Tea Docents of Chado-En and Ceres Community Project Partner to Sow Seeds of The Wellness Gardens

Senior Shinto priest Rev. Koichi Barrish will conduct a blessing and purification ceremony for garden site on Aug. 27.

BODEGA BAY, Calif., Aug. 16, 2011-- Wellness should be a way of life, sown and grown as tenderly and conscientiously as the most delicate of gardens. That's why Nozomu (Nez) Tokugawa and Donna Tokugawa, co-founders of Chado-En (http://www.chadoen.com), have been planting the roots for the non-profit The Wellness Gardens along with a new partner, Ceres Community Project.

As importers of fine Asian teas, Chado-En has always followed a broader mission to spur and sustain healing, wellbeing and peace. Likewise, Ceres Community Project, an award-winning nonprofit based in California's Sonoma Valley, works tirelessly to restore local, organic whole food to its place as "the foundation" of health for people, communities and the planet.

"Similar to our collaboration with Second Harvest Japan, which has been providing food and aid in Japan since 2000, this alliance with Ceres Community Project is a natural fit," says Nez Tokugawa. "Chado-En strives to fulfill a mission that's committed to rejuvenation and restoration of the body, mind and spirit. As both a new Ceres board member and founder of The Wellness Gardens, I'll be pursuing Chado-En's goals, helping cultivate a harmonious, healing project. We invite the community to support this endeavor."

The scapes and features of The Wellness Gardens, which will be installed in a repurposed building in Sebastopol, will not only be beautiful to view, but also planned with specific healing outcomes that complement Ceres' goals. The Wellness Gardens will support individuals battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses; raise awareness about alternative therapies; host events/classes dedicated to good health, wellbeing and sustainable communities; and empower teens with healthy, lifelong habits and skills.

"The Wellness Gardens has become a perfect project for Ceres to undertake, and we're excited to be the new home for the gardens, and also incorporate this program into our organization's very fabric," says Cathryn Couch, Ceres' executive director. "It's an exciting opportunity to say the least."

Rev. Koichi Barrish (http://www.tsubakishrine.org), a senior Shinto priest who is the first non-Japanese Shinto priest in the world, will lead The Wellness Gardens' community purification ceremony and blessing at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 27 at 7351 Bodega Highway, Sebastopol, Calif. A private reception, talk and blessing ceremony will take place Friday evening, Aug. 26. For details about either event, contact Deborah@ceresproject.org or 707-829-5833x4.

About The Wellness Gardens A California 501(c)3, The Wellness Gardens promotes healing and wellbeing through specially designed garden retreats, education on the healing influences of garden environments and horticulture therapy, psychosocial support for cancer survivors, events raising awareness of alternative therapies and provision of facilities to others promoting good health. Donations may be sent to PO Box 5, Bodega Bay CA 94923.