouver, WA

This is a peaceful and gentle introduction to both yoga and meditation. I liked Pete’s quiet humor so early in the morning (yoga). And I liked how Susan went around and helped you get into your the pose. Personally I’m not a fan of kirtan. It just doesn’t move me. But I may keep trying. I do like simple Sanskrit phrases. Randi F., Trout Lake, WA

The retreat was a good introduction to meditation, Ananda yoga and offers a chance to channel your spiritual side. Energization was interesting – I like that it warmed the body up. The yoga sessions were great. Chi gong was good. I’m not very spiritual at all, so kirtan did not speak to me. Everyone was just lovely, very considerate and presented clearly. The retreat center is in a great area – very serene and relaxing. Great food! Shaina P., Portland, OR

In need of chill-out time? Come get centered and generate some peace and harmony to share with the world. The lovely, accepting and compassionate souls at Laurelwood introduce you to the divine inner spark in yourself and others. I really liked the pranayama and mantra techniques and the overall practical advice to set oneself up for success in meditation. I loved the yoga. I was especially surprised by how much I enjoyed the Chi gong! I most like to the energy, the kind facilitators, and the food at the retreat facility. The food and lodging was wonderful! Laura S., Portland, OR

The workshops were designed to draw you deeper into your spirituality through meditation and chanting. The yoga sessions help to relax you mentally yet energize your body. Yoga was great. The meditation at the end was great. Chi gong was surprisingly enjoyable for me, as I did not know what it was initially. David and Miriam were open and honest in relation to their own experiences. I value honesty a lot these days. I liked most how the retreat facility is all-inclusive. It provided everything I needed. The food was amazing. I thought vegetarian food was supposed to be bland. I was impressed. The lodging felt like I was in a bed and breakfast type of environment. Jasmine J., Seattle, WA

2016

My only expectation was a peaceful guided meditation. I actually came out with so much more! I was taught different meditation techniques and that was the most important part for me. I liked the classes just as they are. This was a First timers weekend and it would be hard for people that have not been exposed to yoga to be more advanced. David and Miriam were very warm, professional, well-spoken and sweet couple. I really enjoyed their classes. And especially David’s way to guide the meditation. Elena M., Lake Forest, CA

I found it most helpful to learn tips on improving and making more consistent one’s meditation practice. I plan to use this knowledge to reinvigorate my connection to universal energies and for furthering my spiritual goals. Yoga was great. Qigong was awesome, and I would have liked to go through all of the 8 forms again. Miriam and David were both great. Warm and approachable, legitimately interested in everyone’s story and input. Their strengths were that they were fun, energetic, and caring. Their weakness was that they made me leave today. Peter S., Las Camas, WA

I liked the balance of yoga/meditation/nature/good food. I did not expect to be in a cohesive group, but that worked well. I expected yoga, I did not expect to be touched spiritually, but a gift that I was. The classes were great, all of them. Kirtan was beautiful, revealing, joyful – an unexpected gift. Miriam and David bring themselves fully to their work with us, and that is all you can hope for in a teacher. The retreat center was beautiful, quiet, no TV/radio sounds! Also love that it’s simple and not shiny, and is livable and being worked on. Surprised that there is Wi-Fi and that made a great bridge – that this actually is the real world, not a refuge (totally). Thanks for giving us this time and space. I hope it continues to be vital and peaceful and welcoming. Christy M. Portland, OR

I liked best the kind and loving instructors and residents are very welcoming. As a beginner, I got a taste of several aspects of the spiritual. I have discovered yoga followed by meditation is very powerful. Gosh, I wouldn’t change a thing. Both David and Miriam have open, happy hearts – just having a conversation with them leaves me feeling like I got a big hug. As a former teacher I always like to leave constructive… but I’m having a hard time here. The retreat center is peaceful -l surroundings and trails. The food! Maria is spectacular. Oh, those buttery cinnamon cookies! Brenna J., Corvallis, OR

I liked most that all the components of this class are focused on centering the mind and the body. My expectation was to learn good practices for this, and it was met. The explanation of how to reach a place of balance and maintain it was very thorough and easy to understand. I think the class was perfect the way it is! I think both Miriam and David did a wonderful job facilitating this class. They work well together. Michael F., Eugene, OR

I liked learning the basic 8 (Qigong) poses. I never knew there was a foundation! I wanted to get back into Qigong and this was such a great foundational course. David was very knowledgeable, interesting, thoughtful with his teaching approach. Rebecca P., Tigard, OR

I really enjoyed the 4 yoga classes I attended. They were energizing and Pete offered modifications to allow everyone to get the most out of it. I found it most helpful to learn the hong sau technique. I had practiced a bit with this before the retreat. I like the moon in pond visualization – I think it will help me to keep my mind focused. Yoga, Chi gong, and kirtan were all great. David and Miriam are totally focused on making the retreat participants comfortable and answering questions. They did not try to impose Ananda’s beliefs on us. The place is very inviting to new guests and it is a beautiful location. Rooms were bright and the paintings were extraordinary! The food was very good and the rooms were comfortable and roomy. Alaine W., Sherwood, OR

I like best sitting in silence. I tried to arrive without expectations. I am satisfied with my experience. I enjoyed the hong sau meditation and may incorporate it into my practice. Miriam and David seem like kind and genuine people. The food is tasty and healthy. The schedule seemed to have a good balance. Martin C., Boulder, CO

The class showed me how I can incorporate meditation into my daily busy life. It met my expectations in that way and was excellent by making me feel more connected to my inner self. I thought it was helpful to learn that there are several ways to meditate. I plan on using it to allow me to meditate in different situations. The presenters did a great job of making sure everyone felt welcome as well as letting people feel welcome to ask questions. I like that there is lots of space and it feels like a very free environment. I was a little skeptical about being vegan/vegetarian at first but the food tasted amazing. I think the program was well-balanced and I didn’t feel rushed between each event.   Leasia, M., Tacoma, WA

I loved the feeling of peace, the energy here was so beautiful. And the meditation practice was exactly what I have been looking for. I like the fact that everything was explained regarding meditation. When I walked into this place I thought I perhaps was meditating wrong. I see now that there really isn’t a wrong way as long as the willpower is there. I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved the yoga teacher who was very detailed on every position. Qigong was very interesting as I have never heard of it but it was peaceful. David and Miriam have such a beautiful flow when they teach. I wouldn’t have changed anything. I will definitely be back to this place. I am not vegan and at first I thought that was going to be a challenge. However, that was the most tastiest food. Thank you!    Daisy M., Vancouver, WA

I liked best the mix of instruction and practice. I expected to learn and challenge myself and that happened. I found it most helpful to do energization in the morning and possibly in work situations also that meditation can be just 10 minutes a day. But breathing all day. I did everything – all the yoga classes, Chi gong, and kirtan. I found Miriam very delightful and authentic. I liked David’s flow and energy.     Stacy, Portland, OR

I had very little expectations. On purpose – I liked all of it – the free time to explore and the mix with the classes was great! I really enjoyed learning about Ananda yoga, as well as the guided meditations. I will practice all of it!! Overall I thought this was a very valuable and wonderful experience. It was powerful and will serve as a great resource in the future. I will recommend, nay demand, that everyone I know attend in the future! The food and mealtimes as well as the accommodations were great and the property here is truly amazing. I appreciated the different perspectives and strengths that both David and Miriam brought to the classes. Pete’s yoga was amazing!      Stevie G., Portland, OR

My mind races at warp speed daily and nightly and through meditation class. I was able to finally quiet the noise and just “be.” I’ve never felt better. This wasn’t a part of the class but the way my body reacted to the food. I was so swollen and fatty feeling and by the last day of the weekend, my bloating was completely gone and my body felt purified. So I learned that food choices can change your physical and mental well-being. Miriam and David were awesome. So helpful, approachable, and magnetic. For me this was an awakening to live a better more holistic life. I’m ecstatic to start my journey and plan on coming back here in combination with going to the temple in Beaverton. The vibrations here and the overall positive energy feels incredible to me. The food was a 5 star quality. Whole place was very clean and the bath towels are so soft. The program was perfect.   Julie S., Hillsboro, OR

I liked best the heart opening kirtan! I learned that I actually can sit on the floor with the mugger hugger for sadhana. A happy discovery. The experience is a little different between people who are brand-new to meditation and those who have a longer experience (me). But I realize it’s good to have supportive energy. I was fine with all of it. Miriam and David were wonderful – their energies and how they presented the material. The people put into practice the teachings – it shows. I felt welcomed and cared for by those who have been here. Warm atmosphere and uplifting environment – inside and out.    Joy A., Bloomington, IN

I liked best the silent times and the kirtan. I found it most helpful to learn energization exercises and to practice sitting upright. I appreciated how Miriam tuned into the feel of the group. I think both Miriam and David are sharing what is dear to their heart and that’s awesome.      Tate, Portland, OR

The best part was practicing meditating. It was most helpful to learn about keeping the spine straight and its relation to breathing. Was a great introduction to yoga. Chi Gong could have been one more session! Kirtan was moving! David and Miriam were calm, informed, and patient. The food was tremendous! Lodging was comfortable. Kirsten A., Portland, OR

I most liked the combination of yoga and meditation. I plan to start both a yoga and meditation practice. I also plan to look into Qigong. Miriam and David co-facilitate quite well. I most liked the quiet, view, and where you’ve done remodeling it’s very nice. Ascetics are important in a retreat center so it would be good to get the buildings painted. Karen T., Portland, OR

I liked the relaxing setting in nature and the vibes of the place and the people. I best like learning new ways to meditate. Was helpful to learn the benefits of energization and yoga especially as a preparation for meditation. I love David and Miriam’s presence and calm wisdom and experience that permeates all they do, all we do, and all I do here! Was a great experience, thank you for offering the sacred space for learning and community! I most like the country setting, the quiet, and the simple and clean private room. The food was great, simple, yet fully conducive of the purpose. Dean T., Portland, OR

I best liked the kirtan. I plan to do more yoga postures and expand my yoga practice. Miriam and David were great. Always clear. The food and lodging were satisfactory. I understand the lodging is a work in progress. The schedule was always relaxed, never rushed. Jeffrey R., Santa Cruz, CA

I had no expectations, other than enjoying returning to meditation and yoga in community. The energy and the people at Laurelwood surpassed my expectations! I liked the Chi Gong class and the walking meditation. I loved the kirtan! David and Miriam are both amazing, centered, calm, and intuitive people and it showed in their presentation style. Keep them would be my only suggestion. The food was fantastic and the rooms clean and inviting. I thought there was a good balance in the overall program schedule. Maria L., Gaston, OR

I liked the overall flow. The pace of activities was good. We weren’t introduced to too much too fast. I found it most helpful to learn the meditation techniques. The yoga was great. Just what I needed to get back into practice. My practice had fallen off because make two teachers moved away. Being introduced to this style reminisced me of what I really enjoy about yoga and has motivated me to search for a new teacher that focuses more on the spiritual side of things. I think David and Miriam were very well together. Nice pace. I really like the way you handle introductions. I liked the facility. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. Jodi G., Portland, OR

I liked yoga and meditation sessions especially for someone who has back problems it’s helped me a lot to relax. Pete was really good as well. And meditations with David and Miriam are very refreshing. I plan to incorporate Qigong into my daily activities as well. Kirtan was soothing and very relaxing. David and Miriam are both great speakers and very accommodating. The location is very peaceful, surrounded by nature, idyllic setting. I’m not vegetarian but the variety of food they offer is really delicious. The schedule is pretty well-balanced and I was able to relax enough but didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. I would definitely recommend it to a friend. Francia O., Beaverton, OR

I liked best that Chi Gong and walking meditation. I didn’t come into the weekend with expectations and I really enjoyed every aspect of it all! It was helpful to do a bit of physical movement before meditating. I feel like that helps me to get into a meditation easier – will definitely incorporate that into my practice! Yoga was great Chi gong was great! Maybe even a few more moves if there’s time in future sessions. Kirtan was great! I love kirtan so I found it a beautiful addition to the weekend. The depth of communication of the elements of meditation was great. David and Miriam are both wonderful speakers/leaders. Their kindness, patience, compassion, and love, just emanate. They both have a very welcoming presence! The grounds are beautiful. I love that there was so many places to explore/hike/walk. Food was fantastic! Lodging – great! Rebecca T., Gaston, OR

I like best the reminders in actual practice of dropping deeply into meditation. That following set techniques (deep silence) can happen easily and naturally! It was most helpful. I loved Pete and his yoga sessions. Great info, approachable. Chi gong also eye-opening info regarding energy behind practice. Hard to hear outside – though I loved being outside. Love the team of David and Miriam – they complement beautifully. Thanks for the loving approach! The facility has such peaceful surroundings and there were great healthy food choices. It was a wonderful amount of yoga and meditation. Perfect – –nice mix of outside, inside. Lilywood M., Kihei, HI

I liked best community, friendship and acceptance. I came expecting a relaxing weekend retreat, which was absolutely met. I best liked learning the meditation fundamentals, especially preparing the mind and breathing techniques. I thoroughly enjoyed kirtan, which I have never experienced before. I love the Chi gong and walking meditation outside on the lawn. I thought classes were well taught. I thought the presenters were wonderful – great speakers, clear and patient. I appreciated that they allowed everyone to experience and explore at their own pace and comfort level. The grounds are beautiful and there is a sense of peacefulness. Fabulous food, clean rooms and facilities. Vivian C., Portland, OR

I like how we had at least two meditation opportunities each day to really get accustomed to it. Was most helpful learning about various props to facilitate in the meditation. David and Miriam are both very dedicated and explain things well. Just getting deeper into meditation techniques (for example more mantras, more methods) would be great. The environment and space is very relaxing and the nearby walks are pleasant. Rooms were pleasant and clean and everyone was very kind. Great salad bar. Sahar M., Vancouver, OR

I loved that it was geared towards beginners and walks you through the very basics of meditation. Short sessions and repetitions help you get into remembering the steps to aid in making a practice you can take home. Pete was a great instructor. Thank you, David and Miriam, for being vulnerable and telling us about all your life experiences to help us in our meditation. The food was delicious. I wasn’t sure how it would be being all vegetarian, but the cooks won me over. Lodging was clean and provided all that we needed. Gabrielle R., Hillsboro, OR

The days are filled with instructive and transformative programs but there’s also freedom to choose what to participate in (or not) without pressure. I found it most helpful to learn that yoga is intended to prepare the body to meditate. I will use yoga as a tool to prepare myself for meditation. I loved everything I participated in. Miriam and David are both excellent facilitators. I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved the cozy spaces. Soft carpet. Wonderful energy. Natural setting. Beautiful flowers. Lovely sounds from the wind chime and birds too! The food is great. Julie G., Milwaukee, OR

I liked best being able to deepen my understanding of and commitment to a daily meditation practice. I have a more open heart and desire to find more channels for calmness and growth. I found it most helpful to learn that environment matters. I’ve been struggling with living in a “cluttered,” noisy, brusque environment in Southern California and realize I need to make a change to really feel empowered and at peace. I loved David and Miriam! A great complementary duo – with Miriam’s patient and accepting Spirit balancing David’s energy and determined spirit. The meals were outstanding – love the tea available all day. Also the grounds, gardens, and llamas are awesome! I look forward to returning sometime soon! Susan T., Newport Beach, CA

I came looking for a way to “kickstart” my yoga and meditation practices; both had lapsed. The classes gave me some new inspirations and helped me understand the reasons for my “the dropping out.” The energization practice before yoga will definitely help start my days. I found it most helpful to learn meditation techniques to help me let go of judgment of my processing and go deeper into practice. Both David and Miriam are good listeners and thoughtful in responding to questions. I appreciate their interactions when they teach together. I enjoyed it all – learned a great deal. It was great to be outside the city for a while. The food was outstanding – nutritious, delicious, and filling. I hope to return soon. Liz C., Vancouver, WA

I liked best the transparent openness of David and Miriam, really embodying the spirit of Ananda – vulnerability – based on trust. It was most helpful to have a variety of meditation techniques which can be custom tailored for each individual’s breathing, body, soul and spirit. I plan to continue to experiment. Yoga and QiGong sessions were very helpful! Kirtan became a powerful shared experience for me. David and Miriam’s greatest strengths are genuineness and authenticity, along with a wealth of knowledge and experience. First timers weekend is a wonderful introduction to meditation in the Ananda tradition. I love the simplicity, spiritual vibration which is life-giving, and hospitality and grace of the Ananda host. The food was tasteful,, accommodating to dietary needs, nutritious, and plentiful. Thank you!, Namaste….. David E., Hillsboro, OR

2015

I liked the structured days – classes with option of not attending all classes and using the time is personal retreat. I enjoyed the variety of subjects covered and the amount of time spent on each idea/subject. I found it most helpful to learn meditation and using yoga and Chi Gong to get the body ready for meditation. That was a very helpful tip I will use in my practice. The food was amazing and I really enjoyed the community living. Rachel M., Eugene, OR

I like the emphasis on environment. Was most helpful to learn about creating a space for meditation and to learn about environment over willpower. I plan to create a space that is comfortable. Miriam and David strengths are making everything accessible to everyone. I thought the balance was perfect. Michael W., San Francisco, CA

It was perfectly at my level for learning more about meditation and yoga. I found it most helpful to learn comfortable positioning and breathing techniques that are going to help me with my practice. The simple prayers, invocations, and intentions will be easily translated into daily life. Pete was a very encouraging yoga instructor. It’s easy to have anxiety about having a hard time keeping up. He was good at addressing that. Chi gong was a good beginning. Kirtan was entrancing. David and Miriam were gentle, knowledgeable, and down to earth. The food was very nourishing and enjoyable. So grateful to partake! Tonia W., Portland, OR

I liked best the kirtan and the deep conversations at mealtime. And the whole thing was very well organized! Miriam and David are very open and engaging. Amazing food! Bed is comfy, showers hot, very pleased! I would certainly recommend it as an event space! Nancy L., Portland, OR

I loved how casual it is. How we can ask questions at any time. It feels more like a chat  than actual class which is perfect. Everything was helpful. The posture and breathing techniques will certainly help me a lot from now on. The yoga classes are really good as it built up. Starting easier and things being added up each session. Miriam and David were both awesome and have an amazing energy. I liked how clean the retreat facility is and it helps with the peaceful energy all over. Food was really good. I loved all the activities. Vivian R., Brazil

I like best the food, content of workshop, vibe of staff, personality of presenters, and the great facility with excellent gift shop. I found it most helpful to learn that I need to practice on a daily basis. Daily is better than none. The food was A+++. I would do this again 100% perfect balance. We’ll come back ASAP. Steven T., Tampa Bay, FL

David and Miriam were real, practical, and open. Breathing techniques and meditation with the most helpful part of the class. I am a bi-vocational pastor and tend to over schedule. Stress is real in my life. I plan to use what I’ve learned to bring balance. Absolutely loved the kirtan. David and Miriam were very approachable. The couples room is beautiful and comfortable. Not noisy, peaceful. The food was wonderful. As a person with celiac, I really appreciate the safe gluten-free choices. Staff was always helpful and kind! Shari E., Hillsboro, OR

I loved learning the yoga/meditation skills and connection. I like the way you taught meditation set up so we can implemented at home and institute daily in our lives. I plan to set up a corner in my house and institute a regular practice. David and Miriam were very practical, low-key, and down to earth. I enjoyed how you both guided us through the teachings and practices. I like meeting the residents and folks doing the internships and getting a better understanding of the community. Suzanne G., Portland, OR

I enjoyed it all. I like the yoga class and the energization technique. Dru T., Santa Cruz, CA

I liked that they took the time for questions and to always check-in. I found it most helpful to learn the meditation techniques and ideas to quiet the mind. I plan to use energization, breathing techniques and meditation techniques at home. The Chi gong was relaxing and energizing at the same time. David and Miriam are warm and friendly and teach in an understandable way. It was a great balance of classes, yoga, and personal time. Janelle, Gresham, OR

I liked best the kirtan and meeting others. The grounds are beautiful and it feels expansive. Amazing food! Great balance. Rachel P., Boulder, CO

I liked the yoga classes best. I also like learning Chi gong and will use it at the beach. Miriam and David well work together and were very compatible, complementary of each other. Laura N., Tualitin, OR

I liked the varied experiences, the accepting, kind and generous teachers. My expectations were to introduce my sister to meditation. Those were exceeded, and for me I experience joy at being in a committee of people who value meditation and its benefits. My favorite was yoga and body acceptance, but for my practice of meditation I “remembered.” The importance of every day community. All was wonderful! I thought having the variety was exceptional and saw the impact on myself and sister – freedom to explore, to be where I was without criticism of self. Miriam and David strengths were their timing, humor, self stories that give permission and hope. Also there were clear directions, acceptance of all beliefs. Allowing people to be where they were with warmth and welcoming us all. The food was great and varied. Sandra T., Tigard, OR

Miriam and David did a very good job. Thank you for your knowledge! It was a wonderful opportunity to recharge with mindfulness and meditation. Priscilla, D., Tigard, OR

David is a very gifted teacher. He has clearly arrived at his knowledge through experience. This allows him to relate to the learning process. He brings humanity and expertise to what he shares. Monica S., San Francisco, CA

The practical and timely advice on how to meditate was so helpful! Thank you so much for creating a safe space for us to learn and grow. Miriam and David in particular were so sage and genuine. Thanks! Stephanie K., Colorado

I loved the closeness I felt with them [David and Miriam], a safe peaceful haven and style of learning. Cyndi R., Liberty Lake, WA

David and Miriam were wonderful! I found it most helpful to learn visualization and breathing techniques for meditating. These will help me greatly while on my own. I loved that I was able to do yoga, Chi gong, meditation, and chanting in one day! Tatiana L., Monrovia, CA

Miriam and David have a calm presence, kindness, and were good at answering questions. Individual instruction may be helpful. QiGong was great. Belinda B., Seattle, WA

I enjoyed being welcomed into the community and getting a chance to learn about this way of life. It was helpful to learn the whole meditation process. How to prepare for it and what to expect. Both Miriam and David felt authentic and real in sharing their stories. Natalie C., Portland, OR

The presenters were just excellent – knowledgeable, helpful, compassionate, and friendly. The best thing about the weekend was being able to try meditation and feeling as though I can now keep up a practice and develop it. I learned so much about the right way to do it from David! We learned a lot and we enjoyed every moment together in this idyllic setting. Thank you all! Yvonne A., Seattle, WA

Great job! Super patient with everyone’s questions and great job with facilitation of group activities. Sky E., New York, NY

David is very easy to talk and listen to, presents things clearly and simply, and is happy to explain anything. Same for Miriam, and I love her singing and playing the harmonium. I wish I could hear that every day. Everyone was so welcoming and I really felt at ease, with no pressure at all. Jessica Curtin, Portland, OR

I wasn’t sure that meditation would be for me because my brain is always working at million miles a minute, but the breathing techniques and walking meditation really worked for me. I had a perfect, and better than I expected experience. This is by far the best, most relaxing\liberating experience I have had a very long time. Thank you so much. Alyssa M., Sherwood, OR

Thank you so much for everything! I feel I have some great tools now to practice meditation, which is why I came! I love the kirtan and singing together. Everyone was wonderful. Maureen B., Dallas, TX

Everything I needed, I found in this program. Catherine S., Dallas, TX

The staff is excellent. Energy here is great and meditation techniques are very valuable. I think David and Miriam complement each other very well. They’re both very knowledgeable, friendly, and high vibration people. Susan M., Ashland, OR

David and Miriam are both very warm and supportive! I really enjoyed the Qigong practice. Great instruction! I best liked the instruction on how to start small, and help establish a routine for meditation. David K., Lummi Is., WA

Dear David and Miriam, thank you so much for holding the visible and invisible container of direct support through answering requests and maintain the physical and spiritual space. Your care allowed a deep opening and unfolding that was beautiful for me to witness in our group. Love, love, love and light to you all at the Ananda center. Marisa S., Portland, OR

Presenters were quite impressive! Awesome! The meditation techniques and clearing the mind was the most helpful that I learned. I will definitely make meditation more a part of my life. Hopefully every day! It will be shocking to go back to my life at home but I have new tools to help create the life I want to live. Sandra P., Eureka, CA

I never thought I could learn so much over the weekend. I thought I already knew quite a bit about yoga and meditation, but there were definitely quite a bit of eye-opening moments. You were lovely, beautiful people to learn from. It was an entirely calming and peaceful experience. There were so many smiles and so much love throughout the weekend. Ananthi R, Seattle, WA

The presenters are wonderful, dedicated, and loving. I’ve never meditated before, and didn’t think it was possible. I learned to relax and clear my mind in order to meditate. I learned the most amazing techniques and now find that I can meditate. Diana, K., Cincinati, OH

I love the sense of community. I was hesitant before my arrival but found myself instantly “at home” with the guests and facilitators. This in turn, allowed a deeper opening and a richer experience. It was most helpful to learn how much singing/mantras help my meditation practice. I plan to use music and singing in my regular practice as it helps me to center and calm my racing thoughts. The presenters, David and Miriam, were wonderful. They both have a very calm and easeful manner. It was a splendid experience. I loved it! Kelly R., Bend, OR

I most like the in-depth nature of each segment of instruction. I found QiGong most helpful and wonderful! There were several different aspects of meditation that were new to me. Each presenter was clearly knowledgeable, prepared, and skilled. Each was willing to take extra time to communicate with participants who asked for additional information or guidance. Virginia H., Eugene, OR

It’s hard to choose what I like best about the weekend. I’d say the pace of activities, nice and slow, steady, plenty of time for rest and reflection. The Saturday night kirtan was magical. Diane R., Eugene, OR

The entire experience was wonderful. The group – magic. I found it helpful to learn that whatever way I meditate, whatever way I do yoga, or the poses, it is personal, it is perfect, it is okay. I found each of the classes informative. Thank you, Miriam and David, so appreciated your sharing your gifts with us. As you say in America, “awesome.” Antionette A., Dublin, Ireland

I deeply benefited from the community, the teachings, and the delicious food. I so enjoyed learning more about meditation: how to do it and when to do it. Also the different breathing techniques to use while meditating. I really enjoyed the yoga class that I took this morning (Sunday). I enjoyed all the presenters. Everyone did a fantastic job. Hailey E., Eugene, OR

I loved best learning with others. When we all breathed together, it was magical! Was most helpful working with the breath in a variety of ways. I will keep that awareness. The presenters did a great job! I appreciate their willingness to share their knowledge, both verbally and in printed material. Jamie B., Grants Pass, OR

The class gave such positive encouragement and intention to personal needs, experience, etc. The presenters were friendly and personable. It was a lovely way to share values and experience with a variety of people. Jim M., Hillsboro, OR

I found it most helpful to learn about the preparation for meditation – the prayers, posture, chanting. I’ve always jumped in with less success. Both presenters felt very grounded. Rebecca R., Portland, OR

I enjoyed the people, the teachers, and the magic of the program. Learning how to prepare for meditation and how to sit for meditation was very helpful. I plan to use everything I’ve learned here when I return home. I was very happy with the presenters. Arielle L., Los Angeles, CA

I enjoyed the guided meditation that compared thoughts to pebbles being thrown into a still pond. That was useful for my practice to let the thoughts ripple on and bring myself to the still center. I felt the true genuineness in the presenters practice. I felt safe. Jessica M., Beaverton, OR

I enjoyed the energy of the community. I enjoy learning about meditation. I never realized there were so many things to it! I completely enjoyed the presenters. The teachers joy is infectious. Sandy G., Lake Forest Park, WA

I found it most helpful to learn how to intentionally make a physical space and mental preparations for meditation at home. Thank you for being so genuine. Shari N., Vancouver, WA

I appreciate the teaching of the basics and fundamental aspects of meditation. Loved the guided meditation. I found the teaching on posture useful as well. Was most helpful to learn tools to be able to sit comfortably and properly. Melissa J., Eugene, OR

It was helpful to learn to take time and invest into myself. And I liked the tai chi and Qigong. The presenters were wonderful and full of useful knowledge that they could clearly communicate. Thank you! Jan H., Portland, OR

I loved all of you! Miriam is so special. David so kindhearted and knowledgeable. I feel much more comfortable with my meditation practice. Thanks for a wonderful weekend. Emily P., Phoenix, AZ

I found it most helpful to learn the different postures for meditation and how to use the kneeling benches and cushions. Beginners yoga was perfect for me after recently having surgery. Ronae C., Ridgefield, OR

The class was well-balanced. I loved all the yoga sessions and Qigong practice. David and Miriam did a good job! Maris A., Newberg, OR

I found it hopeful to learn all the different sitting aids that one can use. I also like that time was taken to listen to everyone in the class. Diana S., New York, NY

I best liked the basic concept of making peace through meditation a reality in our everyday realities. It was most helpful to learn to be present with myself and accepting of what’s in the moment. Yoga was fantastic. I really enjoyed the kirtan also. David and Miriam were wonderful. Jocelyn H., Woodburn, OR

I best liked the gentle guidance of the instructors. It was most helpful practicing with others. I would have liked ever-increasing meditation times. QiGong was very nice. David and Miriam listened well and made helpful suggestions to students issues. Patricia , Sherwood, OR

The class had a free-form movement. It flowed informally as well as spiritually. I found it most helpful to learn the yogic techniques of meditation. It was good to see Qigong added as variety to the experience. Kirtan was great. We need this in our daily lives. David and Miriam did very good as a duo. I feel that working off their syllabus, they had more to offer. They should go in this direction to grow and expand. It was a great experience. Matthew W., Skamania, WA

You were all so loving and caring. You made every individual feel special. I loved the positive energy and attitudes. The support and quiet understanding from the staff and the gentle, nurturing environment. Jinny W., San Diego, CA

I liked best the nonjudgmental group. It was interesting and very supportive. It was most helpful to learn how to make time and space in everyday life. David and Miriam were lovely, supportive and without ego. Both were great and a nice balance. Jeni, Whitehorse, OR

The class opened up a whole new highway to help with my spirituality/growth. I found it most helpful to learn how to listen and be still. Thomas P., Lewiston, CA

 


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