• Emmanuelle Viennois

    Guide

    "When we bring full attention and presence to the process of preparing, serving, and drinking tea, it becomes a nurturing and insightful practice which allows us to safely explore the whole array of body sensations, feelings, emotions, and mental reactions that are naturally part of our embodied human experience."

    My approach is holistic, integrative, and trauma-informed. It draws both upon my 20-year personal experience as a dedicated Buddhist practitioner, yogini, and tea student, and on the extensive knowledge I have acquired over the years in a variety of Eastern and Western perspectives. My intention is to offer accessible, empowering, and nurturing practices that foster mindfulness in daily life. Among others, I use the ritual of having tea as an opportunity to get to know ourselves, as a sheltered harbour where we may safely surrender and explore the present moment.

     

    From a young age, I have been drawn towards contemplative and movement practices that connect body and mind (in particular, I was part of French national ice-skating team for a few years), and I have always been filled with the yearning to understand our human condition and our relationship with the world. I believe that this background, together with the hardships I have had to navigate, set the foundations for mindfulness to infuse all aspects of my life.

     

    I left France when I was 30, after working as a project manager and consulting adult educator for some years, travelled solo around the world for nine months and landed in Canada. This is when I was first introduced to Buddhist teachings, and this was life transforming. I have since trained under various traditions (Soto Zen, Vipassana, Theravada and Tibetan Nyingma/Kagyu), regularly attended retreats, and kept studying as a support for my daily practice. I joined the Mindfulness Meditation Instructor Training at Naropa University (Boulder, CO) in 2014/2015. I feel privileged for having the opportunity to practice in places like Spirit Rock, San Francisco Zen Centers, Plum Village, Deer Park Monastery, Upaya Zen Center, or Gambo Abbey. I also feel very fortunate to have received teachings from accomplished Buddhist practitioners and revered monastics such as Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Andrea Fella, Acharya Dale Asrael, Ryushin Paul Haller, Eijun Linda Cutts, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche or Thich Nhat Hanh. And Above all, I feel blessed and immensely honoured to currently be a personal student of Ani Pema Chödron.

     

    On this journey to wholeness, purpose and meaning, I also encountered yoga and Asian Tea practices (Chinese Gong Fu Cha Tea, Japanese Senchado and Chado in both Uransenke and Omotesenke traditions). Both blended naturally with my mediation practice and have been daily companions ever since. I earned my certification as a Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga Teacher in 2014 with a specialization in meditative Yin and restorative yoga, and later trained in Trauma informed yoga with the Boston Trauma Institute (Boston, MA). As for my tea journey, it took me beyond any expectation from a sensory experience to a powerful, insightful, and meaningful practice. I received my certification as a professional Tea Sommelier in 2016.

     

    I believe that study and practice inform each other, so I have continuously kept educating myself on modalities and approaches that could complement my practice. I attended multiple seminars on Ayurveda, TCM, trauma, somatic experiencing, polyvagal and sensorimotor theories, or neuropsychology with experts like Peter Levine, Bessel Van der Kolk, Deb Dana, or Pat Ogden, to name a few.

    I believe that each moment in life gives us an opportunity to practice mindfulness. All we need is a willingness to take a leap and experience what is, to take the risk of surrendering to the moment and let go of our convictions. Then, we can learn to be fully present, fully aware, and thus fully alive.