About Teressa Cohen
Teressa’s work is a dynamic blend of her life experiences: a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, 20 years of study in Eastern psychology/philosophy and certification as a Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher. She holds black belts in both Seirenkai Karate and Seirenkai Jujitsu. She brings great passion from her own 25-year mindfulness practice, a strong marriage of 21 years and her hands-on experience in mothering two teenagers. Teressa’s cultural sensitivity, multi-faith perspective, and fluency in American Sign Language allows her to welcome and work effectively with people of varied backgrounds.
The signature of Teressa’s work is the relationship she builds with each. It is essential to her that you experience a relationship of unconditional acceptance and safety, non-judgment, and her belief in your inherent wholeness.
On a Personal Note
I come to this work quite naturally. I have always had the gift of making others feel emotionally safe and have always been able to see and know quickly why someone struggles. I have looked deeply into myself, so it is easy for me to recognize another’s humanity.
When my children were young, I intuitively (and surprisingly) took a path of Attachment Parenting. Co-sleeping, nursing on cue, carrying the children in my sling, I was a full time companion for my children. This unexpected path yielded great joy and brought me to the study of ethnopediatrics (the study of cross-cultural parenting) and I dived right in. My research explained my choices: I was tuning into hard-wired biological and evolutionary instincts. I supported other mothers in trusting themselves and their feelings above all the books and experts. I was determined to be a voice for getting back to a more natural way of connecting with our children, beyond gadgets, fear of spoiling, and dogmatic sleep routines.
As my children grew, so did my passion to share the larger world with them, and to help them find meaning in it. I created a spiritual home life that preserved the traditions of my husbands Jewish heritage and my Italian heritage and with that added rich teachings, ideas, philosophy and humanism in a way that cultivated open minded mystery. I was pioneering a “homegrown spirituality”, which became a guide for other young families.
Another significant influence in our family’s life has been the study and practice of Seirenkai martial arts. My husband and I met in martial arts as teenagers. As we married and started a family, we remained devoted karate-ka. Then in 2007, my husband and his brother founded their own international system (International Seirenkai Organization) and our home is now headquarters for this system, where members from around the world come to study, train and share in community. Our children have grown up in this tradition which emphasizes the integrity behind the moral code, practical safety and ancient art of self defense. Focusing on Bugei (the perfection of technique) and Budo (the perfection of character), our family discussions over the years have sought to marry everyday life with awareness, sound ethics and the protection of life. We continue to learn from this rich art, with me receiving my black belt promotion and my children continuing to make their way through the belt advancements. I frequently reflect on how fortunate we are to be part of such a profoundly comprehensive and communal experience.
As my husband and I grew with our children, we discovered new ways to connect and communicate with honesty and kindness. We found new ways of compromising, of understanding each others shifting needs, and we cultivated acceptance for each other’s imperfections. We learned how to use emotional intelligence to become stronger and more in tune with each other than ever before. Our high school romance had evolved into a new mature adoration. Deep love, mutual respect and the ability to see each other’s goodness at all times, combine to provide fertile ground for us to cultivate a partnership and family culture that is a natural expression of our values. We prioritize celebration, personal growth, and true connection as we welcome all people into our home and lives.
My personal passion for Eastern psychology and philosophy had begun years before my kids were born. Having enjoyed a strong faith as a child and then earning my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, I had always been looking for answers to the root causes of human suffering, and had not yet heard a compelling case. It wasn’t until I studied the Eastern mystics, Buddhism, and the Advaita Vedanta traditions that I came to truly understand why humans suffer and how I could be free. My long-standing love of Yoga and Meditation brought me to Kundalini, where the energetic and emotional emphasis was another beautiful compliment to my belief in, and passion for, achievable inner peace.
I now had the proof I needed that the mind, body and spirit are interconnected. I sought more answers as to how to care for my physical self. Nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle practices became another fascinating area of study. Feeling like I had come full circle, I discovered the Primal Blueprint by the renowned Mark Sisson. I began his Health Coaching Program with great conviction in the wisdom of ancestral science and the power to function optimally with respect for natural evolution. I started applying his principles and the science behind them to my own life and for the first time since I was a child, began to experience a deeper understanding of my own physical body. And with each degree of added insight and personal understanding I have come to acquire, the more empowered and peaceful life has become.
I remember as a young child sitting in my bedroom. I was looking out the window and had this incredibly strong sense that “heaven” was right here on earth, not in some far away place in the clouds, but actually right here, only a moment of discovery away. I knew that for me, that “heaven” was inner peace. And I knew that having it would be a kind of coming home. I vowed to find it.
…which brings me to you.
I intuitively knew as a young child that inner peace was comprised of true Presence and what lies within it: self awareness, acceptance, and personal power. I had been craving a way of navigating not a different world, but the same world with these skills and this enlightened perspective. And this has been my evolving practice and commitment ever since.
I am deeply committed to partnering with you in the experience of being fully alive and at peace. I want you to understand your nature, fully accept yourself, feel your own power, relate to others harmoniously, move through the world skillfully and achieve whatever fills you up with joy and gives you purpose.
For a long time I “waited for life to begin”. I felt I had to arrive at some destination to give myself permission to feel content. But I have learned that there is no such thing as waiting for life to begin. We can be completely content with both ourselves and the world as it is in this very moment while still holding a vision and passionately committing ourselves to it. All there ever is, is NOW, the beautiful and urgent whisper reminding us to be braver than yesterday and awake in every moment.
As Thich Knat Hahn, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Mindfulness master and peace advocate gently reminds us, “ There is no way to happiness. Happiness IS the way.”