Medicinal Herbs and Plants Tea Workshop

When I was about three years old, I saw my grandmother taking care of her tiny garden (Japanese saying that the size of a cat’s forehead )by the cliff of stream in front of her house.
Her loving and naturing energy to her garden’s vegetables and flowers helped them so cheerful to serve us.
It was fascinating to see them grow a little bit each morning with blight sunshine, cloudy sky, or even a rainy day with a smile because humans tend to get depressed on a cloudy day and feel sad on a rainy day.

My ground mother was a local healer to help babies who cried at night excessively and women who had Postpartum depression and hormone imbalance. She took me to Forrest to forage to find medicinal herbs/plants and mushrooms.

I always wanted to have my own garden someday and forage wild plants.
When I was seven years old, I created my tinier plant container flowers garden with a wood apple box from a fruit market in front of the five unite rental complex my parents were renting. Many people who passed by gave compliments on how beautiful my flowers were.
Since then, I have continued my garden wherever I lived, whether just a few planting pots by the window in my school dormitory or 50 plastic pots by the entrance of a guest house in Los Angeles.
I finally moved to the Santa Monica house where I have now since 1985, and when I started macrobiotic first stripped the lawn and created my rustic garden with bamboo and herbs.

I planted native California plants in the sidewalk area and built a rooftop container garden to grow medicinal herbs.
Many birds, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, ladybugs, and squirrels come to my garden and enjoy themselves—hummingbirds and doves nests on the tree branches.

I started to study herbology in 1995 with David Crow (founder of Floracopeia) at California Healing Art College in West Los Angeles.
I learned so much about native California plants and medicinal herbs.
I enjoyed recognizing those herbs when I go hiking and start foraging.
I have been learning about medicinal herbs and plants for a long time with macrobiotics.

I especially enjoy growing native California plants and medicinal herbs to make my healing tea and infused oil for my skin, health, and pain relief. I have been hoping to share what I do for a while.
Recently, Merrihew’s Sunset Garden’s new owners, Frank and Ati, were interested in what I do.
We started to talk about something we could do together.
I started going to Marrihew’s Sunset Garden since 1985 (they have been in business since 1947), and I never thought I would teach there, but my wish comes true, and I will be teaching there.

Medicinal Tea from Your Garden
Saturday, June 18th
11 am ~ 12 pm
Merrihew’s Sunset Garden
1526 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
– outside classroom next to the chicken coop

-medicinal benefits of 5 different herbs or more
-how to make infusions of fresh and dried herbs (i.e., hot tea, sun tea, sprays, etc.)
-tips for growing the herbs in your garden/pots (you can even grow a lot in a small space!)
-how/when to properly harvest the herbs
-how to dry the herbs
-fresh vs. dried
* Three kinds of organic medicinal tea tasting and handout included!*

To register and pay for the class, please go to this link 

I hope some of you can come to learn plant healing power and taste them and enjoy the outdoor class ambiance.

Love, Sanae❤️


Disclaimer: The information offered is for educational purposes only!

Here are the benefits of the medicinal herbs/plants I use for the class.

1) Hibiscus 🌺 (hibiscus sabdariffa) Family – malvaceae-mallow family Calyx

  • Rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and anthocyanin.
  • Fights inflammation, Lowers blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol, Promotes weight loss. 
  • Fights bacteria, Supports liver health and more

Taste: sour, naturally sweet, spicy, and fruity

Action: Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, hepatic, hypocholesterolemic, immune stimulant, refrigerant, reproductive tonic 

Energetics: cooling and drying, uplifting, strengthening, refreshing

Use: Traditionally, hibiscus calyces have been used throughout the world as “refrigerants” to cool the body (Engels, 2007). In Egypt, hibiscus has been used as a diuretic and for cardiac and nerve diseases; in North Africa for coughs and sore throats; in Europe for colds and upper respiratory tract congestion, sleeplessness, and as a laxative and diuretic; and in Iran for hypertension (Engels, 2007).

The sour, astringent, cooling nature of hibiscus helps to cool and regulate the body’s temperature, as well as tone and cool irritated tissue and mucous membranes throughout the digestive tract and genitourinary system. This is particularly indicated in the case of overheated states and inflammation in the body, such as irritation in the liver, stomach, bladder, urinary tract, uterus, or colon. Hibiscus is also clearing, helping to move stuck mucus

in the lungs and energy in the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems.

Sauce from Herb Academy

2) Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

  • Relieves gas and bloating while relaxing the digestive muscles and breaks up flatulence.
  • Stimulates digestive juices and can ease nausea and motion sickness.
  • Aids in colds, fevers, and flu.

Taste: sweetish odor and a warm, pungent taste with a cooling aftertaste

Action: carminative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, antiemetic, nervine, anti-microbial, analgesic

3) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • Help alleviate muscle pain and improve memory.
  • Boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

Taste: acrid & aromatic 

Action: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-tumorigenic, anti-nociceptive, and neuroprotectiv

4) Holy Basil, Tulsi (rama – ocimum tenuiflorum)

  • Calms the nervous system, moves stagnation, colds and flu, upper respiratory illness.
  • Protects against toxicity from chemicals, heavy metals, and radiations.

Taste: robust, slightly sweet flavor and crisp taste

Actions: adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety,


5) Calendula (calendula officinalis)

  • Prevents muscle spasms, starts menstrual periods, and reduces fever. 
  • It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

 Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool

 Action: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, cholagogue, hemostatic, lymphatic, vulnerary

6) Lemon Balm (melissa Officinalis) Family: Lamiaceae

  • Calming and uplifting the nervous system
  • Relieves spasms and gas, hot water extracts have anti-viral properties

Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool

Actions: carminative, nervine, antispasmodic, antidepressant, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, antiviral, hepatic

Contraindication: hypothyroidism

7) Chamomile (matricaria recutita) Family: Asteraceae

  • Calming to the nervous system, anti-inflammatory 
  • Calming to digestive cramping and gas upset, mild

Taste: flowery, earthy and apple-like sweetness

Actions: nervine, antispasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory(抗炎剤), antimicrobial, bitter, vulnerary 


(your garden or pots – you can even grow a lot in a small space!)

1) If you love/like gardening or are curious about gardening, you can grow medicinal herbs even in a small container if you do not have a garden and live in an apartment. I once grew them when I was living in the school dormitory.

2) If you have a small space, choose the one easy to grow and you want to make fresh herbal tea. 

3) A connection you make with plants/herbs/nature is essential.

4) As you observe the cycle of season/nature/life by little, seeds sprout and grow to produce flowers and maybe seeds again.

5) Recognizing the cycle of life is natural healing.

6) Most medicinal herbs grow like weeds in the wild. They are pretty hardy, so they usually thrive when you give decent soil, light, and water.


1) Always harvest in the morning, after the dew has evaporated, and before the sun and heat hit the plant. 

2) Make sure to use clean shears. This is beneficial both to you and the plant. 

3) Buds and Flowers are best harvested just as they are opening. 

4) Don’t wait for them to open fully: they will lose their medicinal potency.

5) Leaves are usually best harvested before a plant is in full bloom.


1) Once you’ve harvested medicinal herbs for future use, I recommend drying them to preserve them.

2) Brush off and remove any organic material, such as bugs and dirt. 

3) Dried quickly, protected from direct sunlight, packaged, and stored correctly

4) Minimal humidity and good airflow

5) If you use a dehydrator: a temperature should be around 90º to 110º 

6) The traditional method for drying herbs is to hang them in small bundles from rafters.


1) Fresh-picked herbs taste good, but high-quality dried herbs can be as effective as fresh herbs.

2) The best reason to use dried herbs is that fresh herbs are unavailable year-round, and some medicinal herbs are not grown locally.

3) When making salves and oils, it is better to use dried herbs because the water content in fresh plants can spoil the oil.

If you have a question, send me email or post here.

Thank you!

Online Bach Flower Remedy Classes in Japanese

Since the Covid/Pandemic year of 2020,
the world has been threatened with fear, anxiety, irritability, loneliness, depression, and increasing domestic violence.

For more reasons, I felt strongly that we now need to connect within ourselves and focus on self-care by receiving holistic natural healing support from Bach Flower Remedy. Finding out and understanding your own feelings/mind/emotions are essential.
I am grateful that I offered my first online Bach Flower Remedy classes in Japanese from March to May 2022.

It was my first time teaching five series of Bach Flower Classes also.
I have been living in America for a long time.
Teaching in my native language, Japanese, gave me the experience of the ability to understand feelings and the mind deeper, which exposed my heart core.
I deepened my childhood favorites to open up to my life when I started to teach the class.
My heart felt so much gratitude.
I appreciate the people who took the classes and Masayo, who made these classes happen.

I shared many of my actual experiences for people to understand flower remedies.
I had so much fun sharing the flowers (some of them were the same flowers of Bach Flower Remedy) that I was growing each class.
Case study every class was so helpful; I used movie scenes/characters as case studies.
I gave one case study: 
Will Smith and Chris Rock’s 2022 Oscars Incident Over Jada Pinkett Smith – which was so realistic to understand how to choose Bach Flower Remedy.

Live classes ended, but these classes are still available to take/watch by the archive.
Homework, questions, and comments are all answered by me when you send your email to
The detail and link are here.

Bach Flower Remedy’s gentle support has helped me for many years (since 1993), many times, hundreds of times, and thousands of times.

I hope I can offer the classes in English near future.

Love, Sanae❤️

What is Bach Flower Remedy for people who do not know about it.

Bach Flower Remedies are made with wildflowers and plants energies transcripted to water.

There are 38 remedies in the Bach remedy system. All of them were discovered in the 1920s and 1930s by Dr Edward Bach, a well-known bacteriologist, physician, and pathologist.

Each remedy is associated with a basic human emotion. Mimulus, for example, is for when we are anxious or afraid about something specific. Taking the remedy helps us overcome our fear and face it with courage.

The remedies are in liquid form so that you can mix together the remedies you need to help balance your current emotional situation. Like Dr. Bach, we believe that healing on an emotional level has knock-on effects on other levels. A healthy emotional life and a balanced personality will allow your body to find its own natural state of health.

Dr. Bach designed his system to be simple. It may seem daunting at first, but anybody can learn how to use it. On this site, you will find all you need to get you started. We have pages where you can look up every remedy and find out what they are for. Other pages tell you how to select and take the remedies. Below you will find how they are made, and we have lots of recommendations for further reading if you want to know more.

Sources from the Bach Center, home of Dr. Edward Bach

My Bach Flower Remedy Story

I was first introduced to Bach Flower Remedies in 1993 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

I did not yet know anything about Dr. Bach or Flower Remedies.

When my acupuncturist recommended that I take four drops of Rescue Remedies every day whenever I felt stressed, I didn’t realize I was under the harmful effects of stress. But thinking back, I see that the anxiety and stress of finding out I had cancer was perhaps more deadly than the disease itself.

I had no medical insurance for treatment or surgery in America, and my family in Japan could not help me, as my father had just passed away from his cancer.

I was compelled to seek a path of self-healing holistically.

I researched and made an appointment with a macrobiotic counselor in Los Angeles.

After the counseling, I started taking cooking classes, making healing food, and using herbs and holistic medicine.

And I also tried acupuncture for a short time; I remembered that when I was growing up in Japan, my parents used acupuncture to boost their strength, so I thought it might help me.

The acupuncturist who introduced me to Rescue Remedies did not explain much about Bach Flower remedy, but I was motivated to try any holistic approach to healing.

I was only 38 years old and had just separated from my first husband, and I wanted to do so much with my life.

My decision to heal was solid, so I told myself, “No matter what, I am overcoming this challenge so that I can move on to my wonderful life.”

A few days after I started taking Rescue Remedies, I noticed that I could drive more calmly, even in the heaviest of traffic. I came home from work feeling more peaceful and could sleep better.

I thought to myself, could this little bottle of drops be helping?

I wanted to know what was inside the bottle, so I went back to the natural food store where I got it.

I bought my first Bach Flower Remedies book, Bach Flower Essences for the Family. 

It was so fascinating for me to find out for the first time how flowers’ healing powers help our emotions and mental issues.

I could not stop reading it and felt like trying all the remedies!

I decided to study Bach Flower Remedies someday when I recovered from ovarian cancer.

I started to study and became a registered practitioner in 1995 and became Bach Flower Registered Practioner of BFRP in 2005.

I have been using Bach Flower Remedy for myself, my family (including my dogs and cats), and my friends, to help their emotional and mental balance.

I also offer Bach Flower Remedy counseling. 

I recommend Bach Flower Remedy to my clients who come for macrobiotic nutrition counseling.    

I have seen so much benefit for most people in their emotional/mental challenging, which they get a smoother transition to healing their physical conditions.

Bach Flower Remedy counseling, here

April moth of flower: Sweet Pea

Wow, writing my blog!

2022 new year came.
I have enjoyed different projects each month, and already the end of April!
I wanted to write about each project, and I thought about wanting to write my blog almost every morning when I walked with my dogs.

I have one promise to myself to keep my health, rest each afternoon to balance out my active life, so I had to cut some of my activities and change my mind.
Writing a blog takes time for me, even though I love to write.
Take photos, write a draft, check my English and translate it into Japanese as much as I can because I want to share them in my native language.
I usually expect a lot of myself and want to write something meaningful blog, but I decided I just write even a few short; otherwise, I would never be able to make time to write. (Bach Flower Remedy has helped me!)

So here I listed the monthly seasonable activities that I did last four months with many photos.
January: Woodblock print tiger for this year. This one will be Online Art Show at SMC Emeritus College next month.

February: Miso making – I made barley miso, brown rice miso.

March: Lecture for dog health at Tortoise with my book “Healthy Happy Pooch” signing.


My first online class of Bach Flower Remedy for Japanese people has started.


April: My birthday – Eric’s lemon cake (lemon from my garden).

I watercolored Sweet Pea, which is April month of flower – Symbols of New beginning, Inspiration, and Creativity.

Taking time to finish my Sweet Pea gave me a relaxing feeling, and now I can write this blog.
Living a balance of life, effort, and joy.

Love, Sanae ❤️

New Year Sunrise

There is a new year proverb of the Japanese: 

一年の計は元旦にあり- Ichinen no kei wa gantan ni ari

Freely translation is – “New Year’s day is the key of the year! ” 

The proverb’s direct meaning is that The year’s plan is made on New Year’s Day. 

I usually make a plan spontaneously, but transforming it into action may sometimes take time as I get older with wise decisions. 

I like free translation for New Year’s Day.

I have been practicing my new year day’s ritual to get up and see New Year’s sunrise for about 30 years. I love this ritual to lift my spirits and prepare to start the new year.

It’s has been colder winter for Santa Monica. 

At 5 am on new years’ morning, my brain said, let’s stay in the Christmas gift of organic flannel sheets and stay warm. 

My heart whispered, let’s see new year’s sunrise! 

Let’s go!

And… I went!

2022 new year’s sunrise in Santa Monica was 7:58 am. 

I was with my husband, Eric, elderly dog daughter Lumi and her daughter Happy, and dog son of Kai. 

We also had our friends and their ten-year-old son, who are all first time, come to join us to see new year sunrise. They are all Kai’s friends.

We hiked up and arrived at the spot at 6:15 am.

We waited for the new year’s sunrise to show up. 

The sky transformed artistically, so many different scenes touched my emotions deeply.


But at the same time, like last year’s new year’s morning, it was very windy and also colder, and my hand started to feel like freezing with the uncomfortableness.

Our friend’s son found a very very thin paper moon (2 % of the waning crescent moon) in the sky, but we could not see it for a while. 

We were saying, where is it? 

Are you sure it is a moon? 

Finally, we – adults, saw the thread-thin moon as we focused our hearts.

And I forgot how my hands were feeling painfully cold. 

The child’s eyes captured a tiny slite moon, and we were grateful that we could see it too because of him.

Then, I realized I forgot to connect my cell phone to charge as sky was getting blighter.

I thought there were no new year’s sunrise photos this year, but the friends had iPhone 13 and sent me hight quality photos, which were no comparison to my iPhone 8.

Look at these gorgeous new year sunrise photos:


Seeing another new year’s sunrise, I felt deeply connected to the sun and nature with an appreciation for being a human being.
I felt happiness simply without material or money.

The universe (God, Higher power) planned for me to sleep without changing my cell phone on new years eve night. Ha, ha, ha!

I thought of another proverb, 塞翁が馬 -Saiyou ga uma.

Freely translation is “Fortune is unpredictable and changeable.”

It will be my 2022 motto.

2022 with gratitude, hope, and love! 

Love, Sanae❤️

Dear Mark Hanna

Eric and I were so shocked when we heard that you were hospitalized and induced a coma before Thanksgiving. We contacted Heidi right away and sent our healing thoughts and energy every moment we could.

When we received a call early morning on Saturday, December 4th, we were doubled shocked, could not think, and did not want to believe that you had passed away.
Eric and I are deeply heartbroken… 

So many of your friends are feeling lost. They created WhatsApp group page, but I am not feeling at ease with belonging to a big group, as you know. 

Now, after the shock, the depths of sadness that I do not want to feel are coming up and getting stronger. I can’t focus, not able to sleep. It has not hit yet, but I know that deep grief of pain is coming.
I know everyone has a different way of coping with grieving. I did not know how to go through my grief, except writing…I started to write whatever came to my mind.

Now I know that I want to write “a letter” to you. I will add photos as I find them since you like photos and I have taking so many photos.

Inn Season Cafe, in Royal Oak, Michigan, 1995.

Mark, you were the most influential person for me to have the experience to cook macrobiotics in many different conferences and retreats. 

I met you while helping my first macrobiotic teacher Cecil Tovah Levin’s cooking class at the Health Classic Macrobiotic conference in 1994. Because of your friendliness and generosity, I was able to join your cooking team after that year. I am forever grateful to you for me to have the experiences to cook for 500~700 people with a bathtub size container/pan/pot and an oar as a spatula. 

You cooked for Macrobiotic Summer camps/conferences for 22 years, then in 2016 at Kushi Institute and Taste of Health Cruise for 15 years. You were in the macrobiotic scene for over 40 years. You fed macrobiotic food for so many people through your hard work, artistry and love of what truly matters. Your big heart connected all of us. I respect all you did.

Green Mountain Colleg in Poultney, Vermont, 1995.


I think it was Providence College in Rhode Island , 1996.

Mark, your food was simply delicious. One of my favorites was when you add fried kombu to a dish.

I also loved the lunch box to go you prepared on the last day of the conference. 

“Lunch Box To Go” at Health Classic Macrobiotic Conference in Santa Barbara, 2016.

You did not forget a pickle!


We got together every year and we had so much fun.

With Judy, Eric, Danna and me (left to right), 1996

At Eric’s work “Rose Cafe” in Venice, California in 1977.

At Glen Ivy Hot Spring, California.

Mud mask art at Glen Ivy Hot Spring, California.

Mud thinkers at Glen Ivy Hot Spring, California.

With Mark Berry in 1995

You and Heidi lived next door to us in Santa Monica when you were cooking for your clients in Los Angeles, and fortunately, Eric and I spent time together with you both. 

I wish I were more mobilized to do things with you and Heidi, but I had so much physical pain with my legs and feet from the near-death car crash in 2001 still, I could not go out much, and I struggled with PTSD.

You were such a kind person to everyone. I thank you for sending me a birthday message every year since my birthday was two days after yours. 

When you told me that you attended Osaka Art University in Japan when you were younger, we talked about Japan a lot, where you visited and what you did. You told me that you had the Japanese nickname “Genmai Taro,” meaning brown rice boy (Taro is one of the most well-known boys’ names in Japan) because you were eating brown rice there even most Japanese people eat white rice, and you were a vegan. 

You were a creative artist. 

You encouraged me to do more art after I lost mobility to walk. 

I enjoyed seeing your art whenever you sent or showed me what you were doing. 

 I wish I could go to your exhibit last year. I love your recent art below. I remember you were currying tons of magazine cutting crips in manila folders. When I asked what those are, you said they would be your new art projects. I am so happy that you completed and showed at the exhibition.

I wish you could come to the SMC art exhibit to see my woodblock print and calligraphy art below last year. 

The letter of calligraphy style is Akim.
(Akim is created by German calligrapher, sculptor, and musician, Hans-Joachim Burgert. This lovely, gentle hand that is said to replicate the rhythm of the human heart) I did not know how Akim was created at first when I started to use it for my calligraphy, but I felt so familiar and it is my favorite calligraphy letter. So I have been using it for my website cover and business card, etc.

I wrote this Haiku Poem for me and everyone to thrive and live a new path (new normal).

Mark, I hope you enjoy it and find your new path.


You were so happy that I went to Japan after I recovered from stage IV lymphoma in 2019.  You said you want to revisit Japan soon – when I go back there again, I want to take Mark Berry there since he told me he always wanted to go to Japan so promise me that you go there with us together, all right? 

We will visit the Kamakura temple you loved, go to Osaka, where you lived, and see the Osaka university you attended in Japan.

Mark, you loved many things; these are at least what I know…

Heidi – You loved Heidi so much. You were a popular guy when you were single, so I thought you would never marry. When you introduced me to Heidi, you said you felt that she was the one for you, and you married her later. I was very happy for you.

With Heidi, Dara, Eric and Tisiana at Health Classic conference in Santa Barbara 2014.

With John, Tiziana and me at Taste of Health Crouise.

People – You must know several thousand people, and I knew you often contacted many of your friends to see how they were doing. One day I saw you were on the phone for a long time outside the garden; I asked you, “Mark, you l like to talk so much?” Your reply was, “You saw I was on the phone? I called several people to make sure they were ok. You know, I need to take care of my people.”
You cared and accommodated people so much.
You loved your friends and family – you expressed your love and devoted caring by contacting us – phone calls, postcards, messenger, texting, and visiting.
Ohhh, Eric and I will miss your call, messenger, and postcards!
Please show us a sign of something if you are contacting us!

Water (sea/ocean, river, pond, and lake)- You would go to the beach even if you had only 30 minutes. In winter, I saw you skinny dip in frozen cold water in a mountain of North Fork. My only wish was I jump in with you.



St Lucia for yoga retreat.

Humor and Scoops – Mark, did you know that you would rub your hands together every time you were about hearing a scoop someone said, or you were about to tell us something really delicious joke…your expression of excitement, devilish blue eyes, and rubbing your hands went together as Mark original.
Eric and I will tell you some super scoops so you would rub your hands and have a big smile in heaven. 

I know you posted many times on FB, Macrobiotic Comedy Club.
I did not understand some of them because American humor are different from Japanese ones. But I usually enjoyed them a lot.
The last post you did was on November 5th – Nancy Drew Mystery Stories below.


Here are some of my favorites from your post’s last couple of months.

Taking photos – We used to compete how many photos we took during traveling. You did not like that I took way too many photos than you at that time and had a better camera.

You checking my new photo album and eating mochi miso soup.

Movies – You loved watching movies and me too. We compare which ones we saw, and we did not see.One day, you asked me if someone would play your life in a film, which actor should play you. I really hope this one you remember…I said, I love “Gary Oldman,” so how about him? You said, ” You love Gary Oldman?” I love Gary Oldman too, and you wished Gary Oldman played you. 

Gary Oldman

Music – There was always music while cooking at conferences, etc. Your music selections were sometimes different than my music selections. The most memorable tune you introduced me was Emmylou Harris, who I had never heard before. You said, “you don’t know Emmylou Harris? If you do not know her songs, you do not know about life.” After listening to her and paying attention to her lyrics, I knew what you meant, Mark, I am sure you knew that she had the same birthday as yours.

I am listening to her tune right now (This one, she is singing with Mark Knopfler – Our Shangri-La), and a flood of my tears is coming down.

Animals – You were a caring person for animals too. I remember your dog, Wendy, when I met you the first time.
You cared about my animal family, but I did not know that you did not feel comfortable with my cat, Tora sitting on your legs for the first time since you never had a cat in your life. But you learned to get to know all of my cats, and you accept that cats love you so much.
You took all my six dogs for a walk whenever you visited because I could not walk them. They loved you so much.
Your favorite was Leo, and you gave him the nickname “Whee Whee.” I asked you what it means, and you said he was just Whee Whee to you. He loved you so much and always stayed with you.
You wanted to take him with you when you moved, so you were sad when I told you that Leo passed last year.
Now Leo is waiting for you at the rainbow bridge, and he is running to you stay with you forever when you call, “Whee Whee.”


Kids – You were so kind to young people. My niece still remembers you when I took her to one of the Health Classic Macrobiotic conferences after losing her father when she was only five years old. You were so compassionate to her.

Nature – When Eric and I had a restaurant named “Seed Kitchen”, and you were living next door to us, you said, “There were so many seeds of plants and trees as walking around the house. Did you know?”
I said, “Yes, I know there were many beautiful seeds around, and I have collected many of them.” then I showed them to you.
You said, “Let’s hang them!”
Later you showed me the ones you picked and hung at your place on the wall.
All the seeds looked so artistic and eye-catching.
I copied your idea and hung mine on the wall of my place, and you liked mine too.
I asked Eric to bring your collection of seeds that you left on the wall when you moved out from the next door. I have hung them together with my collections of seeds.
They are still above our dining table (now has some dust, hahaha.)


We went hiking Santa Monica mountain before I lost mobility. One time, a bunch of us went hiking Malibu Malibu Creek State Park. We had so much fun, but because we were talking too much and we got lost, it got so dark and late, and we did not know how to come out of the park, do you remember? Thanks to Eric for saving all of us.

You would go camping a lot without plans, and I know you often visited Joshua Tree when you lived in Santa Monica. I always wished to go with you and your group if I had mobility.

Mark, I have been walking about 1.5 miles to 2 miles since last year with my dog family. After you departed, I have been walking without my crutch. I will visit Joshua Tree someday, and we will meet there.

Eric and I rent Sprinter Van this weekend and going up the coast; I am sure you will come with us and jump into a cold Pacific ocean with Eric.

Yesterday, I realized I was walking with my dogs on the sidewalk of 23rd St. – this must be the street you walked to play basketball practice with local boys at Virginia Avenue Park. I cried and missed you that I wish I had walked to the park with you when you lived here.

Mark, you were a conscious human. I know you had sleepless nights just like anybody. Sometimes, when I could not sleep, I noticed your window’s light was up when you lived next door. I talked to you one day, do you remember? You said, “Zuu (the nickname he gave me), were you up too? Then you know, you know…I sometimes, think…you know, you know.”  I said, “No, I do not know, you need to tell me.”

I could talk to you about anything, and you talked to me about million little things we were going through in life.

I am going to miss our conversations.

Do you remember Mark, Eric and I organized your 40th birthday here at our house? Eric practiced a birthday song with his saxophone many days and played it for you. It was one of the crazy special memories.

Your 40th birthday: John, you and Eric


Mark, you called me while I was in Trauma Hospital in Arizona after I had a near-death car crash and three days comma in 2001. I was not expecting to hear from anybody, so I was happy when I heard your voice. I appreciate your support when I told you that doctors diagnosed that I would not walk anymore. I was crying that I could not cook with you anymore. You said gently – I wanted to teach macrobiotics anyway, not just cook macrobiotics before the car crash. That was why I did not go cook at the Summer Conference that summer of 2001; instead, I went to Michio Kushi’s Level 4 class to take. You reminded me of my purpose to continue macrobiotic.

Mark, you already lived in Belgium most of the time, but you told Eric and me that you were coming to our wedding. That was so meaningful thing you did for us. You and John Saslow even went to a bachelor party with Eric, my brother, and a bunch of Eric’s friends.

Mark, you came to see me while I was taking chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma only weeks live in 2017. Sadly, that was the last time I saw you in person. I told you that I would get better, teach, and see you again.

…I can’t believe that I will not see you in person anymore on this earth…

After Eric and I heard your departure, we went to the beach where you loved to go often. Here is the photo I took while Eric quietly did SUP (Stand Up Paddle); many pelicans flew over.

I felt that pelicans were sending you off your departure.

I checked the pelican’s symbols and meaning when I came home. Pelicans are symbolic of sacrifice, humility, and generosityThat says Mark Hanna to me!!! 

Mark, I thank you for your friendship for a long time. 

Your light remains, Mark, this is for you.

There are some who bring a light so great to the world.
That even after they have gone, the light remains.

Have safe journey!

Till we meet again! 

Love, Sanae ❤️

Animal Communication: Red Berry Bird

Nature is showing me kindness with strong-mindedness.
Connecting with nature is always vital for me to understand my life.

I have been going to North Fork, California (60 miles south of Yosemite National park) for over 15 years.
When I visited North Fork for the first time, I felt that this was where I wanted to cleanse my soul. 

Springwater fills out my thirst for healing.
Sky with free spirits cloud dancing.
The scent of earth and forest lift my mind.
Hundreds of years old oak and ponderosa pine trees, creeks, and lakes give me strength.
And constant learning, instincts from wild plants and animals.
I feel that I am a part of nature, and I can support them once in a while.

Eight years ago(in 2013), my maple tree by the gate got hit by a car and broke the main trunk completely.
Everyone said it was not going to survive.
But I really wanted to help so I made special glue with soft-cooked brown rice and barley.
It did not just survive; it became the most beautiful tree to show autumn colors since then.
I am sure all of the people in North Fork and people going to Sierra Vista Scenic Byway enjoy the colors when they drive by.

I wrote this on my blog: Miracle of Maple Tree Recover!

The Maple tree this year.



We usually stay in North Fork one day or two days, but we stayed four days this time.
We went to Vipassana meditation teacher’s house to meditate together. Visited Sierra Mono Museum and Culture Center.
Had fun at Willow Creek with our dogs’ family.

The morning we were leaving, I was getting ready to pack.
I wanted to get some pine needles to bring back to Santa Monica so I went outside.
I usually use the back door to go outside, but somehow I went out from the front door and found a little bird lying on the front deck.

If I had not gone out from the front door, I might not have seen this bird. I saw a small red berry near her which I believed this bird had with her mouth. (I had no idea if this bird was a girl or boy, but I felt the bird was a girl).
I first thought this bird was dead, but her feather was moving slightly when I looked carefully.
My heart was full of the rescue mission.
I started to hold her gently and apply Animal Reiki right away without thinking.
I called my husband, Eric, to ask him to bring Bach Flower Remedy “Rescue Remedy”. I put the rescue remedy 4 drops around the bird’s feet, put another 4 drops on my palm, and held her again.


Then, next, my instinct brought the bird to sunlight filtering through the trees.


As I hold her gently, I chant softly, “Arigaotu, arigatou, arigatou (Thank you in Japanese).”

She opened her eyes calmly but closed eyes again; she was weak. 

I continued Animal Reiki for a while, then she sat with her feet and came close to me.
I whispered to the bird, “I love you. You get well.”
The bird closed its eyes like relief.

I felt that the bird needed more time to heal, and I still had to pack to leave for Santa Monica, so I created an area with soft dried leaves and moved her to rest while I was packing.
I let her know, “I am sorry. I need to go inside the house for a little bit.
I will come back shortly.
I hope you are ok.”
She was content.
I went inside the house to pack.

While I was packing, I was praying for the bird to get better every minute.
When I came back to the bird, I hold her carefully.
She opened her eyes.

I gave Animal Reiki again and the bird closed eyes to rest more.

About 4 hours passed since I found the bird.

The bird could sit for a while now, but she was still very weak and not moving at all. I could tell the bird felt better when I touched her.

I was afraid that some other wild animals would attack or eat the bird.
I started to think about bringing the bird to Santa Monica to recuperate and bring her back to release in North Fork later.
But the bird was wild; it might not be appropriate.
I did not know what to do.
I decided to ask the bird through animal communication and she could tell me what was best for her.
I talked to her, ” I am glad to see you are getting better, but I am not sure if you need my help more for you to heal completely or not. Can you show me some sign if you are all right?”
The bird opened its eyes a little bit momentarily, looked at me for a while, and suddenly jumped.

I thought the bird was going to fly but just hopped.
I was surprised, but I have seen many surprised after I learned animal communications.
I understand what just happened.
I followed her slowly.

The bird found the hidden healing place by the side of a hill with dry bushes. It will protect her from wind and rain.
What a wise bird.


I found the same red berries that she had when I saw her lying by my feet where I was standing.
I put the two red berries next to her.
She thanked me and said, “You can keep the one I had.”
I said, “I am happy to see you are better and you showed me a sign that you are going to be all right here even after I leave. I will see you again. Thank you for your precious red berry. I treasure it for a long time.”
My tears came down with my warm feeling.
I was not sad.
I was relieved to see the bird was better, and she was able to move to a safe area for her to rest more.

I was thinking of her on the way to Santa Monica.
I felt that the bird was getting all well.

After returning to Santa Monica, I looked up to see what kind of bird I helped. I could not find an exact bird name.
I decided to call the bird Red Berry Bird (RBB).
While writing this blog, I felt that RBB was communicating with me.
I looked up at the sky from my window and closed my eyes.
I saw RRB flying away with red berries that I gave her, saying “Thank you!” to me.
I put the red berry that she gave to me in my palm, my eyes got full of tears.

I wish I could express more detail with my writing to share how I felt when I saw her flying away, but I am overwhelmed even now with so much gratitude.
I close this blog with my respectful gratitude and abundance of love for nature and this red berry bird (RRB) to let me practice my instinct from my heart.

Love, Sanae❤️