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The History of Rolfing® Structural Integration

Rolfing® Structural Integration is not massage; rather, it is a holistic modality that supports your body’s innate capacity to heal.  Here is some info about the founder, Ida Rolf:

Ida Pauline Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1920. Despite the resistance she faced as a woman in the field of science, she furthered her knowledge of the body through research in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute. Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation.

Throughout most of her life she was intrigued with & explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic & yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function & anatomical structure are related is the basis of many of these healing methods.

Dr. Rolf agreed that the body functions best when the bony segments are in proper alignment. She added her observations that lasting improvement in alignment and an overall sense of well-being required a closer look at the effects of gravity on our bodies. She believed that the imbalances in structure placed demands on the body’s pervasive network of soft tissues: muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments, thereby creating compensations throughout the body structure.

Dr. Rolf posed this fundamental question: “What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?”

Her life’s work was devoted to this investigation which led to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing®. In order to pass along her work to others and to make the education process accessible, she developed an expedient series of ten sessions, which came to be known as the Ten Series.

Dr. Rolf continues to be recognized as a pioneer and leader in soft tissue manipulation and movement education.

Since her death in 1979 at the age of 83, the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration has continued to share her work by certifying Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement® Practitioners, supporting research, and building upon her inspiration. Today, there are more than 1,950 Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement Practitioners worldwide

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Contemplative Guidance

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.

Contemplative Guidance is Personal and Spiritual Life Coaching from a Buddhist perspective that supports, health, well-being, self-awareness, spiritual sensitivity, financial security, and intellectual acumen.

Working with Soken through phone sessions, assigned readings, writing exercises, discussion, and meditation practice, you will learn how to realize worldly success without sacrificing the richness, meaning, and purpose of a well-lived human life.

It may sound simple, but to see one’s life clearly is difficult. Today’s world is complex, dynamic, full of unsettling change, and yet brimming with possibility! In this dazzling high-modernist landscape, faced by a bewildering array of choices – e.g. Should I have a child or pursue my career? Should I leave my firm to start my own business? What makes me happy? What’s the meaning of all this? –  it’s helpful to have a good guide.

Contemplative Guidance is a program based on Soken’s deep (25 year-long) study – as a Buddhist priest and spiritual practitioner – of ancient wisdom traditions.  As you practice this wisdom, by doing meditations that encourage you to simultaneously deepen your sensitivity, heal, purify your mind, and see things as they are, you will develop the skill and confidence to act warmly and compassionately in agreement with what actually is. In this way, the world opens up for you, nourished by love and truth, two essential ingredients for stability and peace of mind. Whether you are in the midst of a career change, seeking answers to questions about relationship, figuring out how to make your way in the world, or endeavoring to take your life to the next level, once you know how to live from wisdom and compassion, your life unfolds naturally and enjoyably. You become able to balance your needs with the sometimes difficult demands of your environment in such a way that you can thrive professionally and economically while enjoying rich human relationships and a deep connection to values that bring true creativity and spiritual meaning into your life.

Soken has helped many people do amazing things. To begin your journey of transformative growth, please feel free to reach out for your free one-hour Turning-the-Lights-on session by phone. Explore the many possibilities you have right now for a life of abundance, prosperity, contentment, and joy.

Schedule a Free Phone Consultation



Learn More about Cultivating Awareness

Bodhi Heart Cultivating Awareness classes are for people who are in transition, eager to grow, or thinking about making a change. For 10,000 years people have used meditation to find the calm, clarity, and composure that allows one to see the way of goodness, and to cultivate the health, strength, and courage to follow that way in a loud, changing world.

Our 6-week Cultivating Awareness Class: ‘Get to Know Your Self’ provides teachings on how to cultivate mindfulness and compassion to overcome negativity, remove blockages, and cultivate positive states of mind. Through meditation, you will learn to bring your hidden patterns and habits of mind to light, regaining access to your best self, making for new, more positive ways of being. By enrolling in this class, you can begin to establish a genuine spiritual practice, or strengthen the one you have.

Weekly Class Calls on Tuesday | November 13th - December 11th | 9-10pm ET

Learn More about Cultivating Awareness

Weekly Class Calls on Tuesday | 9-10pm ET
Our 6-week Cultivating Awareness Classes provide teachings on how to cultivate mindfulness and compassion to overcome negativity, remove blockages, and cultivate positive states of mind.

Sign up for Cultivating Awareness

Upcoming Class

November 13th – December 18th | Weekly Class Calls on Tuesday | 9-10pm ET

Building a Foundation

Cultivating Awareness begins by building a solid foundation for practice by turning awareness to one’s values. This is the first form of meditation. Therefore, we’ll look at questions like: What is my view about living? What makes life meaningful? What is true happiness?

Confusion abounds about which
mental models to live by

Some people are future-oriented with faith in science, progress and technology. Others are past-oriented and feel that it’s better to follow tradition; they long for the ’good ol’ days,’ resistant to change. Still others—devoted to freedom—romantically discard constraining concerns, believing that to wholeheartedly follow a dream insures a fulfilling existence.

We all want to know how to live,
and have strategies for doing so

But if we’re honest, sometimes our strategies aren’t working for us: maybe we feel lost, unfulfilled in our jobs, or we have the vague sense that ‘I’ could ‘somehow’ be more. We want to take action to cultivate more meaning and joy, to fix our sense that ‘something is off,’ that we’re not being true to our self; we want to heal—but we can’t pinpoint the problem, and we don’t know where to start.

One way to happiness—as Aristotle suggested—is to discuss with wise, sensible peers how best to live.

Active Goodness

This class presents ideas, talks and readings that may challenge your way of seeing and doing things. In Cultivating Awareness, a spiritual view is one that takes seriously the idea that there exists a vibrant reality of active goodness as real as, and concomitant with, the material world; and that, through a person’s personal practice, such goodness is able to function for a greater good.

To realize such a view begins with humility and inquiry, typically in a small group of a dozen or so sincere, like-minded heroes.

we don’t know what we don’t know

To establish a genuine spiritual practice inevitably requires some guidance. This guidance comes in many forms e.g. a teacher, mentor, friend, spirit-guide, book, vision, community, or class—to name only a few.

I have been teaching this material for 10 years as both a secular meditation teacher and a Buddhist priest. And I continue to study, regularly attending periods of extended mountain retreat with my teacher, Zen Master Seikan Hasegawa, in North Carolina and Japan.

What I find is that people do want to do good, but they often want to do their own version of what’s good–which, of course, is not always, necessarily, or actually, good, though it sometimes—accidentally—is.

So, what is the Good?

This is one of the questions we’ll focus on in class.  Through a kind of Socratic dialogue, we’ll look at how you’ve come to choose your values. Maybe you’ve never thought about such a thing. We’ll ask: what is your standard for speech and action, your north star, your moral compass? We’ll contemplate the extent to which you live according to your values: What are their effects? What traditions do they come from? What have people said about them over the centuries? We’ll also look at how to bring this inquiry into daily practice. And, most importantly, we’ll emphasize practice as the only vehicle we (humans) have for improvement in—and of—our world.

The mystical is the most practical

A modern sage, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, once said, “The mystical is the most practical.”

In this class you will learn to see through many of the world’s trappings, such as the notion that any particular job, family situation, or status guarantees peace of mind. You will be guided to rich sources of moral, spiritual, religious, artistic, and philosophical thought, from so-called ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ civilization, to reinvigorate and polish your conception of the Good. Thus you will gain self-knowledge, energy, and a deeper sense of what it means to be human.

Weekly Class Calls on Tuesday | 9-10pm ET
Our 6-week Cultivating Awareness Classes provide teachings on how to cultivate mindfulness and compassion to overcome negativity, remove blockages, and cultivate positive states of mind.

Sign up for Cultivating Awareness


It takes composure to look honestly at one’s self, so you will learn how to meditate. You will also learn self-compassion.

You will learn patience with yourself, which will translate into patience and compassion for others. As a result of all this, you might gain the courage to begin changing your habits and activities, because not only will you have a clear direction, you’ll know why you’re doing what you’re doing, where you are in the spiritual universe, and, consequently, armed with a better, more specific idea of where you’d like to go, you’ll come away with a map—a plan of action that’s suitable to—and harmonizes—your personality, gifts, passions and needs.

How this works

You will be enrolled in a seminar-style class of no more than 8 people and we will meet once per week for a 1-hour phone call on Tuesday nights at 9pm ET every week for 6-weeks.

Through readings, lectures, meditation, journaling and discussion, we’ll go over topics such as What is Enlightenment, The Good Life, What is the Self, The Meaning of Life, and other such content to support the illuminating process of self-inquiry while helping you to sharpen insights about yourself and the world in which you live. All of the calls will be recorded for your review, and you will have access to an online library, full of exceptional content, including meditations and spiritual teachings for further exploration.

Week 1:  
Meditation as a foundation for the good life: What mediation means, how to do it and why it’s important.

Week 2: 
Contemporary life and visions of the good.

Week 3:
Looking at Virtue
What are your values, what are they based on and why are you following them?

Week 4:
Contemplating Integrity 
Will, intellect and emotion: Why living wholly with integrity leads to a happy and meaningful life.

Week 5:
Awareness and Self Compassion: Using meditation to become whole.

Week 6:
Your plan for living a Good Life.

Follow up:
15-minute private consultation


If you sign up now, you’ll immediately be sent two guided meditations to get started, as well as a registration link to schedule a time to meet with me for a short personal call to help you focus and work with this material.

Life changing 

Many people have proclaimed that this class has completely changed their life.

“My life has changed thanks to the monthly four week meditation classes Soken guides and teaches on what it is like to meditate from a pure Zen place with a modern twist. I am a completely different person and continue to grow and learn about myself and the universe and all that is.”

-A.H. San Francisco, CA


“Soken’s contemplative sessions have been life changing and it’s only been two months since I started this journey with him. He is caring, intuitive, insightful and most of all extremely patient. The energy he radiates gives you such a sense of inner calm and peace. I can’t thank him enough and I look forward to growing with him as we continue our sessions.”

-K.P., San Francisco, CA

Don’t fall asleep in a system

So, if you’re ready to take control of your destiny and live from your heart—without giving up your mind—you’re encouraged to enroll.

We hope to see you in class!

Although Soken is a Buddhist Monk, Cultivating Awareness is not affiliated with any religion. This class was created by Soken for people of all faiths and belief systems to support body-mind health and true peace of mind.

Weekly Class Calls on Tuesday | 9-10pm ET
Our 6-week Cultivating Awareness Classes provide teachings on how to cultivate mindfulness and compassion to overcome negativity, remove blockages, and cultivate positive states of mind.

Sign up for Cultivating Awareness

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About Soken

Rev. Soken Paul Graf is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and monastically trained Buddhist priest under Zen Master Seikan Hasegawa. He divides his time between New York City, Kyoto, Japan and the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, where he continues to study with his teacher in a hermitage for Buddhist study and practice. Having started Bodhi Heart Rolfing and Meditation in San Francisco in 2009, he currently works in the city of New York.

Deeply influenced by contemplative practice and years of monastic study, Soken’s treatments support your body’s innate capacity to heal.  Sessions can help to keep you feeling grounded, balanced and at ease while flourishing with simplicity and grace in an increasingly complex world.

The Cultivating Awareness Program was developed in direct response to clients’ questions about maintaining composure amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Clients who experienced the relaxed state of mind, gentle awareness, and sense of flow after a Rolfing session, wanting to carry this experience into their lives, asked Soken to teach a class about how to do so. Soken responded by developing the Cultivating Awareness Program, and upon a further request from those who wished to go deeper, he developed the Contemplative Guidance Program.

Contemplative Guidance and Cultivating Awareness are awareness-based meditation programs born out of the same principle as Rolfing with faith in a fundamental intelligence that only needs to be recognized, nurtured and developed for the body and mind to heal. Because mind and body are profoundly related, by establishing one’s self in the steady awareness that clearly perceives cause-effect relationships, as well as states of gratitude and a spiritual orientation to life, it’s easy to leave the nervous system’s ‘fight-or-flight’ mode behind for more efficient, rewarding, positive states of mind. Both of these programs have developed from Soken’s work as a Rolfer and his extensive training as a Buddhist monk.

Soken obtained his degree as a Certified Rolfer in 2006 at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado. Thereafter, he studied under Dr. Jeffrey Maitland, an internationally recognized Advanced Rolfing Instructor, innovator and author of Mind Body Zen. In 2010, in Vienna and Berlin, Soken attained his degree as a Certified Advanced Rolfer with an emphasis on energy medicine.  He is also the resident monk and founder of the Maha Bodhi Zen Center.

Additionally, Soken is trained in Visceral Manipulation,  Craniosacral Therapy, SourcePoint Therapy®, and holds an advanced certification to practice Cold-Laser Therapy, an FDA approved intervention for cellular health. As an advocate for complimentary medicine, Soken continues to study, work and learn with doctors, healers and scholars in the Eastern and Western medical traditions.

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Contact Us

(917) 231-6712 •

Everyday except Wednesdays • 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM

New York 
80 5th Ave, Suite #906
New York, NY 10011

Please visit us in the city! We no longer offer sessions in Brooklyn.

Yes! We accept all major credit cards. American Express, Visa, Master Card, Discover, etc.

Cancelation Policy

48 hours advance notice of a cancelled or rescheduled appointment is required to ensure that you will not be charged for the appointment. You will be charged the full price of a session for a cancelled or rescheduled appointment with less than 48 hours notice.


We are very sorry, but we are not a preferred provider with any insurance company. Nor do we assist with auto-accident claims. We simply do not have the staff to process the paperwork, e-mails and phone calls that come from insurance companies investigating such claims.

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