1938/12/17 - 2003/03/12
March 12, 2003: On this day at sunrise,
tucked away in the remote mountainous area of Heilongjiang Province of
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
Her constant presence will be deeply missed by all whose lives she