Summer 2015 Newsletter
|East Coast Workshop
Six leaders, two from Europe and four from the United States will each lead the whole workshop community, one session at a time. There will be time to savor the natural beauty of the this area, to find quiet places within and around you, to connect with others--perhaps some old friends or new. A time to refresh, revitalize and deepen your capacity for living.
This international gathering will be an opportunity to rekindle connections between many students and friends from the days when Charlotte Selver was teaching on the East Coast. Formerly a monastery, The Garrison Institute now hosts seminars, retreats, workshops and programs throughout the year. It is located about an hour north of New York City by car or train. Right on the Hudson river, it should be in full Fall foliage in early October.
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Annual West Coast workshop at Vallombrosa Retreat Center, May 1 - 3, 2015
in Menlo Park, California
A lot has happened since the last newsletter in April, 2015. The West coast workshop in May was well attended and dynamic. There were many returning participants as well as some newcomers--a very diverse and interesting gathering.
Overall the focus this year was on nurturing awareness in daily life--bringing the practice home.
"I felt more than once the presence of the sacredness of life and this made me
aware that I have abandoned that part of myself. I now feel aware that I can
invite the sacred into ordinary everyday experience."
The workshop was greatly enriched by the participation of seven veterans, six from the program:
Honoring the Path of the Warrior (HPW)
all attending on scholarships from the Sensory Awareness Foundation. Providing scholarships to our workshops is one way that your donations help us to offer a rich Sensory Awareness experience to those who might not otherwise be able to attend.
To learn more about HPW, visit their website here.
During an evening presentation on HPW at Vallombrosa, it was particularly moving when four of the attending veterans spoke of the changes in their lives since their introduction to Sensory Awareness and HPW. For those experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the capacity to bring awareness back to the present moment can provide a refuge and anchor during some very hard times.
One veteran expressed her gratitude this way:
"Thank you for having this workshop. I am leaving with more freedom and less anxiety."
Another person stated that the veterans' participation was very moving and deepened her experience of the workshop as a whole.
"Learning about the Vets was very meaningful. It opened my mind to their needs and put a personal face on it." --Participant
Your membership and financial support of the Sensory Awareness Foundation not only expands your own quality of living but opens the door to so many others who might otherwise still be thirsting for it.
Coming to Quiet Receiving: Elisha Moody in a workshop led by Jill Harris
Helen Tashima and Aaron Tozier
Participants exploring how they might integrate what they have experienced at the workshop into their daily lives. (Facing: Marsha Woll, Patricia Baxter and Ray Fowler.)
Also attending as a guest of the SAF was William Collinge, Director of Collinge Associates, an independent research and consulting organization that develops programs like
--a resource for veterans and their partners for
"connecting to yourself, connecting with quiet and connecting with your partner"
Click to find out more.
To learn about their other innovative programs, such as "Touch, Caring and Cancer":
The SAF is interested in connecting more to other organizations and programs who share our values. We can learn from each other.
Eight sessions were offered, two at a time, with more time built in for attendees to rest and absorb their experiences. Nearly everyone filled out evaluations which were overwhelmingly positive.
Some words attendees used to describe the weekend were:
"Playful but profound...very fresh, colorful and joyous...a general air of kindness...stimulating and relevant to living...restful and truly quiet...awakening again and again throughout the weekend."
|Richard Lowe leading a class outside at the Vallombrosa Retreat Center.
Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild meeting
Eighteen members of the Leaders Guild met for three days before the West Coast workshop to share in discussions about their work, the joys and challenges of offering sensory awareness in different communities and how to expand Sensory Awareness globally. Much of the meeting was dedicated to experiential work where leaders took turns offering sensing experiments to rest of the group. It was a warm and very productive gathering.
A new program of the Sensory Awareness Foundation
The first series of six sessions of Sensing Sundays will finish up on Sunday, August 23, noon to 1:30. Thanks to Sara Bragin, Enric Bruguera, Stefan Laeng Gilliatt and Frances Khanna for offering to lead the participants in these 6 conference calls, following up on-line to connect with everyone in between calls.
"Thank you" to the ten people who signed up for the first series, each one offering so much insight and openness in their sharing and participation. Some are long time students of Sensory Awareness, others are relatively new to it. All, including the leaders, report that they are connecting more to the wonder of being alive, whether they are in a beautiful natural area, in the most familiar of rooms, on the busiest of streets, coping with some chronic or acute pain or emotional distress, or playing with their grandchildren.
The next series begins on September 13, 2015 at noon, Pacific Daylight Time.
There will be five sessions in this series:
September 13 & 27
November 8 & 22
Noon to 1:30pm PDT.
Aside from the conference call, there are discussions and sharing on-line as well as e-mail contact with the leader between sessions. Audio file downloads of the calls are sent out to all participants, so if you miss a session, you don't miss a call.
Offering Sensing experiments to groups through conference calls allows us to deepen in this practice between workshops and across great distances. This first series gathered together people from Arizona, Australia, California, Canada, New York, Seattle and Spain. Some leaders have been offering Sensing through conference calls for several years as does the Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild.
The only prerequisite you need to participate in Sensing Sundays is some basic experience with Sensory Awareness, for example--one workshop or one session with an authorized leader.
Sign up for the next series: 5 Sessions for only $65: Call Sara Gordon at the Foundation: 415-507-0996.
A New Website for the Sensory Awareness Foundation
Out website is really a learning center, with many resources for those interested in this work as well as a place for leaders to post their workshops and to come together for discussions.
The SAF is gradually adding more audio files of sensing experiments, for those who want guided practice, even though there may not be a Sensory Awareness leader in their area.
We hope you will find the design to be more enticing and experience greater ease of navigation. The new website will have some new features. To name just a few:
- A Blog: Leaders and others will provide the articles, interviews, discussions and audio files for this feature.
- Google Translate will be on each page so that readers can choose to read the materials in their native language. English, German, Japanese and Spanish are available. This is not a perfect translation like the painstaking work of skilled translator, but it will offer an intelligible version of what is on the page. We hope this will also encourage leaders who are not English speakers to share their writings and thoughts in their native language.
- Audio files of Charlotte Selver leading experiments, formerly only on CDs, will be available in downloadable MP3s. We are working on having the transcripts also available in a downloadable version.
We'll notify you when the new website launches and we look forward to your feedback.
Your donations help us to offer scholarships, build the website and maintain it, and to support leaders who are offering this work to veterans, educators in the schools and elsewhere.
I hope to see you at the Garrison Institute in October!
Until then, may you be nourished by the moments of your life.
Thank you so much for your support. If you haven't already become a member of the Sensory Awareness Foundation, please visit us at:
Thank you for you continued support!