How Important is Health and Wellness? Helen Lee Schifter Shares Her Thoughts

Helen Lee Schifter

Helen Lee Schifter: A Biography

Helen Schifter is a former arbitrage trader on Wall Street, as well as a former editor at Hearst and Conde Nast. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Amherst College, she attended both during their pioneering transitions to coeducation. Helen splits her time between New York City and the east end of Long Island.   

Health and Wellness through the Japanese tea ceremony 

We had the opportunity to read about a compelling figure involved in the rejuvenation of the Japanese tea ceremony in NYC. One of the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to do, is to reassess the importance of our collective health and wellness. In an interview with Dr. William Seeds in Authority Magazine, Helen Lee Schifter shares the benefits one can have from a tea ceremony. The importance of art and the effects it  can have on the body and soul are something Helen Lee Schifter goes on to emphasize the importance of. “Art has great power to heal and inform,” says Helen Schifter. 

The Importance of Recharging 

The importance of mentally recharging is something many of us have neglected over time. It is of such vital importance to our emotional and mental health and well-being that we invest more time into finding ways to help us all recharge mentally. As her own personal way of going about mentally recharging, Helen Lee Schifter began to read a substantial amount of ancient Chinese and Japanese poetry. Among the esteemed poets she began following the work of, were Mi Fu and Su Shi. In addition to studying poetry, Helen began studying Zen Buddhism. 

Zen Buddhism and the study of Japanese Tea

Helen Lee Schifter discovered Chado, the Japanese tea ceremony, while studying Zen Buddhism. It’s important to not lose one’s patience when studying Chado. Especially in NYC, there is a desire to move as quickly as possible. But that is not the proper course of action when it  comes to studying Chado. Chado is about the journey – and if one is to properly study it , one must be conscious of this fact. 

The Chado, the Japanese tea ceremony, is an ancient aesthetic and even spiritual practice that is the manifestation of the Buddhist philosophy. There are a number of benefits to the tea ceremony. Physically, the matcha and green tea have a number of health boosters, since they are filled with antioxidants. The value to one’s health is tremendous. According to numerous studies, these antioxidants called “catechins” lead to lower bad cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. 

The Importance of Spirituality in One’s Life 

With the fast paced lives so many of us lead, it is refreshing to read about someone like Helen Lee Schifter who has clearly recognized the importance of looking beyond the physical, and focusing on the spiritual. Ultimately, whatever the “spiritual” might mean to someone is subjective. But whatever it might be depending on the person, it is nonetheless such an integral part of leading a healthy lifestyle. In the fast-paced lives so many of us lead, slowing down to recharge spiritually and to look beyond the chaotic nature of our day-to-day lives is a healthy exercise that we encourage our readers to engage in. Thank you to Helen Lee Schifter for taking time to share these thoughts and insights with the general public. We need more people to emulate this model. It is undoubtedly laudatory; and something that is worth all of us to consider, no matter our backgrounds or political persuasions. If there’s one lesson we could take away from the awful COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the need to appreciate not only the physical elements of life; but also the spiritual elements. Let’s make a commitment to ourselves to follow Helen’s lead in doing just that.