Monthly Archives: September 2017

Return the Favor

Kumuda Belcher writes: “Return the Favor” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 75, Winter 2012:


I have a Jin Shin Jyutsu practice in South Fallsburg, New York, which I began in the Spring of 2000. Recently I decided to go back to school part-time to pursue a Master’s Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Some well-meaning friends have been asking me why I am going back to school and pursuing an additional line of work when Jin Shin Jyutsu is so powerful and seems to be my calling. I considered their queries deeply and my short answer is this: Ever since the earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan earlier this year, I have felt a deep and growing urgency for us to share Jin Shin Jyutsu as much as possible, to empower people to help themselves and particularly to empower those who live in isolated or natural disaster-prone areas around the world. I feel it would be especially extraordinary and wonderful if somehow Jin Shin Jyutsu were more available and known to the people o Japan, as a way of thanking Jiro Murai and Mary Burmeister for the wonderful gift Mary brought to the United States from Japan in the 1950s.

Earlier this year I toured Washington, D.C. – maybe the story of the cherry trees inspires me as well. (In 1912 and again in 1965, over three thousand cherry trees – sakura – were donated to the area by the city of Tokyo and the Japanese government. Every year during the month of April there is a beautiful display of these blossoming cherry trees along the Potomac River in D.C. They serve as a reminder of the enduring spirit of friendship between our nations.) Jin Shin Jyutsu is definitely the “blossom” love to offer most!

This past summer for two weeks in the mornings I taught English to ten- and eleven-year-olds from Japan at a summer camp which has an exchange program with its Tokyo sister organization. My lesson plans included learning to name and identify parts of the body in English. As a way of reinforcing and remembering the new vocabulary, I taught the class to hold each finger (by name), shoulder and buttock, etc. They also learned to do thirty-six aware breaths with fingers and palms when fatigued or when having difficulty falling asleep. Everyone seemed to sincerely embrace the finger holding, listened with rapt attention, and happily agreed to share this information with friends who express these needs to them!

Yes, we had Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help classes (in practice, not by name) in the middle of English class! I was delighted to watch these visiting Japanese children holding their fingers and holding their upper arms with their opposite inner thighs. I was thrilled to hear them say sentences I taught such as “My stomach hurts, so I will hold my thumb.”

The bottom line is that Jin Shin Jyutsu is so much a part of my life and so much a love of my life that no matter what I appear to be doing on the outside, I am on some level always applying Jin Shin Jyutsu to and integrating it with everything else in my world. If I owned a bakery, I would probably apply “jumper cables” to the cakes! (Just kidding…)

In the past I have submitted several articles to The Main Central newsletter, and I find I come to the same conclusion and want to express the same sentiment at the end of each of them, no matter the article, no matter the topic: I thank you, dear Mary, from the bottom of my heart for so generously sharing Jin Shin Jyutsu, something which continues to enrich, nourish, and energize all aspects of my life in innumerable and wonderful ways! 

Thank you, Kumuda.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at


I’m thinking about archy and mehitabel…


“We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.”
— Orison Swett Marden

What do you believe about yourself?

If you are experiencing a lack of something in your life, chances are that you hold a belief in your subconscious that says you aren’t worthy of having that quality. Write in your journal the answer to these questions for yourself:

  • Where are you not good enough, not worthy enough?
  • How willing are you to receive?

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
— e. e. cummings

Copyright © 1999 – 2017 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

I’m thinking about 4 rooms…


“For all my good intentions, there are days when things go wrong or I fall into old habits. When things are not going well, when I’m grumpy or mad, I’ll realize that I’ve not been paying attention to my soul and I’ve not been following my best routine.”
— Robert Fulghum

How do you need to bring more balance to your life?

Robert Fulghum has shared, “The older I get, the more I realize the importance of exercising the various dimensions of my body, soul, mind and heart. Taken together, these aspects give me a sense of wholeness. I want to be a whole human being rather than one who limps on one leg because I don’t know how to use all of my parts. Intellectual, emotional, and physical activity are not separate entities. Rather, they are dimensions of the same human being.”

“There is an Indian Belief that everyone is in a house of four rooms: A physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete.”
— Rumer Godden

Copyright © 1999 – 2017 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

I’m thinking about standards…


“If I get to pick what I want to do, then it’s play… if someone else tells me that I have to do it, then it’s work.”
— Patricia Nourot

Are you continually struggling to accomplish what is expected of you? If so, stop to think for a moment: who holds those expectations?

Perhaps you’re trying to meet the expectations of a parent or a teacher or other authority figures who may be long gone from your life. But many of us toil under the critical eyes of a vague ‘somebody’ who always judges that we’ve never done enough or done things well enough. Who is this phantom judge? And do we need to care about what they think any longer?

We find both our own power and happiness when we begin to set our own standards around what has heart and meaning for us.

“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.”
— Nancy Lopez

Copyright © 1999 – 2017 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

I’m thinking about a lesson from my friend, the Rabbi…


A short pre-Rosh HaShanah piece I shared with my congregation

Jacob’s famous dream is a vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder, touching earth while soaring to heaven.

I want to share a beautiful Chassidic teaching about this dream with you.

In typical Chassidic tradition, we are asked a question.

When is a person who is lower on the ladder
Higher than a person who is
Higher on the ladder?

The answer…….?

When the lower person is climbing up ……
and the higher person is descending down.

As in many Chassidic lessons, what sounds mysterious is really about every-day life…….

We move up, we move down, we take steps, make some progress and then have setbacks.

That’s the pattern we encounter as we pursue goals and intentions. We have days when we get closer, days when we almost meet our aspirations, and days when our dreams grow ever more elusive.

Jacob, back in our biblical story and on the run from home, spends his night tossing and turning on his pillow of stone.

We toss and turn on our memory- foam mattresses and modern feather pillows. The era changes, the human dilemmas stay the same.

The Chassidic reflection wisely points out that in our struggles, our progress is measured not only by the distance travelled but by direction chosen.

Ask yourself – Am I ‘checking out’? Am I moving forward? Am I in withdrawal? Am I resignedly headed for the door? Or, am I steadfastly holding my own, returning again and again, to deal with life’s challenges?

The angels float up AND down, remember. They represent the continuous determination and decisions needed to reach our commitments and aspirations.

We often hear:

“You are exactly where you are supposed to be”.

That may be true.

Where we choose to go next, however, Is ours to determine.

It’s a beautiful Midrash on a well-known dream.

The same angels rise and descend, just as we rise, fall back and then choose to rise again and again in pursuit of a life worth living.

I hope this gentle reading reinforces our spirits as we rise (and sometimes fall back) on the path to creating a sweet, fruitful New Year.

Shanah Tovah

I’m thinking about 71+ years…with gratitude…


“Inside every older person is a younger person–wondering what the hell happened.”
— Cora Harvey Armstrong

“The hardest years in life are those between 10 and 70.”
— Helen Hayes (at 73)

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
— Bette Davis

“Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.”
— Caryn Leschen

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
— Frank A. Clark

“I’m looking forward to looking back on all this.”
— Sandra Knell

Copyright © 1999 – 2017 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6


Judy Andry writes about: “MARY” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 75, Winter 2012:


Jin Shin Jyutsu arrived in my life in the summer of 1984, thanks to the hands of Charles de la Vergne. Mary’s sisters, Helen and Alice, friends of Charles, visited New Orleans for the Worlds Fair over the Labor Day Weekend that summer, and Charles introduced us. As a thank you for having dinner at our home, they sent me Mary’s first Self-Help book.

After two and a half months of almost daily JSJ self-help my life was so significantly changed – body, mind and spirit – I talked my friend Mary Jane Phelan into going with me to Scottsdale for a week of sessions with Helen and Alice. It was a “watershed event” for both of us. It was impossible to even consider seeing Mary, she had standing appointments and a long waiting list in case of cancellations.

Halfway through our week with Helen and Alice, they announced they had a surprise for us. They had arranged a “top secret” session for each of us with Mary! We were sworn to secrecy, because they knew how furious folks on the waiting list would be if they found out someone was sneaked in ahead of them.

So my first meeting with Mary was a “through the back door” encounter. She was at that time kneeling on the floor treating people lying on very low pallets. I cannot imagine how she did that all day long – and into the night. As she zeroed in on my right 11 and my right 5, and I grimaced, she gently opined, “That’s not ME hurting you, that’s YOU hurting you.” Words seared into my memory!

The last time I saw Mary was in 1990 when she was giving a 5-day class in Santa Rosa. On the final day I was going to have to leave early in the afternoon in order to catch a bus that would get me to the airport in San Francisco in time to catch the flight back to New Orleans.

By this time I had attended many 5-day classes and felt like I knew Mary – and that she actually knew or at least recognized me – though I still approached her with total awe and some trepidation. So, on that last afternoon I found myself on the far left side of a large room filled with about 200 people, with Mary in front on a stage, and the exit door on the far right. To leave early meant I would have to walk in between Mary and her audience while she was in the middle of a lesson. I was mortified.

Finally I had no choice but to make my move to leave. Hot with embarrassment, I began the long walk across the auditorium. As I walked,Mary stopped her lecture and began walking herself, toward the steps on the right end of the stage, arriving there just as I reached that place. I looked at her wide-eyed as she extended both arms, inviting me into them for a giant and lingering hug. I was both flabbergasted and transported. She said a gentle and happy good-bye, and I floated out of the room. Whatever it was, something transpired that touched me deeply. To this day I have no memory of the trip home beyond getting on that bus in Santa Rosa. I was simply transported by her loving gesture. What a gift she gave to me.

Who could have known that would be Mary’s last class…

Thank you, Judy.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at