Melissa Berry Appleton

Teacher / Student

I am a Buddhist Chaplain from Upaya Zen Centre, student of Roshi Joan Halifax and lay-ordained in the Soto Zen Prajna Mountain Order.  I practice various forms of movement and sitting zazen meditation.  This supports me to slow down, notice time is precious, expression of love matters and sense into the vast thread of shared interdependence.

Through movement, and stillness we work beyond language, to see clearly, shift our own habits and support the outer world with sustained energy in endless ways.  My offerings are a form of Body Centred Therapy, informed through a dynamic intersection of Secular Buddhism, Psychology, Yoga, Somatic Movement, Trauma Informed, Nervous System Regulation, Strength, Voice, Sound, Breath, Contemplation, Ritual, Writing, the Provocative, Political and Creative Spark.  We are sensing inside our bodies, orienting with the outer world and encouraging curious dialogue wherever possible. These practices are strong, gentle, and accessible in the same way we might want our lives to be.

As a Teacher, I lead retreats and workshops in Canada & Internationally.  Here you’ll find gatherings of diverse front-line workers, leaders, parents, artists, social innovators, carpenters, and entrepreneurs in all the glorious forms of gender, sex, religion and race.  As a Chaplain I work with graduate school interns in clinical counselling, psychology and social work, and with people 1:1 as they navigate difficult chapters in their life.

I have been a practitioner for over 23 years, a skillful and humble student of some of the world’s most renown educators both within and outside of formal academia.  This year I became a graduate student to complete a Masters in Clinical Counselling and Social Justice.  Deep down I am a student of the wise grandmother’s heart, mother, life partner, three teenagers, a big black lab and my Domestic Monastery home tucked into the woods with chores that are never complete.  I was once a Music Therapist, Addiction Counsellor, and Executive Director of a Charity, but everything changed.  Everything is still shifting and moving today.

Check out my wonderful teachers, fellow collaborators, and offerings here ~

The deepest humble bow to MODO Yoga Kelowna ~ my beloved home studio.