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


  1. Amazing bio. Any work that seeks to find balance is truly inspirational. Loved reading about your daughter’s involvement. A Zen mom can only have a Zen daughter. =) Looking forward to more posts. Cheers, Narinder Singh =)

  2. You are amazing. A Zen mom can only have a Zen daughter, I love it ns88

  3. They say pace and grace can win any race. I'm delighted to witness Grace as a young lovely example of cultivating serene strength with beauty & brilliance. As her mother I'm honored to be on the same music page. I celebrate the I Ching's wisdom that "Out of chaos, brilliant stars are born." 143 ♡

  4. Michiko,
    I so appreciate your twitter support of me and my book. I just read your wonderful biography!! What great work you're doing!! Where are I find your book?

  5. Reading about Michiko, being in her presence or speaking about her just makes me want to stop and take a deep breath. She IS zen, and her beautiful energy transcends all stress related energy as it morphs into calm waters... drifting, floating... peacefully. Michiko shares her gifts selflessly, and she herself is a gift to all of us. Thank you Michiko! Robbie Kaye/Beauty & wisdom

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