Monday, December 7, 2009


My gorgeous student and lovely friend, Author Machel Shull (twitter) and I 

Michiko Jane Rolek, also known as lil mama, is an Author, Teacher, Lecturer and Life Coach. In Japanese, her name michiko "beautiful, wise child." She was born into a famous Zen lineage. Her great grandfather, Sokei-an Sasaki, read more... was the 1st Zen Master to make his home in America. Her first book "Mental Fitness" was published in 1996 by Weatherhill, the same company that also published Sokei-an Sasaki's "The Zen Eye" and Shunryu Suzuki's zen classic "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind". Legendary poet, singer/songwriter, and zen monk Leonard Cohen wrote the foreword. She was told by Weatherhill that her book was like an organic cookbook to help people "taste zen".

Her mind-body & soul fitness program, The Centered Stretch, was born out of her work at Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox in 1992 and to this day helps people to experience the yogic bliss of less stress, more zenergy and centered control. Her life changing ideas and self empowerment program known as "Black Belt for the Soul" was featured on NBC's Emmy winning Reality Show "Starting Over". Her well attended lecture series "Yoga Off the Mat" at California Institute Of Technology offered a Holistic or Zen Tune-up Kit using Yoga Tools like Inspired Breath and Posture Awareness to relax, reduce stress and stay focused.

Her celebrity clientele includes: Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach, Phil Jackson, Champion Surfer, Kelly Slater read more... music legends; Stevie Wonder, Al McKay (EWF), Berry Gordy and Joe Sample, and Hollywood celebrities and directors such as Robby Benson, Peter Bogdanovich, Pamela Anderson, Jim Carrey, Lauren Holly, Bill and Kristen Bellamy, Tyra Banks, The Pink Lady Jackie Goldberg, Disney actress 
Ryan Newman. 

With the help of her young daughter Grace, Michiko continues to design and develop the work with her Spiritual Martial Arts program for children known as FunZen read more... It helps kids learn to bring their A game of Attitude with Altitude. They have fun learning to laser focus their minds to gain courage and confidence to shift from a worrier to a warrior.

While working with Jani Schofield read more... a seven-year-old girl living with childhood Schizophrenia, Oprah Winfrey accepted the invitation to Michiko's house to cover Jani's Journey. Her FunZen Bakery blog was created at this time to share her compassionate, playful and practical voice of teaching kids FunZen and parents to be Mindful. Click here for Oprah link. ♥

In Praise of Mental Fitness and Black Belt for the Soul;
An Inspirational Recipe To Work Your Mojo at the Inner Dojo

"What a delightful book Michiko Rolek has written. It is so very important to breathe every day! Thank you for helping me to simplify my life in a joyful way.

Louise L. Hay
Author of You Can Heal Your Life and Empowering Women

"Mental Fitness and Black Belt for the Soul are perfect gifts for anyone seeking a clear mind and a peaceful heart. They offer the perfect inner workout for helping people realize their true potential."

Robin Crow, Author of Jump And The Net Will Appear, Owner, Dark Horse Recording Studios

"Mental Fitness is a Blessing on all levels! In simple yet profound language you learn to reach inner peace through staying centered and through sacred breath. It is an excellent guide to Mindfulness."

Denise Linn
Author of Sacred Space and Feng Shui for the Soul

"Michiko J. Rolek has produced a gem of a book as bright and clear and simple as a diamond. Her exercises and spare explanations take you immediately to the important tasks, the key thoughts. Yet ironically, the precision of her writing also produces a sense of spaciousness, so rare in today's rushing, crowded world. Mental Fitness is a marvelous, simple blueprint for attaining unified consciousness."

Penney Peirce
Author of The Intuitive Way:
A Guide to Living from Inner Wisdom and Frequency The Power of Personal Vibration

"Mental Fitness is a highly useful guide to inner peace. I've read it, love it and highly recommend it."
Richard Carlson
Author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

"In a sea of self-help word play and abstract concepts , it's a pleasure to find Mental Fitness, Michiko Rolek's mind-body manual covering practical basics of breath and attention to help us stay centered and grounded in a challenged world."

Dan Millman
Author of Everyday Enlightenment and Way of the Peaceful Warrior

...We spend so much time chasing our blessings, we forget to use the one we have. In Mental Fitness, Michiko Rolek teaches us how to use what we have in order to achieve more of what we want. What a blessing!"
Iyanla Vanzant
Author of "In the Meantime and One Day My Soul Just Opened Up

"Michiko Rolek's Mental Fitness delivers all it promises, beginning with its premise that centering through meditation is the foundation of true physical, mental, emotional and
spiritual fitness. Those who sincerely apply Michiko's step by step process cannot help but arrive at the threshold of their own inner beauty, strength and transformation."

Dr. Michael Beckwith
Founder & Senior Minister, Agape International Center of Truth

"The words and exercises contained between the first and last page of Mental Fitness, by Michiko J. Rolek, Heal when put into action by the person who reads and uses them."

Dr. O.C. Smith
City of Angels Church of Religious Science

"With a unique style, voice and point of view, Michiko shows us how to live a life of beauty and integrity with powerful and potent results."

Marcia Wieder- Author, America's Dream Coach
Making Your Dreams Come True, Doing Less and Having More

"Michiko takes complicated exercises and makes them simple and satisfying. Flow with her and get a Black Belt for your Soul."

Michael Fowler
Aikido Multiple Black Belt

What Bruce Lee is to the martial arts, M.J. Rolek is to what she teaches. When you earn your Black Belt for the Soul, you've earned it from a master.

Hyland Church, Musician

"Most meditation teachers use too may words. Michiko's work, Mental Fitness, is an invitation into the Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. She uses as few words as possible to point to the moon. She really is a teacher through osmosis, presence and direct transmission."

Lorin Roche, Ph.D
Author of Meditation Made Easy

"I am not a scientist, physicist or anything other than a performer who tries to brighten the world with positive work, so I cannot tell anyone why OxyZen became a part of my life; my work and my workouts. It may seem like an endorsement without merit, but what better endorsement than to say that I just "felt so much better" when I would drink the water known as OxyZen. I am very thankful that in a world that is inundated with products of promise, this is a simple product that came to my attention without hype and has made me...feel good. I am proud to say that I enjoy OxyZen. I am also proud to say that this endorsement would be counterfeit if I had financial gains attached- I don't! I just want to spread the word.  I wish and hope the people I know and love could experience it also.  Sincerely.

Robby Benson
Actor, Director, Educator, Singer

"Michiko Rolek helped me find my inner core, which has enabled me to succeed in my dreams. Her wisdom can establish a wonderful foundation for the future you are hoping to attain. If you are lucky, you will be able to work with Michiko. Many want to learn meditation. But if you don't have a teacher to direct your path, you will never learn. Michiko teaches fundamental breathing principles with exercises that are easy to learn, apply and weave into your day. I am so lucky to work with her spirit and light as a guiding force." 

Machel Shull
Author, and Photo Journalist

"Michiko, Thank you for all your knowledge and for teaching me to remember all mine that matters."

Pamela Anderson, Actress

"Mental Fitness is the ancient knowledge of the Zen Masters crystalized and applied to daily life."

Steven Heine, Author of White Collar Zen

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Are You Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

FunZen Drill: I Scream For Ice Cream

The Miracle Diamond
"Thank you so much Michi and Grace
for sharing your tools of FunZen with
Jani and all of us [Michael, Bodhi, and I].
It continues to help us through our daily
challenges with Jani's Schizophrenia. Along
with her medication, FunZen works to keep her "Zen-gaged,"
with a clear mind and peaceful heart to protect her spirit
while recognizing her illness. Our intention is to combine
the best of East and Western medicine." - Susan Schofield (Mother)

Thus far there has been vast media attention covering Jani's mental illness. In contrast, my daughter Grace and I have experienced helping Jani find her inner light switch in the darkness to shine from within with her medication. My heart sings with gratitude for the opportunity to share FunZen (meditation made fun) that her parents Susan and Michael Schofield have given us. The diamond light of their soul's divine potential seeking manifestation as a family continues to challenge and inspire us. Here's an Oprah link to see the latest with Jani and her family.
Digging deeper and reaching higher to be part of the solution is our intention here, right now. We want to share how we serve the spirit with the Schofield's with hope vs. hopelessness, courage vs. defeat and humor vs. despair which is what most of the media coverage hasn't revealed yet. What we want to highlight is the vital missing piece of the puzzle concerning stabilizing Jani's attention. When she uses her magic mood tools to activate mindfulness she's like an angel fish in water.
My clear intention for the whole family including baby Bodhi has been "A Gandhi Peace Plan" which I'm humbled at their interest to learn; quieting down monkey mind chatter by simply taking centered breaths one zen moment at a time to hear the whisper of spirit which transcends thought.
No matter what, love never fails, which is my driving force with this family. Most of all I am honored to be an example to my daughter Grace who suggested I write this post and share our "walk the talk" side of this complex equation.
Simply put by Einstein, "When the solution is simple, God is answering."
Some of Jani's favorite Magic Mood Tools & Tips

The Brilliant Basix
1. The Miracle Diamond Breath Alignment Tool: This magic mood tool helps Jani or any child mindfully train their bodies to lift, minds to shift, and their spirits to soar. By following their heart's compass home sweet shaaaalommm on their long breath out...Exhale (whoooshhh) to re-focus inwardly, inhale lovely lavender scent, long breath out melting stress to feel tall, light, firm and zenergized (happy- calm:) With one centered breath at a time Jani is learning about diamond core stabilization to gradually build quiet strength. Tip:The miracle diamond of mindfulness activates the compassionate warrior vs. worrier within her and all of us.
2. Ice Cream Centering: When Jani screams and gets mad we gently guide her to mentally shift to her breathing. Next, she thinks of creamy dreamy ice cream and gradually lets the anxiety and tension melt. The best part is getting to have an ice cream cone to celebrate being in a better place with a bit of gratitude in her attitude. Tip: Gratitude helps us gain altitude by adjusting our attitude.
3. Bodhi Tree Centering: Saying outloud I am centered and maybe like a baby or I am centered and free like a deeply rooted Bodhi Tree... We stand like tree's breathing in through our roots. She love's animated imagery. Tip: This helps Jani ground and protect her spirit to soar, explore and roar.
4. The Little Dolphin: Jani loves water. Swimming helps her let the world go and dive inward with fun images like; being a mermaid, a dolphin or a swim instructor. She likes to give orders and shows empathy as the Latin Proverb suggests: "To learn is to teach and to teach is to learn." Tip: "Keep your cool in the pool of life."
5. The FunZen Zoo: "Finding Zen in the Zoo of Life, with FunZen". Jani's love for animals is other worldly. This is where "Spirituality meets Reality". There is a rich tapestry where Grace helps Jani zenjoy reality by showing patience and ways to not suppress but surpass her thoughts non-judgmentally yet always in sync with her meds. When Jani holds a puppy or a kitty she can sense the unconditional love. Tip: The pills are there as long as necessary or until the magic of skill mastery can take full effect in reversing the curse of the seeming problem.
6. The Magic 143 Charm: With Jani's love 4 numbers this breath drill is one of her favorites. Fully breathe in 1 (expanding tummy) pixie pause Long Breath Out 4 and 3 Ahhhh tightening tummy muscles). 143 means I love you. Tip: pass it on. ❤❤❤❤
One of Jani's favorite quotes:

"You have to Meditate and Play both at once."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Ti amo, Chocolate Kisses

FunZen Girls
(Michiko and Grace)

Hi Everyone!

(photo; Grace & I (lil mama) at her premiere for Kung Fu Panda, Secrets of the Furious 5.)

The Best Kept Secret is Out!

"Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children" Walt Disney

Hi Everyone,

I am Michiko and my daughter Grace will be adding her enchanting pixie dust to this post. The intention of this blog is to share training secrets from our Magic Mood Tool Box. Any tool becomes empowering when we pick it up; Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan reminds us that "You meaning your energy, your beingness happen to be the most powerful tool that has ever been created." Your breath is energy and following it mindfully makes it a miraculous tool to take command of your mind body and soul instrument.

I'll be updating and upgrading this post as often as I can with Tool Tips, Tricks, and Quotes. The FunZen Bakery recipes are totally organic and natural; free of chemicals, artificial ingredients and toxic additives. The Aha Candy brings clarity not cavities. LOL Actually when my book Mental Fitness was published with Weatherhill (who also published the Zen Classic "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind") I was told that my book was like a cookbook to help people simply taste zen or enlightenment. The word spirituality resonates with sweetness like honey to add inner harmony to our overly busy lives. You already have the right ingredients inside of you to cultivate the wholesome purity of happiness; a clear mind, peaceful heart.

I'm preparing to write another book with a FunZen -Spiritual Martial Arts theme for teaching children to go within (for the insight or life lesson) or go without (the b-lesson or aha blessing). Bear in mind that zen and the living art of centering is the core philosophy behind all of the martial arts. This post gives us an opportunity to share how much we care about you finding your unique way to shine from within. Here's a quick glance of Grace today sparkling like a miracle diamond.

In the words of Bruce Lee "Be like water, my friend." Let's activate his verbal centering charm; 

Exhale completely, to relax and re-focus, Breathe in Seawind to your core, pixie pause, Now, Long Breath Out AHHHH glow with the flow; stay 
relaxed= let go with the quiet strength of authentic confidence from your center.

We want to personally Thank Disney Executive Producer, Michele Weiss, for planting the seed idea in our hearts to share FunZen. 
Again, Thank You profusely we are keeping the dream alive!

In the words of Lily Tomlin " We are all in this together, by ourselves".

Ti amo, Chocolate Kisses Muah OXOX

FunZen Girls

(Michiko and Grace)

p.s. Zenjoy enlightened living tools to build skill mastery on your journey.