Remembering

Our Masters

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This section is dedicated to the memory of past Macrobiotic teachers from my own experiences, with stories, anecdotes, recipes, writings, and references for future study. I have been encouraged to share my firsthand recollections, especially those who can no longer be able to themselves.
 
I was introduced to macrobiotics when I was 21 in 1970. I went to St. Thomas on a college winter break with a friend. I was very into photography and while walking on the beach, I noticed the most beautiful man sitting peacefully. He was very handsome with a silver sculpted beard. I approached him and asked if I could photograph him, and he said yes. I took several pictures, and he and his companions began to ask about us. We or I should say I, was quite unaware of the company I was with. As we all laughed and talked, my friend, who was very Savey, asked me if I knew who they were. I did not. Although, the more I looked at the one-man sitting behind my camera's intended started to look surprisingly familiar. I kept asking "are you? no....are you? He kept grinning quietly at me. I turned to my friend and asked if he is who I think he is? She was sure and said he was Tony Perkins, the actor. I was shocked. I had had a crush on him from when I was ten years old he was in the film "Tall Story". Here right in front of me was someone I thought was the living end, and I met him. The handsome gentleman turned out to be Jerry Robbins, a famous choreographer. Well, we all became friends. Tony and his partner invited us to New York on many occasions. and they had an enormous effect on my life from then on. He made me question what I was eating and when I was eating. It put me in a direction of searching out health food stores to find more healthy food choices. It was 1970, and in Philadelphia, there were very few choices. I have Tony to thank for changing my life in a direction I have never looked back.


One day I found Essene Natural Foods, one of the few health stores around. As it turned out my girlfriend from high school was the cashier. She invited me to come to this "study house" where she was living. I went, the fellow who greeted me offered me a tea with soy sauce. The kitchen had an earthy smell that I loved and just wanted to indulge in. That was my introduction to Macrobiotics. Denny Waxman was running this house and needed a breakfast cook, so I volunteered. While I was there, a group of Japanese Macrobiotic teachers came to offer a teaching program. Cornellia Aihara gave a cooking class and prepared a fully balanced Macrobiotic meal. It was so memorable the feeling I had from the food she made, I felt that this is the food I have always been looking for. I went to Michio Kushi's lecture and was so impressed by what he had to say, especially about predictions of future generations. I also was able to take a week-long class with Shizuko Yamamoto on Shiatzu. She was amazing the stories she told of her own experiences and the effects of her foot massage only added to my intense awakening. This was my beginning, it all made so much sense. I manage to purchase the two main books by Georges Ohsawa, The Book of Judgment and Zen Macrobiotics. It was very difficult back then to eat the way they were teaching because it was very salty and the resources for ingredients were limited. There was only Hatcho miso, too strong for us young Americans, who were used to a meat-based diet with soda and lots of sugar foods, a huge leap and worth the plunge.

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