Annamaria Gyoetsu Epifania
Annamaria Gyoetsu Epifanìa
Dancer and dance therapist, Teacher of Tai chi/Qi Gong. High School Diploma in Classical Studies and Classical Dance at the Accademia nazionale di Danza in Rome. During her career as a professional dancer she danced as a soloist with Carla Fracci, Rudolf Nureyev and Liliana Cosi, as well as for the companies Aterballetto and Balletto di Roma, for the Arena di Verona, the Biennale Teatro di Venezia, and for the most renowned Italian and European opera houses.
She had theatrical experiences at: Actor’s Studio, Paris; Teatro Università, Caracas; Università Sapienza, Rome. Among the prominent figures she has worked and studied with: Aurelio Miloss, Amedeo Amodio, Vittorio Biagi, Jean Cébron, Sandro Vigo, Pier’Alli, Lindsay Kemp, Maria Fux, Kazuo Ōno, Dominot.
In 1983, she founded her own company of dance and theatre, called “Teatro del Disgelo” (Theatre of Thaw), of which she was director, choreographer and promoter. She integrated her artistic training with psychomotor techniques, martial arts and holistic therapies, such as Tai chi/Qi Gong, Feldenkrais method, Mézières, and natural eating. She carried out extensive educational activities with seminars and performances in the Rebibbia female prison, Rome; has held training courses for health professionals in conjunction with local health and social care services, applying meditation and dance as a means of self-knowledge and communication.
In 1988 she started the centre “Tara Bianca” (White Tara) in Rome, turning it into Centro Zen Anshin in 2006 together with Guglielmo Doryu Cappelli, her partner in art and life.
She currently teaches Creative Dance/Dance Therapy, and Tai Chi/Qi Gong.
She holds meetings and individual sessions of Ascolto Consapevole/Mindful Listening, following a method that she herself devised as a result of her constant quest and study for an awakening of art, beauty, and spirituality. She leads seminars and workshops on Zen and dance in Italy and abroad, integrating the art of dancing, a new discovery of the body, and the teachings of the Buddha in a path of awareness, listening and integrating body, mind and spirit.
Her way in Zen Practice
Teacher of Zen meditation. She approached Buddhism in 1985 through Zen practice, trying the different Buddhist traditions under the guidance of qualified teachers, such as Geshe Yeshe Tobden, Corrado Pensa, Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Thích Nhất Hạnh. Since 1997 she entirely devotes herself to Soto Zen. In 1999, she receives monastic ordination according the Soto Zen School at the Zen Temple La Gendronniere, France, from Master Roland Yuno Rech, a disciple to Master Taisen Deshimaru Roshi. Between 2000 and 2006 she served as Tenzo (i.e. the person responsible for meals in a Zen community) during several retreats held both in Italy and abroad.
In 2006, together with Guglielmo Doryu Cappelli, she starts the Anshin. Zen Centre. Beginning 2010 becomes a disciple of Shohaku Okumura Roshi, abbot of the Sanshinji Temple in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, and completes her monastic training with him.
She started Anshin Centres in Palermo and Ragusa, Sicily, following regularly their practice and study. Under the patronage of the Italian Buddhist Union, she promoted in Rome and Sicily the practice of silent walking so as not to forget and preserve Sites of Memory.
She oversaw the publication in Italy of the books by Master Okumura at Ubaldini Publishing House In July 2016 she received Dharma transmission from Master Okumura Roshi. The Transmission has been officially confirmed in July 2019 with the Zuise ceremony held at the Eiheihi and Sojiji Temples in Japan, and she received the title of Osho, or priest authorized by Soto Shu Shumuko, the administrative body of the international Soto Zen.
She co-operates with DIM/MID (Monastic Interreligious Dialogue) and with the Fondazione Astalli in education to diversity and inter-religious dialogue in secondary and high schools.
She holds Meetings of Aware Listening, a therapeutic method she has developed, the result of her continuous research and study to awaken the intimate potential of creativity and healing. Leads Seminars on the preparation and methods of taking meals in a ritual way (Oryoki) in the Zen tradition, and on the Way of Flowers (Kado), the contemplative art of interacting in harmony with nature.
She holds Zen and Dance Workshops in Italy and abroad, in which he integrates the art of Dance, the rediscovery of the body and the teachings of the Buddha, in a body-mind-spiri way of awareness and listening.