Lori A. Parker, GCFP, SEP, Ph.D.
Dr. Parker is a mindfulness teacher and spiritual counselor. She holds no degrees in psychotherapy. While carrying out private EMM sessions, her focus therefore is on self-awareness and non-judgmental present moment awareness of one's experience. Dr. Parker began practicing mindfulness at the Zen Temple in Long Beach, California in the early 1980’s. In June 1992, she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist Priest by the late Rev. Dr. Soyu Matsuoka, Soto Sect Division of Zen Buddhism. Dr. Matsuoka gave her the Zen Name of Kozei Zen Ni which he translated during her ordination ceremony as “Star Shining In The Sky”.
In 1985, she earned her 1st Degree Black Belt in the martial art of Aikido (a non-violent, non-competitive Japanese martial art). In 1990, with the encouragement of her teacher, Rev. Dr. Wayne Tourda, she founded her own private school, Mumonkan-Do Aikido of California. In 1991, she received her 2nd Degree Black Belt. And early in 2002, she authored a book titled In Search of Harmony.
At the same time, she was pursuing her academic degrees. In 1985, she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. In 1993, she received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California. Her doctoral dissertation was on the history of civic education in the United States. The dissertation was an historical analysis of how successful we have been in our attempt to educate a diverse population to live harmoniously in a society.
Her destiny, she believed, was playing out. She believed she was doing exactly as the universe had intended. She was earning her living in a way that she found satisfying and rewarding and she was living, to the best of her ability, a very principled and unselfish life. It was dedicated to her students - to their well-being and to their spiritual development. But the universe seemed to have something different in mind. Suddenly, without warning, Dr. Parker developed a whole range of symptoms - a range of symptoms that could not be explained by Western Medicine.
Armed with the mindfulness skills that she had developed through her Zen training, and the samurai spirit that she had developed through her Aikido training, she began a relentless search for answers. This search for answers led her to study two western healing modalities: the Feldenkrais Method® (founded by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a Russian Physicist) and Somatic Experiencing® (developed by Dr. Peter Levine, who holds doctoral degrees in both Psychology and Medical Biophysics).
Dr. Parker is certified in both of these modalities. She chose these two modalities in particular because they were both body-based healing modalities which have “mindfulness practices” at their core. It is her training in all of these disciplines - Zen, Aikido, Feldenkrais, and Somatic Experiencing - coupled with her experiential knowledge, that has cumulated in the Embodied Mindfulness Method™.