Shelley Schanfield's fascination with Buddhism and yoga arose fifteen years ago when she and her son were pursuing black belts in Tae Kwon Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tae Kwon Do, like all the Eastern martial arts, includes techniques developed by Buddhist monks to calm and focus the mind. These techniques proved invaluable when devastating illnesses struck Shelley’s family. She set out to learn as much as she could about the Buddha’s methods and how he developed them. By profession a librarian, Shelley immersed herself in research on the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. While studying yoga’s history, Shelley was inspired to hang up her black belt to practice Iyengar yoga. Both disciplines have enriched her life and the fictional world of her books.
Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. Unsatisfied with what she found, she decided to write her own. Her research had sparked her curiosity about Yasodhara, the woman who became Siddhartha’s wife. On the night their first child was born, he left her and his newborn son to seek enlightenment. How did she feel about this? From a woman's perspective, Yasodhara's story was more compelling than her husband's. Thus began the Sadhana trilogy, three visionary novels blending history and fantasy to illustrate the personal and spiritual struggles of women who knew Siddhartha.
Book One: The Tigress and the Yogi - released January 2016
Book Two: The Mountain Goddess - coming Fall 2016
Book Three: The Mustard Seed - coming in 2017
Please visit www.shelleyschanfield.com to connect with the author and learn more about her books, yoga, Buddhism, and Indian mythology.