A sister, a puppy, and one little thing: how a drive to do things differently led to zazen

As told by co-founder, Janet Parker


Sister act

After my younger sister got a cancer diagnosis on the birth of her 5th child and was sent home with months to live, I became my sister’s advocate. I simply knew there was more that could be done. Using everything I had available, I threw myself into research and discovered the benefits of an alkaline body and how it could boost the immune system. With her strong desire to see her children grow up and that one small thing, I believe this helped my sister to live another 18 years. It was the first step in a seismic shift in my own approach to wellness and purpose, and was the catalyst for me leaving the high-flying tech world in the early 2000’s.

A lab called Murphy Brown

Following a life overhaul, quitting the corporate world and driving from Sydney to Brisbane with little more than my bonsai on the front seat, I became mother to my beautiful Labrador puppy, Murphy Brown. She turned out to be a pivotal part of the zazen story. At just 6 months old, vets advised me to put down my new furry companion after she was diagnosed with inoperable hip dysplasia that was crippling her. Once again considering if there was anything more that could be done, one of my older sisters recommended changing my dog’s water, based on a filtering system from Japan. I tought at the time, “What will water do? Water is just water, isn’t it?”
Murphy Brown
With Brisbane in severe drought at the time and water quality at its lowest, the public discourse took the Western approach of focussing on treating water to make it safe.But no one was talking about what we actually need from water to get its full benefit, as they do in the East. I knew something had to change.
Within a month of drinking this new alkaline mineral water, and changing her diet to a more natural one, Murphy Brown was running around like a puppy again and went on to live happily until she was almost 12.
After witnessing Murphy Brown’s improvement and the sudden increase in wildlife drinking from the dog’s bowl, I saw firsthand there was something life-sustaining about that water, and soon realised that not all water is the same. I started to drink this water myself, aged 42 at the time, and found that my body’s aches and joint pains – resulting from years of international basketball competition and dehydration – started to disappear. Within months, I too started to bounce out of bed without pain or discomfort! 

A big thing becomes a little thing

Coming from a large family with almost 30 nieces and nephews, this hit close to home. We simply could not accept that this would be our legacy. We asked ourselves, “What’s onething we can do to reverse this?” My experiences with my sister, Murphy Brown and myself gave me the answer: good water. Specifically, we were driven to provide water that would be the foundation of overall health and wellbeing to the next generation of children. Water based on the Eastern water philosophy, that is structured with a balanced range of alkaline minerals and electrolytes. Water that enables optimum hydration and provides foundational support of our immune system. So, in 2008, we created zazen Water and structured the business as a social enterprise to spread this foundation of wellness with as many people and children as possible.