Textures and details from the Relaxation Centre

I’ve taken a few close-up photos in the Relaxation Centre, highlighting some of the textures and details.

If you have been here before, how many of these can you recognize?

Detail of the carved dragons and beasts on the centuries-old cauldron in the therapy room. It was once used for special feasts in China. Now it serves as a holder for the aromatherapy oils that fill the air with a gentle scent of Japanese evergreens.
The bamboo curtain as you enter the therapy room. When you step through this curtain, you step into a wonderful world of relaxation!
A Japanese “shoji” screen. These are typical of traditional Japanese architecture and are placed through the Relaxation Centre, both in the reception area and in the therapy room.
Detail from a hand-painted scroll that is now hanging in the therapy room.
The embroidered bed cover that is on the therapy bed. This cover is decorative and is removed during your session.
Grammy-award winning musician Kitaro signed this drum that hangs in the reception area. The drum is also signed by Dennis Banks, an Anishinaabe Native teacher and storyteller who died in 2017.
Detail from one of the hand-made Japanese tea cups. You can enjoy a Japanese ‘gyokuro’ tea before your session if your time permits.
All of the furniture in the reception area is brought from Asia and made from sustainable exotic fruit tree woods from trees which have finished their fruit-bearing life.
Detail from one of the hand-carved “jali” candle holders in the therapy room. These are used with candles in the Himalayan Sound Therapy session.
Detail from a mirror in the reception area. The hand-carved frame is finely detailed with ornate flower petals and leaves.
Inside the therapy room, the floor is covered with “igusa grass” natural flooring, the traditional flooring material used in Japanese tatami rooms.
Bamboo features prominently throughout the Relaxation Centre.

I’ve always felt that small details are important! These little things – some of which might well go unnoticed – make every visit to the Relaxation Centre a unique journey into a special place!

 

Why a 5-yen coin hangs in my office

In the mid-1980s I had been living in Japan. When I left I was flat broke with nothing but a few coins in my pocket, and a suitcase full of cassettes of new-age music—a brand new genre that had barely reached the shores of North America. I got a job right away working at a radio station in Los Angeles that experimented with that relaxing music.

My appetite for that genre became ravenous. I devoured all of it I could find, at record shops and at concerts. I spent hours each day drifting into Shangri-La with Kitaro, Vangelis, Andreas Vollenweider, Osamu Kitajima, Tangerine Dream and loads of lesser-known artists from exotic places with unpronounceable names. Meanwhile, I experimented with my own compositions.

Fast-forward three decades. A little Japanese furin bell hangs on my office door. It rings every time a person walks in. Suspended from that bell is one of the 5-yen coins I carried in my pocket in Japan all those years ago not knowing what the future would hold.

Every time that bell rings I am reminded of humble beginnings and the wonder and excitement of what still lies ahead.

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Your body is made for motion. Like water, when stagnant it becomes a breeding ground for disease. So stir the waters of your life and begin exercising! Regular exercise enhances neurotransmitter production and helps to lower stress hormone levels. Continue reading “When anxiety and depression strike, grab your shoes. Here’s why.”

Here’s what happened when I went a week without social media

I have embraced electronic communications since I was really young. Staying connected is just one of those things that makes the world more interesting. In 1995, twenty years before Facebook, I had a pager connected to my email so that I could get “instant messages” including email and news updates anywhere. Yes, a pager. But in those days, we were willing to look ridiculous to stay connected! Continue reading “Here’s what happened when I went a week without social media”