Nathalie Ishizuka, a Franco-Japanese from New York, decided to learn how to meditate on a day she was so joyful that she needed nothing more of this world.

She is the Director of Beyond Our Best a movement she cofounded with a 90 Belgian philsopher, Dr. Paul Briot, that sees crisis as an opportunity to re-invent ourselves silently.  Dr. Paul Briot’s book, Le Rayonnant, and his artistic propositions found in that book and on this site have created a small movement with high level artists in Japan who meditate after the tusami, earthquake and nuclear incident.

Nathalie’s work in Singapore continues with meditation and talented Japanese artists who can elevate us with works of great beauty that inspire silence.

Today Nathalie is accompanying a few individuals committed to changing themselves, their organizations and their fields with tested techniques of meditation and one area of competence beyond a previous best.  As a meditation and competence coach she tackles issues that matter most to people at their very core.

“Mediation is the core of all fundamental change and innovation,” says Ishizuka.  “Unless we meditate consciously or unconsciously, for the most part we are just repeating the past.  It is only through inner silence that we can re-invent ourselves and this world.”

“My dream is to see a world with an additional 10, 100 or 1000 people in each country who meditate at high levels and experience a competence in one field of expertise where they go far beyond a previous best.  This includes artists, CEOs, doctors, scientists, engineers, diplomats, homemakers and world leaders.  “Such an individual and collective journey may be just enough to transform ourselves and our world,” says Ishizuka.

nathalieprofile1About Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka

Nathalie L. Ishizuka, a Franco-Japanese from New York, sees crisis as an opportunity to re-invent ourselves.

Director Beyond Our Best, Worked over 25 years on a Psychology of Health and Happiness, Entrepreneur, Artist, Writer,  Individual & Societal Change, Yoga

M.A.L.D. Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (admin in cooperation with Harvard), M.B.A. HEC, B.A. Amherst College,summa cum laude, Article 9 of Japanese Constitution.  Keio University & Seishin Joshi Gakuin exchange.

Nathalie Ishizuka

Born February 22, 1970 in Paris of a French mother and Japanese father, but raised in New York, Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka is of three cultures.

Her thesis on Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution received written praise by Colonel Charles Kades, who wrote the Constitution under MacArthur, and the Doshisha Asian Studies Award.

To teach herself Japanese, Ishizuka studied at Keio University and during high school at Seishin Joshi Gakuin (all Japanese) on exchange.

After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College in political science, her interest in happiness and the mind at its best, lead her to work for over twenty years with Dr. Yukio Ishizuka, a Japanese Harvard trained psychiatrist from Keio Medical School, on psychological well-being across cultures, health, happiness and the use of individual crisis to go far beyond a previous best level of adjustment.

After working several years with Dr. Yukio Ishizuka, in 1995 her desire to extend assumptions about healthy human beings to other fields including economics, organizations and international affairs lead her to complete the Master’s program on Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School, and an MBA at HEC in Paris, two classes on innovation and organizations at Harvard Business School and the winter program on negotiation at Harvard Law.

After the tsunami, in August of 2012 Nathalie returned to Japan to work with Japanese artists on a new philosophy in face of natural and man-made crisis.  Now she is starting to teach meditation to not only visionaries, but when possible to the general public thanks to the help of some visionary yoga studios in Singapore.

Nathalie’s inter-disciplinary approach integrating the psychology of individuals, organizations & the nation state has lead her to work with individuals from many fields and to receive the George A. Plimpton Fellowship for the study of social, economic & political institutions.

Nathalie now lives in Singapore.  Today her work continues with meditation and talented Japanese artists who can elevate us with works of great beauty that inspire silence.  Her current interests involve deepening and broadening her work with artists and those involved in societal change including learning from individuals from India and China.

Today Nathalie is accompanying a few individuals committed to changing themselves, their organizations and their fields with tested techniques of meditation and one area of competence beyond a previous best.  As a meditation and competence coach she tackles issues that matter most to people at their very core.

A highly creative thinker across disciplines, Nathalie’s strength is joy and her ability to help individuals do what they love most in a way that can benefit themselves and others.  She continues to learn from many and is a novice in all things.

Languages:  English Native. French Native.  Japanese proficient. To teach herself Japanese, Ishizuka studied at Keio University and during high school at Seishin Joshi Gakuin (all Japanese) on exchange.


Nathalie and Meditation

Leiko Ishizuka

Nathalie Ishizuka, a Franco-Japanese from New York, decided to learn how to meditate on a day she realized she could never have a better life than the one she had.

After the meeting with Yeshe, Nathalie was intrigued at the capacity of the human mind to go beyond previous boundaries.

Soon after starting a meditation practice, the tsunami, nuclear and earthquake shook Japan and Nathalie to the core.  Having had repeated dreams about a tsunami ever since she was little and a great love for the Japanese, the event moved Nathalie profoundly and a deep desire to go to Japan to be with the Japanese was born.  About 10 days after the tsunami, Nathalie met her principal raja yoga teacher in Europe and a series of teachers who were to assist her to meditate and to go to Japan.Today Nathalie is the Director of Beyond Our Best a movement that began in Japan after the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear incident and focuses on using crisis to re-invent ourselves silently.  She began this movement with a 90 year old Belgian philosopher, Dr. Paul Briot.

Nathalie’s intensive yoga practice focuses on raja yoga daily for the last seven years with her teacher who has practiced for over 60 years (and whose humility is such that he selects his own students and does not share his identity).  She also practices Yoga Advanced Practices (AYP) taught by an American yogi Yogani who teaches deep meditation in a manner so effective and simple that anyone can learn.  “AYP is most effective for those who want to have a profound effect but have limited time and a family-work life,” says Ishizuka.  There are of course very other effective forms of yoga, but this one comes naturally to me, is profound, and is accessible to all.  Nathalie is an AYP contact for coaching, retreats and training in Singapore and continues to practice with a small handful of individuals the raja yoga of her main teacher.

Nathalie is fortunate to work with geniuses in a variety of fields including yogis.  “I am infinitely small compared to any of these people,” says Ishizuka.  When it is not possible for Nathalie to accompany someone as far as she would like, she seeks out the people who can.  “I am not an expert in highly specialized fields nor fluent yet in Japanese, but when I lack the answers or the expertise, I am good at finding, meeting, and working with those who do,” says Ishizuka.  “I am also very lucky.”

To help people at whatever level they may be, in addition to her central practice of raja yoga, Nathalie has studied several forms of meditative practices.  In Singapore she follows the cleansing and pranayama techniques of Nikam Yoga in an Indian temple, private lessons of hatha yoga with Vikram from Rishikesh and has been fortunate to learn from Sadhguru‘s trainings in Singapore, Malaysia and India.  She also tested and admires the efficacy of a few Kriya yoga practices from the Bihar school found in Yoga and Kriya by Swami Satyananda Saraswati but has not found a teacher in this school.

“Sadhguru is able to energize a space in a manner I have never experienced before,” says Ishizuka, “and makes me realize how little I know.  I think he is an advanced Kriya yogi, of which there may be few in this world.”  Nathalie began to discover Ayurveda and pranayama with a formidable Nepalese yogi and doctor Nirmal Raj Gyawali in Tokyo and continues to learn from the Ayurvedic Dr. Pinky Kamut in Singapore.

Nathalie was introduced briefly to Soto-Zen thanks to the kindness of a Japanese monk Chudo Yamamoto.  Intrigued by China, Nathalie met just before leaving Tokyo a great Qigong master, Shu Seika at Arisugawa park and will study with a  Tao and Qigong master, Mantak Chia in January.  Moved by two Catholic sisters of Bethlehem in the Catskills, Nathalie feels at home in the silence of their monestery and in awe of their their inner beauty and joy.

Having met profound individuals from different paths, Nathalie recognizes that there are many paths to the human spirit and there is much she does not know.  Her strength is joy and her ability to help individuals do what they love most in a way that can benefit themselves and others.

She continues to learn from many and considers herself a novice in all things.  “I am just like everyone else — and in no way do I consider myself a teacher.”

“You can’t teach meditation,” says Ishizuka.  “You can only share it.”

While learning and pushing herself sometimes too hard these last seven years, Nathalie wishes to be the change she wants to see in this world.

“I hope to live fully and bring a glimpse of inner silence to this world each day.  My teachers have showed me that it is possible to experience serenity and balance in any context but also the capacity to act in the world more lovingly, more effortlessly and far far more effectively,” says Ishizuka.   “Let’s begin there.”

May our path be steady, may it be joyful and may we move far beyond the best in all of us.  Together.

The Beyond Our Best Movement began in Japan with a Letter to Japanese Friends Dr. Paul Briot wrote with Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka

Japanese Version of Letter Below (scroll down)
French Version of Letter Below (scroll down)

Emerging Above Natural and Man-Made Crisis

A letter to Japanese friends contains a poetic vision of how artists, citizens and decision makers could together define a new Japan.

This letter has been published in 2012 both in English and Japanese by the chief editor of Sogensha in Osaka Japan in 日本語臨床フォーラム, a web journal dealing with psychology psychotherapy and art.  It has also been since re-published in Belgium in 2013 in the philosophy and theology journal Acta Comparanda XXIV, FVG, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions, pp. 137-138, 2610 Antwerpen Belgium.

For other venues interested in publishing it, please Contact Us.

A Letter to Japanese Friends

 

Leiko Ishizuka, MBA, MALD, Keio University exchange, a Franco-Japanese from New York

Paul Briot, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Professor at the Antwerp Faculty of Comparative Religion

 

FacesofSuns

Shodo Painting Saiso Shimada, Faces of Suns

 

This,

understanding, heart of sun,

when?

Nations, just like individuals, often ask crucial questions in times of crisis.  It is only when things become really difficult that we have the courage to consider transformational change.  After the 2011 tragedy, Japan set about recovering with a dignity and courage that moved the world.  Just as in 1945, the Japanese will recover and rebuild.  The question is: can a new Japan emerge?

Some Japanese realize that in the face of increasing natural and man-made disasters, the country has to equip itself with a new moral drive that enlightens and inspires.  To rebuild an old Japan in the current international context is not enough.  To write a glorious page of its history, Japan will need to emerge from this crisis far beyond its previous best.

Let us imagine how Japan can conceive and bring about a sublime nobility, a beauty capable of projecting its inhabitants beyond what they ever were, even at the height of their culture and past.

Japan needs This, a moral drive rich in comprehension and compassion.  The country requires an enlightened spirit of fraternity, open to all those in the world who in this period of adversity have shown their sympathy and respect for Japan’s courage, dignity and solidarity.

In order to mold a new heart for themselves, a heart of sun, one that ignites the sparks that live within them, the Japanese launch into the sky the arrows of their imagination.  In a country that experiences a tremendous range of human emotions and feelings, poets suggest a Japanese This, an element of value and meaning that resides in the very spirit of the Japanese people.

Painters, sculptors, architects and all artists envision faces that gradually rise towards This, a moral sun that is stronger and undoubtedly nobler than unbridled nature.

Intellectuals, historians, writers, journalists, major broadcasters evoke the past.  Throughout its history Japan has been influenced at times by China at times by the West.  But today those lands are also in search of meaning, of their own existential journey.  Fortunately, Japan itself can devise its own audacious future.

The spiritual, the wise and those who meditate propose their experience.  This will signify according to each individual: spiritual faith, moral force or beauty.  These three aspects are indeed compatible.  Imagining meanings, choosing one’s own specificity, committing oneself to the essential Adventure.

Individual citizens ask important questions of themselves and of their country.  They move, they engage, they act to rebuild Japan from within.

Finally an appeal is launched, a solemn appeal to those in charge, including leaders and decision-makers, to contribute to a new Japan.

The Japanese envisage the sun in full freedom, as their inspiration dictates.  They question it in all possible ways.  They imagine poetically its responses, its enigmas, its allusions.  Meaning starts to live, it deepens, it spreads freely.  Value blossoms, sparkles, becomes light, a measureless light that sublimates all things.

The Japanese are capable of This and the world context requires nothing less: comprehension, compassion, liberation, realization.

This,

understanding, heart of sun,

now.

 

天災と人災を乗り越えて

日本の友人への手紙

Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka(ナタリー 玲子 石塚) パリHECでMBA、慶応大学に留学、「ベストを超えて:日本を元気にするクリエーター達」ディレクター

Paul Briot(ポール・ブリオ) 哲学博士、アントワープ比較宗教学講座教授

これこそが

悟り、太陽の心、

それはいつ?

個人と同様に、国家も、危機に直面すると重要な問いを発するものです。本当に困難な状況に陥ったときに初めて、根本的な変化へと踏み出そうとする勇 気が出 てきます。2011年3月の悲劇的な災害から、日本は尊厳と勇気を持って復興への道を歩みだし、世界を感動させました。第二次世界大戦から復興したときと 同じように、日本はまた復興と再建を成し遂げることでしょう。問題は、「日本は新しく生まれ変われるのだろうか?」ということです。

自然 と人為、二種類の災害の頻度がますます高まっている昨今、日本人の中にも、道を照らし、人々を勇気づけるような新しい精神力を身につける必要があることに 気付きはじめた人々がいます。現代の国際情勢においては、以前と同じ日本をもう一度再建するだけでは十分ではありません。日本がこの苦難の時を乗り越えた とき、これまでの日本をはるかに上回る素晴らしい国として生まれ変わった姿を示すことができれば、その歴史に輝かしい1ページを書き加えることができるで しょう。

想像してみてください。新しい日本が、文化的な栄華を極めた過去のいかなる時代をも超越した、これまでにない高みにまでその国民を引き上げることができるような、崇高で壮麗な美を生み出している姿を。

日本には、相互理解と思いやりに満ちた、この精神力が必要なのです。日本に必要なのは、光にあふれる博愛の精神です。この災禍のときにあって日本人が見せた勇気と尊厳と団結心に共感と敬意を示した世界中のすべての人々に対して心を開く、博愛の精神です。

日本の人々は、新しい心、すなわち内なる輝きに火をともす太陽の心をかたち作っていくために、想像力の矢を空高く放ちます。詩人たちは、数えきれな いほど さまざまな感情や思いを今まさに経験しているこの国において、日本人本来の精神性の中にもともと備わっているこの価値観、この意味を訴えかけます。

画家、彫刻家、建築家、その他すべての芸術家たちは、この精神的な太陽に向かって、少しずつ立ち上がっていく日本の人々の姿を描き出していきます。心の太陽は、歯止めのきかない奔放な自然よりも力強く、また間違いなく崇高なものです。

知識人、歴史家、作家、ジャーナリスト、ニュースキャスターなどは、過去の歴史を呼び起こさせます。日本はその歴史上、中国から、そしてまた西洋か らも影 響を受け続けてきました。しかし今日では、それらの国々もまた意味を求め、自らの存在を問い直す旅のなかにあります。幸いなことに日本は今、自分たちの未 来を自らの手で大胆につくり出していくことができるのです。

宗教家や賢人、瞑想家たちは、自らの経験を言葉にして伝えます。信仰、精神 力、そして美――これが日本人ひとりひとりにとって重要な意味を持ちます。これら3つは共存可能です。意味を想像すること、自分だけの特質を自ら選び取る こと、そして意義深い「冒険」へと踏み出していくこと。

日本人ひとりひとりが、自分自身について、そして日本という国について、重要な問いを投げかけます。ひとりひとりが、日本という国を内側から立て直すために立ち上がり、力を合わせ、行動するのです。

最後に、次の言葉を訴えかけたいと思います。指導者や政策決定者たちを含む、新しい日本の創造に貢献できる立場にいる人々に向けた、重みのある宣言として。

霊感の指し示すところにしたがって、日本人はその心の中に自由に太陽を描き出します。日本人は可能な限りのあらゆる方法で太陽に問いを投げかけま す。太陽 が返す答え、太陽がかける謎、太陽が暗示するものを、日本人は詩的に想像します。意味が命を得て、深まり、そして自由に広がっていきます。価値は花開き、 輝き、光となります。それは、すべての存在を至高の高みへと導く、計り知れない光です。

理解、思いやり、解放 ――日本人にはこれらを成し遂げる力があります。そして、世界の状況も今それを求めているのです。

これこそが

悟り、太陽の心、

今こそがその時

著者紹介

ポール・ブリオ

ポール・ブリオは哲学博士、アントワープ(ベルギー)の比較宗教学講座教授。危機の活用、誠実さ、芸術的創造、目標の明確化などをテーマとした詩的随想や記事、著書を発表。近著(Le rayonnant…un art vers l’Infini…?  2004, Editions Caractères, Collections : Cahiers & Cahiers)では、すべてを超越し、人々を高みへと導く内なる芸術について論じている。

ナタリー 玲子 石塚

石 塚ナタリー玲子は慶応大学で日本語を学び、フレッチャー法律外交大学院でMALD(法律と外交に関する修士号、ハーバード大学との共同学位)を、パリの HECではMBAを取得。学位論文では1946年に制定された日本国憲法と国連平和維持活動について論じ、憲法起草者の一人から称賛の手紙が贈られた。危 機を国家や個人を変革するためのチャンスとして捉えることをテーマに執筆活動を行っており、「日本の友人への手紙」に、日本の昔話「鶴の恩返し」を重ね合 せた寓話「きずな(KIZUNA)」を発表している。

 

LETTRE A DES AMIS JAPONAIS

Leiko Ishizuka, M.B.A. HEC, M.A.L.D. Fletcher School, a Franco-Japanese from New York

Paul Briot, Docteur en philosophie, Professeur à la Faculté des religions comparées d’Anvers

Ceci,

comprendre, cœur de soleil,

quand?

En 1945, les Japonais ont réparé les dommages de la guerre et développé une économie particulièrement brillante.  Après le drame de 2011, ils se redressent une fois encore avec une dignité et un courage qui touchent le monde entier.  Mais certains Japonais comprennent que, face à des désastres naturels et d’autres créés par l’homme, le pays doit se doter maintenant d’une force morale qui éclaire l’existence et l’inspire.  De cette crise actuelle le Japon peut écrire une page glorieuse de son histoire.

Imaginons comment le pays conçoit et réalise une noblesse, une beauté qui projette ses habitants au delà de ce qu’ils étaient avant cette épreuve terrible.

Il faut au Japon Ceci, une force morale riche de compréhension et de compassion.  Il faut au pays un esprit  éclairé, fraternel, ouvert à tous ses amis du monde qui, dans cette épreuve, ont manifesté au pays sympathie et respect pour son courage, sa dignité, l’aide que chacun a apportée aux autres.

Pour se forger un nouveau cœur, un cœur de soleil, pour faire jaillir ces étincelles qui déjà vivent en eux, les Japonais lancent vers les hauts les flèches de leur imagination. Dans ce pays qui a reconnu l’immense gamme des émotions et des sentiments humains, les poètes suggèrent ce quelque chose qui vaut, ce quelque chose lourd de sens qui réside dans l’esprit même du peuple.

Peintres, sculpteurs, architectes, tous les artistes imaginent des visages qui peu à peu s’élèvent vers Ceci, soleil moral plus fort en fin de compte, plus noble assurément que la nature déchaînée.

Compositeurs et chorégraphes évoquent une sagesse où volonté et courage s’unissent à l’amour.

Penseurs, historiens, écrivains, journalistes, grands diffuseurs évoquent le passé.  Au cours de son histoire, le Japon fut influencé tantôt par la Chine, tantôt par l’Occident.  Mais aujourd’hui ces lieux se trouvent eux aussi à la recherche d’un sens, d’une formule d’existence.  Par bonheur, le Japon lui-même peut concevoir des plans d’audace, un Ceci japonais.

Les spirituels, les sages, ceux qui méditent proposent leur expérience.  Ceci signifiera selon chacun destinée spirituelle, force morale ou encore beauté, ces trois aspects étant, bien entendu, compatibles.  Imaginer des sens, choisir un sens particulier, s’engager dans l’Aventure essentielle.

Enfin un appel est lancé, un appel solennel qui s’adresse aux responsables, aux dirigeants, aux décideurs pour apporter leur aide à un nouveau Japon.

Les Japonais considèrent le soleil librement, selon leur inspiration.  Ils le questionnent de toutes les manières. Ils imaginent poétiquement ses réponses, ses énigmes, ses allusions.  Du sens se met à vivre, il se creuse, s’étend librement.  La valeur s’épanouit, lance des feux, devient lumière, lumière immense qui sublime toutes choses.

 

Ceci,

comprendre, cœur de soleil,

maintenant.