"In the Joy and Freedom classes, there is safety, joy, freedom to ask questions and to be yourself. The experiences are deeply profound and life-changing. What's refreshing about Sifu Emiko's approach is that she customises the practice and training to suit each student. From personal experience, I've seen how what I've learned applies directly to my daily life. I've seen immediate and tangible results. My relationships and overall quality of life have greatly improved. I feel so honoured, inspired and excited to continue studying at Joy and Freedom."
- FBA - Toronto, Canada
"Joy & Freedom has opened a world of clarity, peace and flow for me. Simply put, I have come to see the world from the inside. The practice has enabled me to live for the benefit of myself and others."
- CT - Toronto, Canada
"I have learnt to become less judgmental of myself and others and to discover the treasures hidden within each of life's moments. I used to feel very dissatisfied for no apparent reason, whether it was about my martial training or life in general. After one year in Joy & Freedom, I feel increasingly aligned with Life and at peace with the world."
- HNR - Toronto, Canada
"I wake up every morning with a joy and zeal I’ve never experienced before. It’s not long before I leap out of bed, excited, to start my day by practicing. It takes me an hour, and that hour includes yogic practice, meditative practice, and the practice of Body-Mind Flow. It never fails to leave me with more than enough energy for the day; even when I’m going on only two hours of sleep.
I’ve spent more than half my lifetime searching for that kind of joy and zeal and for something more. I’ve called it by different names over the years: “truth”, “enlightenment”, “essence”, “liberation”, “God”. I’ve had the karma to study with great teachers from many traditions. I’ve had the privilege of practicing alongside of many seekers who were sincere and who knew a lot more than I did. I’ve travelled to Hindu mandirs, Theravadin viharas, Tibetan temples, Roman Catholic Churches, the private homes of masters, and parks tucked away in the middle of big cities. My training has had me sitting in meditative silence for three weeks in a tent in the dead of a Canadian winter; receiving initiation from some of the highest lamas in the Tibetan Gelug, Kagyu, and Nyingma lineages; sitting Zazen; speaking with totem spirits in the tradition of the Blackfoot and Sioux; enjoying the simplicity of Cha no Yu; sparring verbally with a Rinzai Zen master; training under accomplished Tai Chi, Gongfu, and Qigong masters from mainland China.
Those hours of hard practice under my teachers opened the doors to many deep and rare experiences. I’m so grateful to all of my teachers because they have made me who I am today. But even with all those deep experiences, all the hours of effort and practice that I put in, all the reading and study I did, I couldn’t say that I ever really felt joy. I felt a lot of great and amazing things. But not joy. I couldn’t say that I was free. I could still feel the bonds of ego around me. Those bonds were the same ones that I saw even in people who had been searching and practising much longer and more seriously than I had been. They were there even in some of the masters that I studied with.
Then I found Joy & Freedom, and the work of Sifu Emiko Hsuen. The customized instruction that I have received has met my physical and spiritual needs at every turn. It hasn’t even been a year since I have been with Joy and Freedom, and I have changed faster than I imagined. I go through every day feeling lighter and happier. I touch joy in my practice, and it’s the kind of joy that spiritual teachers and texts talk about all the time. My friends tell me that my eyes and face have changed. I’m learning faster than ever. I’m excited about deepening what I know, instead of feeling hungry for more knowledge but never being satisfied with it. Best of all, I can tell now when I’m about to fall into the limitations of ego, and I know exactly what I need to do to get around them. That’s probably the greatest thing I’ve learned so far, and it’s so humbling that there’s a lot more ahead.
The work of Joy & Freedom is authentic. It takes the best of various traditions and makes them accessible. It’s easy to learn, anyone can do it, and it’s life changing."
- Karma Unchap Palmar - Toronto, Canada
To read testimonials in Japanese, please click here.