Looking Ahead: Big changes and announcements for 2017
Looking Behind: A lot to be proud of in 2016!
In this Newsletter:
Transitions: Big changes coming in 2017.
Date changes for our national workshops in 2017:
West Coast Workshop at Mt. Madonna in California:
April 21 – 23, 2017*
East Coast Workshop at the Garrison Institute, New York:
September 15 – 17, 2017*
*These changes were unavoidable and beyond our control.
Please note them and put us on your schedule for 2017.
Your deposits are fully refundable if these dates no longer work for you.
I became the Executive Director of the Sensory Awareness Foundation in January 2015. It has been an amazing two years!
A few accomplishments:
A national workshop on the east and west coasts two years in a row, with plans for 2017.
A new & expanded website, with many free resources for anyone interested in Sensory Awareness.
The Sensing Sundays program is in its second year. The program offers a series of live Sensing experiments through conference calls. People from Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Yukon have participated.
We continue to offer scholarships for our national workshops to those in need.
There are now two new videos about Sensory Awareness which eloquently capture this work in imagery and words. More are planned for the future. Many thanks to Michael Atkinson and Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt for creating these.
This has been a big collaboration. Those of you who have contributed with money, time and your sincere presence and support are at the heart of this effort to bring Sensory Awareness to a wider audience.
I am very proud of our Deputy Director, Sara Gordon and the members of the SAF board: Michael Atkinson, Sara Bragin, Ray Fowler and Eugene Tashima. Their ideas, generosity and dedication have made our progress possible. I also want to thank Len Shemin and Carol Buck who were board members through 2015. We have really worked hard together.
The SAF is so grateful for our strong alliance with the Sensory Awareness Leaders’ Guild (SALG), largely due to Micheal Atkinson and Pat Meyer Peterson, (respectively the president and vice president of the SALG).
In particular, without Michael Atkinson’s tireless work and vision there would be no annual East Coast workshop nor would there be an extensive section of resources for leaders on our website.
However, at this point in my life, I am in a very different place. I need to slow down and have more time for reflection, more time to pursue other goals and interests.
I will be resigning as Executive Director of the Sensory Awareness Foundation on December 31, 2016. I feel good that I will be leaving a stronger infrastructure for the next ED to build upon. I have met some very interesting and wonderful people and have had many experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
As I contemplated stepping down, the Board and I wanted to pass the torch on to someone we could all trust and respect. So we were very happy to find that
Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt was available, interested and even excited about being our new Executive Director.
Who could be better?
Stefan is such a highly respected leader who has captured the history of Sensory Awareness through the one hundred-plus interviews he has collected over the years and the extensive research he has done as part of his work on a biography of Charlotte Selver.
His writing and leading shows a deep understanding of Sensory Awareness that is grounded in training and experience in Gestalt Therapy as well as his many years as a Buddhist practitioner. He has many long-standing connections to leaders in Europe and he is fluent in German.
Stefan has also been our official photographer. Most of the photos you see in our newsletters and on the website were taken by him. He has a broad range of skills and a familiarity with software programs that we use for communications, like this newsletter, for example.
For twelve years through 2007, Stefan was the Executive Director of the SAF. He knows this role well and has proven his value, reliability and integrity in the past.
In short, we could not be more delighted. Stefan and I will work together in December and I will continue to be available to assist him as he gets used to the new demands of this job as it stands in 2017.
Look for a newsletter from him soon, describing his vision for our future.
is also leaving the SAF board on December 31.
Eugene has been a committed board member since 2004! He feels that it is time to step aside and let some new members offer their insights and skills to the board. We will miss his gentle spirit, quiet strength and unwavering support.
For many years he has offered sitting meditation in the mornings at our workshops. His approach is unique and infused with his long practice of meditation, Tai Chi and Sensory Awareness. Many comment that it has changed their meditation practice forever. He is a gifted Sensory Awareness leader with many years of experience. We wish him all the best in the future and hope to see him at our workshops with his gracious wife and long-time Sensing practitioner, Helen Tashima.
Enric Bruguera has moved off of our board, but is still an advisor and volunteer on special projects related to Sensory Awareness in Europe, which he felt was a better fit for him and his busy schedule.
More change: There are now three new members on the SAF board!
Beate Heckner (California)
Ruth Kerr (Canada)
Dil Ranatunga (California)
It takes a special kind of person to volunteer for our board. Each of our new board members has demonstrated a sincere and strong commitment to this work over the past several years. They bring many skills with them that will help us to move into the future.
2017 promises to be a year of positive change, growth and exciting possibilities.
Please join us in welcoming these three new board members and our new Executive Director to the Sensory Awareness Foundation.
And please offer your gratitude to Eugene Tashima for his many years of service.
As for me, I have been honored to serve this life-changing work for the past two years and I hope to see you at one of our workshops in the future!
In deepest gratitude,
Our 2016 East Coast workshop at the Garrison Institute
Off the Cushion and Into Your Life, the SAF East Coast workshop in October, was at the Garrison Institute in New York. It was a wonderful gathering.
Moments, both deeply quiet and joyously raucous. Just like life.
Sensory Awareness focuses on the cultivation of an ever deepening awareness of our sensory experience as a gateway into ourselves and simultaneously into deeper connection with others and the world around us. This depth of connection is our birthright and anchors us in a more responsive and compassionate way of being.