Marlies Castaing writes: “Lunch and Learn” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 81, Summer 2013:
Over salad Nicoise and tasty deserts, forty-eight women gathered on a January afternoon to eat, socialize and learn about Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ). Many had never heard about this Japanese Art of health and balance. The event – a “Lunch and Learn” presentation – was one of a new series intended as an informal introduction to JSJ. It was part of an effort in the Phoenix area to broaden the community of people aware of JSJ’s powers.
I am a relatively new member of the Jin Shin Jyutsu family, but the moment I discovered the power of self-help, I became passionate about learning and, in turn, eager to spread the word about the simplicity of the Art.
Furthermore, my mother still lives in the Austrian Alps where I grew up; and during my regular visits, three times every year, I found a surprisingly large number of people familiar with Jin Shin Jyutsu in that region. Local Austrian mainstream bookstores offer JSJ literature, sometimes right next to the cash register, and some children learn the Main Central Flow in Kindergarten with an audio book. There are entire valleys filled with people who practice JSJ as self-help or with practitioners. JSJ is also featured on radio programs or in the local newspaper.
After seeing such a strong community in Austria, I asked myself the simple question: “Why not in the United States of America…?”
I spend about half the year in Arizona. Outside of the JSJ office and its family at large, very few people seem to have heard about JSJ or know about the power of holding fingers.
The Idea of “Lunch and Learn” came out of a conversation with a good friend and well-known chef in Phoenix. I had been talking to Vincent Guerithault, the chef behind the restaurant Vincent on Camelback, for some time about JSJ and told him about how much I wanted to share JSJ with a larger community in Phoenix. Vincent was eager to offer his culinary expertise as accompaniment to a 60-minute PowerPoint presentation I prepared, introducing JSJ. When we announced the first “Lunch and Learn”, both of us were surprised at the number of attendees who wished to participate. Subsequent presentations have averaged about 25 people.
My main goal with “Lunch and Learn” is to create awareness about JSJ. In my presentation, I focus on what I call my own three JSJ pillars:
- Holding fingers
- The Main Central Flow
- The 36 Breaths
I have found it beneficial to use some parts of the booklet, “An Art of Gentle Touch”, created by Mary Blackford and available on the JSJ website (www.jsjinc.net). Although the booklet was originally created specifically for people coping with cancer, it contains a succinct history of JSJ, as well as a useful, layman’s explanation of what the Art is. The brochure also offers helpful guidance on The Main Central and an easy-to-follow Hand Chart. In the course of my presentation, I explain the resources available to learn more about JSJ. I always have materials available about the classes offered through the JSJ Scottsdale office.
So far, the “Lunch and Learn” presentations have been an incredibly positive experience. There are participants who show genuine curiosity about the Art and seem excited to have been introduced to it. However, I’ve also learned through these presentations that despite my own enthusiasm, JSJ is not for everyone. But this has not discouraged me from letting the world know about JSJ. I feel almost an obligation of “giving back” some of the numerous gifts I have received through JSJ. My mission is to spread the JSJ word, and once introduced to it, it is up to each individual to embrace or not to embrace the Art. It is only if one hears about it, that one can make that choice.
Thank you, Marlies.
Thank you, Mary.
Thank you, David.
Gassho, Namaste, Blessings
All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at http://www.jsjinc.net.