Michele Benjamin-Miki

Each individual is powerful. Power ultimately is a capacity within us, a seed if you will, that awaits growth and expansion of our capacity to meet our lives and the challenges and obstacles of any situation with grace, ease and solutions. Most often these very difficult events of our life bring forth this capacity. When conditions are right or choices are made available to us, individuals can turn an external challenge around, whether it is environmental, social, political, and so on.

I believe these structural systems do not have lasting power. I believe power can be misused when it becomes power over others, even if benevolent. What I choose to view as true power is when it is a power with others, empowering, and bringing out the best in oneself and others; then we can get outside of our structures of power, social, economic, political, religious and so on, in order to create systems that are flexible, changing to what is useful for the times, and appropriate to whom it serves."

- Michele Benjamin-Miki

Michele’s art is an intersection between East and West, Realism and Abstraction, reflecting her Japanese and North American heritage. She uses large calligraphic brushes with sumi inks on paper, moving from ‘point zero’ of inner stillness towards an expansive awareness, before or during the creative process. Michelle teaches the non-violent martial arts of Aikido and Iaido Sword, in which she holds two fifth-degree and one sixth-degree black-belt ranking. She is the Co-founder of Five Changes and Manzanita Village Retreat Center near Warner Springs, in Southern California, where her studio is located, and where she works with clients and leads retreats.

Michele drops off her work and provides an impromptu talk about her process: 


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