One Hundred Days of Solitude - Praise

Losing My Self and Finding Grace on a Zen Retreat

“For 100 days of a snowy New England winter, Dobisz lived alone in a tiny cabin in the woods, adhering to a highly regimented schedule of sitting, walking, chanting, bowing, and chopping wood. She had no contact with the outside world. The experience gave her opportunity to see in a new light things most of us take for granted: keeping warm, taking a bath, getting a drink of water. Everything there was elemental. More than once, she asked herself what utter madness brought her there. Yet she writes luminously about the spectacle of nature, the sensual pleasure of a hot bath, the simple joy of silence. She isn't all wide-eyed wonder, though. She can be quite funny recounting such happenstances as, while out walking, coming upon a parked car, picnic basket in the backseat, full of goodies, including several Lorna Doones...(She scarfed them down.) After her time in the woods, Dobisz went home the same person and yet, in the way of Zen, not quite the same person.”—Booklist

“Splendidly candid and beautifully written… There have been plenty of other books about solitude and the refreshments emerging out of silence and communion with the natural world but this one is special because of its radiant glints of wisdom about Zen.”—Spirituality & Practice

“An absolute pleasure for the soul.”—Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts

“Good, level-headed stuff. Dobisz is a teacher and writer of strength and experience. With wit, seriousness, and freshness, she gives a powerful account of facing life and reality head-on.”—Steve Hagen, author of Buddhism is Not What You Think

“Solitude is essential for health and happiness. Dobisz takes you right into the heart of the experience. I loved it.”—Christiane Northrup MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“A fine job of capturing an experience that is so extraordinary in our too-busy, too noisy lives.”—Albuquerque Journal

“A deep bow of appreciation to Jane Dobisz for this lovely reminder—especially welcome in our contemporary culture of seemingly endless stimulus seductions—that the peaceful mind rejoices at the sound of melting snow.”—Sylvia Boorstein, author of It’s Easier than You Think

“Inspiring, humorous and surprising– and best of all, real. This is a fascinating read, with solid wisdom and masterful teachings. Reading this book is like sipping your favorite tea, letting in each drop with delight, purpose and equanimity.”—Creations magazine

“Rich with humility and humor—Dobisz finds lessons in Zen and life in everything from the frozen rock-solid contents of her chamber pot to the temptations in a package of Lorna Doones.”—Vermont Quarterly

“Dobisz’s book describes how loneliness and discomfort evolved into joy as, forced by the absence of distraction and the repetition of simple activities, she learned to focus on each moment—the essence of Zen teaching—and came to treasure life in a way many people don’t.”—Boston Globe

“Jane Dobisz, as so many students of Buddhism have done, decided to live a solitary life with nature for a time, 100 days to be exact, during the winter and spring months so that she could experience the harshness of winter and then the jubilation of spring. As I allowed myself to enter her world and release my cynical ponderings, the book began to calm me… This is not really a book to be read in one or two sittings. It is one of those books that you leave by your bedside. You pick it up, and randomly choose a chapter. The quote, the lesson of each small chapter will embrace you, and provide you with a small Zen moment to relax with after a long hard day.”—PopMatters.com

“Down-to-earth, humorous, and easy to follow. This is the story of real practice, as far from a scholarly treatise on Buddhism as possible, and is filled with wonderful teachings and quotes from the great Zen practitioners of all time.”—Primary Point

“Now this is pure summer getaway reading. Except that instead of hanging out at the beach Dobisz embarks on a Zen retreat in a New England cabin... for 100 days... in the middle of winter. Days beginning at 3:15 AM. Days filled up with sitting, walking and working meditation periods. I don’t know if I’d be able to put myself through it (even as much of an introvert as I am) but it was fascinating to read about.”—BlogCritics.org

“Lovely brushstrokes of Zen heart/mind emerging out of intrepid Zen practice. Having trained under the same teacher, it was particularly delightful to feel the vitality of Seung Sahn’s teachings brought to life in such a down-to-earth and poetic way.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Coming to Our Senses

“A sweet, quiet, wisdom-infused book. Dobisz’s writings make me yearn for a retreat.”—Geri Larkin, author of The Still Point Dhammapada