“Every page is informed by a sweet concern for the well-being of her reader” Leonard Cohen’s Foreword To Mental Fitness By Michiko Rolek

Leonard Cohen’s Foreword to Mental Fitness by Michiko Rolek


My old teacher, Joshu Sasaki Roshi, has asked me to say a few words about the book which you are holding. He never really learned English, and he has forgotten much of his Japanese, but he knows a good thing when he sees it, and he wanted me to thank Michiko Rolek, on his behalf, for her very helpful instructions.

I live with a number of bewildered souls on a mountain in southern California. The place is called a Zen Center, and it probably is, but it is also a kind of hospital for people who have forgotten how to breathe, or sit, or stand, or walk. Michiko has developed a simple and effective approach to these fundamental activities. Some of us are breathing better already.

This workbook may not solve the Burning Issues of Your Life, but you sure as hell can save yourself a lot of trouble by looking into it. You might even be able to skip having to visit a place like this, or if you are already in one, perhaps with this valuable information you can slip away.

In any case, we want to join Roshi in expressing our gratitude to Michiko for her kindness in presenting to us her manual on Mental Fitness. She has made some important matters wonderfully clear, and every page is informed by a sweet concern for the well-being of her reader.

Thank you.
Jikan Eliezer
a Mt. Baldy monk
(Leonard Cohen)




This photo and foreword were posted Feb 27, 2011 at Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen, FunZen Bakery. Thanks to Michiko, who writes

I am honored that Leonard wrote the foreword. Spending an afternoon with him the day we took the photo and had lunch (that he prepared) was truly unforgettable.

Gassho (Gratitude) and Bright Blessings,


Author, Great g.daughter ~Sokei-an & Ruth F. Sasaki ~ famous zen family legacy.🍵

Twitter @mindfulposture


Mental Fitness: Complete Workouts For Body, Mind, And Soul by Michiko J. Rolek

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Weatherhill; 1st edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0834803739

Also See: Michiko Rolek On Her Lunch Conversation With Leonard Cohen & Their Menu

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted July 2, 2017.

Leave a Reply