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DONNA KOBAYASHIs interest in Traditional Teachings, Japanese Gardens and well-being grew out of her studies with Master teachers in Chinese, Native American and Japanese Traditional Teachings. Through her training as a Traditional student, related experiences and her heritage as a third generation Japanese American (sansei), Donna was able to begin connecting Traditional principles with her love of the Japanese Garden as a learning environment. While applying her knowledge as an instructor, docent and consultant in Japanese Gardens, Donna’s father attended one of her presentations and suggested that she should serve as a “bridge between eastern and western understandings” as demonstrated through the Japanese Garden. Encouraged by her teachers, Donna began to design programs that would integrate Traditional Teachings and how the Japanese garden, through its design and cultural content, could support well-being and address western lifestyle issues. Exploring and test-applying possible answers to those questions resulted in the preparation of this Guide. Donna founded Shin ka in 2001. The name “Shin ka” was given to her by one of her Traditional Teachers. Shin ka has provided an organizational vehicle for moving forward in providing programs and information on Japanese Gardens, Traditional Teachings and well-being. Donna met LAURIE MANNING when she was teaching Tai Chi and Qigong under a Traditional Master. Laurie had been involved not only in teaching, but also in research and writing in the areas of Tai Chi and Qigong including serving as lead writer or author for the preparation of a number of articles and workbooks. Donna and Laurie reconnected when Donna was completing her Masters at DePaul University in: Developing Programs That Explore Traditional Japanese Teachings And Their Relevance To The Western Mindset As Expressed Through The Design And Content Of Japanese Gardens. Laurie’s knowledge and experience in learning, teaching and writing about eastern Traditions and philosophy combined perfectly with Donna’s own background and interests. They have been working together for more than ten years. This Guide is the result of their collaboration and is based on their mutual interests and experiences as well as their understanding of Traditional Teachings as transmitted to them by their Teachers. They share a deep respect for Traditional eastern teachings and their potential for supporting lifestyle and well-being. (8/2017)

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