AgeSong Duo Rocks the Crowd Last Two Minutes of Race


San Francisco. June 16, 2013. To claim that you completed the Half Marathon, you had to reach the Finish Line within three hours.  Marlena del Hierro and JoJo qualified by passing the Finish Line within two minutes of the three hours. It’s not that Marlena wasn’t in top shape and hadn’t been practicing for months.  It’s that she was pushing, for 14 miles,  200 lbs. of a svelte Josie on her assisted mobility chair. At the end of the race, Josie, who never thought she’d walk again a few years ago, rose from the chair and walked over the finish line. For AgeSong spectators and many others, this duo came in first place!

“Arigato Gozaimasu,” the Thank You Movement


AgeSong of San Francisco participates in an extraordinary array of exciting festivals and cultural activities each year. This weekend we attended the Obon Festival, which is the largest festival in Japantown with two days of games, food and cultural demonstrations. In the evenings, amazing Taiko and over 500 dancers in full costume bring the night alive.

Who did we meet?

We met Sensei Kawahatsu, pastor at  the Konko Church of San Francisco and Shin Shin Gakudo (The way of the mind, spirit, and body). He invited all of us to join in sharing, “Mindful Appreciation and Meditation,” and “Arigato Gozaimasu,” otherwise known as the “Thank You Movement.” Each year the church takes many young people to Mt. Fugi, the highest mountain, and an active volcano, in Japan.

Sensei Kawahatsu has a personal mission to spread the valuable words of expressing Arigatou Gozaimasu, or “Thank you, 1,000 times a day.”  He is a minister of the Konko faith tradition, who believes that humanity should not be divided by negativity, but instead be joined by unity and expressions of deep and mindful appreciation.  He calls this the “Arigato Gozaimasu Movement.”

The simple practice of saying “thank you” (Arigatou Gozaimasu) 1,000 times a day is so powerful, he states, that it can eliminate all kinds of mental frustration, anger, worry and disappointment, allowing practitioners to find a deeper meaning and appreciation of life.  Many people have been practicing this simple training and they have gained many benefits, he states.  One example was a prisoner who could not sleep in prison. As he started to practice saying, “Arigatou Gozaimasu,” prior to retiring to bed, he began to sleep peacefully.  He then started to share this  with his family and friends over the phone.  Another person who lost his father to an illness found out that his mother was also seriously ill.  He found that by saying, “Arigatou Gozaimasu,” it helped him to realize that each breath that he takes is worth a million dollars!

At AgeSong of San Francisco, we value the moment and we treat each breath as a special gift. We are located in San Francisco’s vibrant Hayes Valley neighborhood, steps from Japan Town in San Francisco. We specialize in providing assisted living, “forgetfulness care” and behavioral health support for residents and families. Our nonprofit community offers residents, even those with health challenges, stimulating activities and outings that take full advantage of San Francisco’s distinctive resources. Please visit our Web site

Wesley, The Quiet Yogi


What’s it like to lead one’s life as a teacher of the practice of Yoga and meditation? Meet Wesley Zineski, a Yoga practitioner who has spent his entire adult life in this practice.

Swami Suryadevananda and friends will offer a tribute to Wesley,  1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on March 4 at AgeSong, Laguna Grove, 624 Laguna Street, San Francisco. AgeSong Institute and AgeSong Elder Communities are pleased to sponsor this presentation, the second in a series of spirituality workshops this winter/spring (see Introduction to Passsage Meditation, February 25).

In a recently published book, The Quiet Yogi, Swarmi and other practitioners share remembrances of their friendship with Wesley through letters, prayers, notes, clippings, photos, and even recipes.  The book was obviously a labor of love.

Wesley was a Holocaust survivor who earned a living initially in the auto industry and later by running Launromats.  During the 60s, and for the next 40 years, he would draw together friends throughout the world to share Yogic practice.

Swarmi, a poet, songwriter, and contributor to The Quiet Yogi,  offers the following comment on Real Friendship:

Here is such a beautiful picture: Real Friendship with all – a taxi driver in Japan sharing his lunch with a pigeon. They always dress very nicely and are well groomed and courteous. Look at the other one waiting for his meal. We worry about so much unnecessarily! Some talk about brotherly love, some just live it…

Samples of Swami’s poetry:

Can the Heart Expand to This

Till Foolishness is Exhausted

Download attached flyer of the Quiet Yogi event.


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