Macrobiotic Education at French Meadows
The major emphasis of French Meadows Summer Camp is education.
The daily schedule includes lectures, cooking classes, workshops, and exercise classes. All sessions encourage participation, dialogue, and questions. At least one session each day is designed specifically for beginners.
The 2015 schedule will be available in the spring.
Click here to view, copy, or print a copy of the 2014 class schedule.
Click here to view, copy, or print a copy of the 2014 full lecture book with class descriptions.
Camp schedules are subject to change at any time without notice.
Presenters for the 2015 Camp
The presenters for the 2015 camp are listed here. Changes are sent to all who sign up for French Meadows Camp Updates (see column at the right).
David and Cynthia Briscoe founded Macrobiotics America and Macrobiotics Global, the first macrobiotic educational programs to offer multi-media distance learning courses via the internet. David is one of the most experienced macrobiotic teachers and counselors in the world today. Since 1972 he has gained expertise in every facet of macrobiotics, including personal practice, teaching, counseling, professional cooking, restaurant ownership, and center development. David travels and teaches throughout North America and overseas, speaking to medical and lay audiences and as a featured presenter at the major macrobiotic camps and conferences, including The Kushi Institute Summer Conference, French Meadows Summer Camp, The Fall Health Classic, and The Whole World Summer School in Belgium. Cynthia is one of America's most respected macrobiotic cooking instructors. Her cooking is as delicious as it gets. Her cooking instruction is admired for its clarity, patience and gentleness. Cynthia is also highly regarded for her insights into motherhood, advice on macrobiotic pregnancy and delivery, and her earthy and considerate approach to women's health in general. More information may be found at: www.macroamerica.com.
Ronald Koetzsch, PhD teaches Philosophy, World Religions, Nutrition and ESL at Rudolf Steiner College, and coordinates a volunteer Recorder Ensemble. He is author of Macrobiotics Beyond Food and Macrobiotics Yesterday and Today. Ronald is also internationally known as a comedian, offering one-man shows of interest to Anthroposophists in search of humor. Harvard University, MA and PhD in World Religions (conc. East Asia), 1967, 1981; Princeton University, AB, Religion, 1965; Kyoto National University, Kyoto, Japan, 1968, 1974-76, Japanese Culture and Religion; Anthroposophical Study Year, Dornach, Switzerland, 1989-90; Editor, Renewal: A Journal for Waldorf Education, 1991-present; Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, instructor, 1969-70, 1981-85; East West Journal, staff writer, 1972-1995.
Sheri DeMaris, M.Ed is a holistic health counselor who has taught whole foods/macrobiotic cooking at various restaurants and cooking schools throughout the United States and Europe. She continues to host, produce and direct a local alternative health TV show, "Tea With Sheri." She has also produced and hosted a cooking DVD for the network, a one hour documentary on the history of natural foods and a number of kids' cooking videos. Sheri is an adjunct professor in the Alternative Health Program for medical students at Hahnemann University, Philadelphia and has been a full-time counselor for 26 years. Sheri holds a Masters in Counseling from the College of William and Mary, VA, and a postmasters in Counseling from Villanova University, PA. Sheri is a graduate of the Level 4 Certification Program at the Kushi Institute. She has studied macrobiotic health counseling in Lier, Belgium and has been trained as a "Food is Elementary" educator and a shiatsu practitioner. Sheri DeMaris is currently a full-time Guidance Counselor at Valley Forge Middle School, Wayne, PA. Sheri offers cooking classes, lectures and seminars as well as individual counseling and cooking instruction. Her website is: www.teawithsheri.com.
Bob Ligon worked at the Vega Study Center and George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation from 1989-1993 and was the editor of Macrobiotics Today from 1992-2000. He studied acupuncture and herbology graduating from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego in 1998. He integrates his knowledge of macrobiotics and Chinese Medicine in his diet, lifestyle counseling, and life coaching. Currently, Bob practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in Akron, Ohio.
Laura Stec is a corporate and private chef, corporate wellness educator for Kaiser Permanente and Bay Area businesses, owner of Laura Stec – Innovative Cuisine, and author of Cool Cuisine – Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming. The Food Party! is her featured blog for Embarcadero Media (Palo Alto Weekly, Menlo Park Almanac, Mountain View Voice). She teaches Bay Area corporations how to cook with onsite Food Parties including Discovery Bars, farmers markets, and hands-on cook classes with Bay Area wine pairings. Recently noted by Time Magazine as a “leader who pursued her passion to become a community resource and expert,” Laura is creating a new vegetable condiment line to inspire people to Eat More Vegetables! In her spare time, she volunteers with Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to School program, boogie boards and adventures out to new places and spaces. Laura was one of Cornellia Aihara’s cooking assistants and was lead cook at French Meadows 1998-99.
Chuck Lowery joins us from sometimes sunny Oceanside, California. Thirty years ago, he was inspired by the words of Herman Aihara to create a macrobiotic food business with modern Americans in mind. Chuck’s personal journey through macrobiotics led him to learn about naturally leavened, yeast-free whole grain breads. Twenty four years after co-founding Pacific Bakery, he retired and was elected to the Oceanside City Council. Now in 2014, Chuck again offers his popular vegan pizza and chapati workshop at French Meadows and will donate 100% of the class fees to the Ohsawa Foundation. He is currently serving as Grants Chair for the Oceanside Charitable Foundation and as an Executive Board Member at the nonprofit Tariq Khamisa Foundation, a youth non-violence educational organization in San Diego. (See more class details by clicking here.)
Julia Ferré, CHT is a certified hypnotherapist, Reiki master, and an integrative facilitator in helping to enable consciousness. Her work includes personal one-on-one sessions, group sessions, workshops and writing for a worldwide audience. Julia has received certification from the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (ACHE) and Sylvia Browne and offers sessions for energy, attunement, and personal growth. She is author of the newly-released Food and Intuition 101, Basic Macrobiotic Cooking, and French Meadows Cookbook. Julia is associate editor of Macrobiotics Today and plans menus for camp. For more information, see: www.JuliaFerre.com.
Carl Ferré began macrobiotic practice in 1975 and has been studying, practicing, and teaching macrobiotic thinking and lifestyle ever since. He is author of Essential Guide to Macrobiotics and Acid Alkaline Companion, president of the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, editor of Macrobiotics Today magazine, and director of the French Meadows camp. He enjoys music and hiking.
Mike and Maria Chen. According to my younger daughter Flavia, “Mike Chen started playing peewee diplomatic service at the age of two and began practicing macrobiotics twenty-odd years later. He is a member of both CIMO (France) and GOMF (USA). At present, he enjoys making mung bean soup w/yellow onion and mung bean sprouts w/sesame oil and scallion. He will also have the occasional mung bean fun (bean thread) with vegetables. For him, 100% wheat soba is an acquired taste; he prefers the buckwheat.” Happily married (‘ever after,’ says my wife Maria), I have two wonderful daughters, Julianna and Flavia. The family agrees that I became a nicer guy by avoiding vinegar and not driving a car. All thanks to George Ohsawa’s Zen Macrobiotics!
Kerry Loeb has been a Shiatsu instructor for almost 20 years and began his studies in 1985. He apprenticed simultaneously with Shizuko Yamamoto, Patrick McCarty, and Edward Spencer over a seven-year period. He has taught Shiatsu classes at French Meadows since 1992.
Patricia Becker teaches Yoga classes for Stanford University School of Medicine; Health Improvement Program. She was manager of Common Ground Garden Education Center for 14 years, and manager of the Monday Night Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners for several years. She was the Volunteer Program Manager for Hidden Villa Organic Farm and served on the Ecological Farming Association Board. Patricia has led classes on Yoga for a Healthy Back, Seven Steps to Boost Vitality, and “Macrobiotics Made Easy” for the “Breast Cancer Connections Complementary Therapies Fair”. She loves to empower people to feel better with Wellness Coaching for groups and private sessions. Patricia has a basket of tools and depth of experience to guide you; including macrobiotic nutritional counseling, breathing exercises, therapeutic yoga, and neuro-linguistic techniques. Visit her website: patriciajoybecker.com.
Shirley Tung was born in Phoenix, is widowed, and has 2 grown sons. She has a BS in Nursing, a MA in Pastoral Ministry, and a MA in Feminist Spirituality. Shirley has worked in medical/surgical nursing, emergency room nursing, office nursing, as a porta-medic (insurance physicals), in retail businesses, and as a specialist in adoptions and foster care in Arizona. She is currently Manager of Real Estate and Coordinator of Refugee and Social Justice Issues. Shirley is an activist in political issues, frequently doing civil disobedience. She has taken classes for 17 years in Tai Chi and is now doing “weapons and 2 persons sets.” Shirley is a certified teacher of qi gong which can be found on the website of Master Hong and is also certified in Yang style Tai Chi with Kai Yung Tung, L.A. through David Block in Phoenix. She has taught Tai Chi and Qi Gong at Phoenix College and Sun City groups, and at Camelback Inn Resort.
Saci McDonald began her journey in the healing arts in 1989. She received her initial training at Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami, Florida and further education from John Maguire at the Kinesiology Institute in 1997. In 2003, Saci added Pilates with an intensive training by nationally recognized Pilates teacher Carol Appel of Body Kinetics in Mill Valley. Saci is currently in private practice at her home studio in San Rafael, CA. She has been attending the French Meadows Summer Camp since 2000 and will be teaching a Pilates mat class and will also be offering private sessions in energy kinesiology, massage and pilates. To learn more, go to www.sacimcdonald.com.
Kathleen Brannan Brown began her career as a Registered Nurse at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s Trauma Unit in 1994. In 2000, Kathleen graduated with a Masters in Nursing as a Nurse Practitioner at UCLA and began her pursuit of alternative/holistic treatment modalities. Her "Osteopathic Manual Therapy Education" at the Canadian College of Osteopathy and her private practice allow her to positively impact the health of her clients. Through her individual assessment and gentle hands-on manipulations, Kathleen is able to find and correct dysfunctions in a person's structure-anatomy. She's effectively treated injury pain, digestive issues, heart problems, posture issues, migraines and many other disorders. for more information, visit www.kathleenbrannanbrown.com.
Mark Vilkaitis is a regular at camp since voluteering the first time in 1986, helping with set up, and sharing duties at kid's camp and in the kitchen. His broad base in many forms of bodywork include certification in massage from Kripalu Yoga Center, second degree Reiki initiation, Svarupa Yoga Embodyment Therapy as well as special instruction from Shizuko Yamamoto, Patrick Mcarty, and Bob Carr in Shiatsu.The time spent with Cornellia and Herman Aihara during extended residency at Vega Study Center and at camp is at the core of his macrobiotic practice, and, in his words, "the inspiration, the sense of well- being, renewal, and joy that is French Meadows, I owe it all to them." Mark will be offering private shiatsu sessions at camp.
Additional presenters will be announced here and in Macrobiotics Today.
Also, each year there are impromptu meetings of people with like interests, ranging from informal gatherings to organized classes. A message board in the registration area facilitates organization of these meetings.
A macrobiotic bookstore is open each day.
The accessibility of Health Counselors is one of the traditions of French Meadows. During the eight days of camp, there are ample opportunities to schedule an in-depth health consultation, shiatsu treatment (like the one with Kerry Loeb pictured here), or other private session.
The natural setting of French Meadows, away from the distractions of normal life, encourages total focus on health.