1938/12/17 - 2003/03/12

March 12, 2003: On this day at sunrise, quietly tucked away in the remote mountainous area of Heilongjiang Province of China, our Shen-Lissa decided it was time to make her way into the next world. In her final communication, her thoughts were only with the preservation of Usui-do. She clearly indicated she felt balanced and ready to make her transition only a few days prior to her final breath .  

Three years before, the "Abbot" of the Taoist retreat in which she was living and studying conferred the name Shen Lissa in acknowledgment of her consistent effort in recovering and expanding the knowledge of Taoism from ancient texts tucked away in their repository of knowledge loosely referred to as the library. Shen-Lissa described it as a shack piled high with dusty scrolls and hand-bound books that had been saved from destruction at the hands of the soldiers of the cultural revolution in China.   

Over the past 30 years, Shen-Lissa's dedication and commitment to Usui-do created an unconditional and safe space in which 29 of the surviving doka of Usui, Hayashi and Eguchi sought her out to share their experiences. In particular, two nuns, Yuri and Tenon-In, who had spent time with Usui on a daily basis from 1920 until his departure to Fukuyama on March 9th, 1926, the 77th anniversary of which was only 3 days ago! Tenon-In continued to share a vast amount of information over a period of 7 years which has enabled us to reconstruct the atmosphere and environment of the Usui dojo around its peak in 1923, after which external influences radically changed the focus of the dojo.

Shen-Lissa had consistently maintained a practise of the system, particularly the levels from Rokyu to Shodan and it was most likely this that allowed her to overcome the effects of lymphoma which had appeared at the age of 13 when she was told she had three months left to live.

Her constant presence will be deeply missed by all whose lives she touched.