Zach Stockdale

Meditation Teacher & Guide

“I couldn't move at all. All I could do was meditate. It saved me.”

His Role

Zach Stockdale is an Iraq war veteran who participated in hundreds of clandestine combat missions, working alongside Navy Seals, Delta Force Operators, and CIA field officers. His experiences at war, as well as the aftermath of his return home, led him to a meditation practice that soon became the center of his life, and of his healing. At Beckley Retreats, Zach is the lead meditation teacher and an intuitive ceremony guide.

His Story

Zach first discovered the words of the Buddha on his third deployment to Ramadi, Iraq. Realizing his limited knowledge of wisdom traditions outside Christianity, he began studying seminal texts from a multitude of lineages. After his career in the army, he began attending ten-day Vipassana meditation courses. He went on to practice and volunteer at various Vipassana centers for many years, ultimately becoming a center manager. While this continues to be the core of his practice, he’s also studied with living masters from the traditions of Thai Forest, Burmese Theravada, Sri Lankan Theravada, and Tibetan Buddhism.

His Why

Zach has now spent more days in silent meditation than he has in war, and he believes that meditation is a powerful tool for burning past karmas and bringing lasting peace. In August of 2020, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening when he broke his neck under water: “I couldn’t move at all. All I could do was meditate. It saved me.”