I have been interested in psychology and physical health and the relationship between the two all my life.
I was in the dance program at SFU not to become a dancer but to dance all day and explore the state of mind that comes from being embodied. I studied pilates because it required intense awareness of the smallest muscles firing. I loved tuning into reality as it is when we are in the body, breaking through head stories and getting down deep where there is simply sensation, breath, vitality and calm.
The quest for this state of mind became my sole intention during my early twenties and it lead to my living at the Vancouver Zen Centre with a vigorous daily practice & after two months in the city centre I decided to dive in and go to the affiliated mountain monastery outside of Los Angeles presided over by an enlightened Japanese zen master: Joshu Sasaki Roshi. I lived there on and off for two years doing long hours of still meditation. I remember being excited and relieved when assigned a boiling hot roofing job during the day, simply because it was physical and involved movement. Holding an in-tune state while moving was always so much easier than meditating.
Upon returning to Vancouver after a summer training I decided to put the two together. Shiatsu marries movement and meditation. It is a moving meditation for the giver as well as the receiver and as such, feels like an extension of Zen practice. That’s why I still love it. 15 years later, I still feel like it’s an honour and a privilege to enable people’s innermost states, to witness and guide people to their calmest self, where the body does it’s own healing.