Executive Director/Head Instructor: Ben Booth
Ben brings over 22 years of rowing experience coupled with over 15 years of intensive, international training in the mind-body arts to his teaching and leadership of Dharma Voyage.
As a competitive rower in the mid-90s, Ben took firsts in all New England open-water races he entered, in a variety of boat classes. In 1996, at 19 years old, Ben tried his oars for a year in flat-water racing, and moved to Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. There he won gold at the American Rowing Championships in the Men’s Int. Quad, and was a top finalist in the Elite Single in the highly contested Philadelphia Independence Day Regatta.
Following these early years of racing, Ben went further afield and spent many years traveling – pursuing numerous avenues with the single goal of expanding the limits of human experience.
During a ten-year, epic quest to delve into the possibilities promised through the insights of mind-body traditions, Ben lived in Zen Temples, Ashrams, Martial Art Centers, and wilderness retreats throughout the U.S. and Asia. In China, he studied with great Masters from Shaolin and Wudang Temple, learning Kung Fu, San Da, and Tai Chi. In India, he lived with traditional gurus of Kalaripayattu and Yoga. In the U.S., he lived with Zen Master Chang Sik Kim for many years, and worked closely with Acharya Lama Migmar Tseten.
In 2006, Ben began full-time teaching of meditation and mind-body training to a diverse audience – with an age range from 90 to preschool, from elite athletes to health care workers to Buddhist monks.
In 2008, Ben returned to his water-filled roots, bringing this decade of full-time training back to coastal adventuring, and could be seen once again, year ’round, paddling and rowing in waves. This fueled ever more inspiration into his teaching, and brought forth the vision of Dharma Voyage (2009) as an educational nonprofit to offer others the opportunity of creating powerful paths of personal mastery through a curriculum of both mind-body training and Zen infused outdoor adventures.
Returning to open-water racing in 2014, in a boat of his own design and build, Ben took 6 firsts in 6 starts, while setting numerous course records. In addition to racing, Ben can be found rowing through surf, in offshore waves, and embarking on long-distance voyages. He takes numerous, one day, 30-50+ mile rows along the MA/RI south coast, Cape Cod, and the Islands.
Ben is currently enjoying the interchange of rowing and mediation as a dynamic Zen experience – incorporating his rigorous martial art and other awareness-based training into the art of rowing, while gaining ever more intuitive insight into meditation and the expansion of personal potential through inspirations gained in movement across the sea. His most recent project is the design of a FISA compliant racer for World Rowing Coastal events.