2017 Garrison Workshop

Live Wide Open

National East Coast Retreat at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY

September 15 – 17, 2017

“With my feet truly on the ground, my mind becomes clear.”
(A recent workshop participant)

Why settle for a life half lived? The very senses that we take for granted, can be cultivated and deepened, opening wide the door to wholehearted living. Sensory Awareness is mindfulness in action. In this retreat, we explore ordinary activities in stillness and in motion and learn to awaken the sensitivity that is our birthright. Engaging in everyday situations with presence and awareness, we naturally bring fresh life and a deep knowing to our living world and the people in it. 

Join Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild members

Judyth Weaver      Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt      Ray Fowler      Michael Atkinson

and other Sensory Awareness leaders and friends, old and new at the beautiful Garrison Institute, overlooking the Hudson River, in Garrison, NY


Register Now

There is a Potential for Joy in Every Moment

Sensory Awareness student and SAF Board Member Dilrini Ranatunga talks about her experience of the practice at the Sensory Awareness Foundation’s National West Coast Workshop at Vallombrosa Center in Menlo Park CA, in 2016.


Overview of the Sessions

The workshop begins on Friday evening with dinner at 6:00 pm.
Check-in between 3 and 6 pm.

The days will begin with Silent Meditation Sessions led by Michael Atkinson.

Go to the daily schedule


Opening to Our Ground

Doors to freedom open when you learn to appreciate your relationship with the pull of gravity. As you become more responsive to the downward tug of the earth, you’ll learn to rise and stand with steadiness, poise, and dignity, ready to engage with any task from a grounded place.

Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt has studied Sensory Awareness and related practices since 1980. Born in Switzerland, he relocated to the US to assist Charlotte Selver in 1994. Drawing at times from his background in Buddhism and Gestalt Therapy, Stefan offers individual sessions, classes and workshops in the US and Europe. Currently, he is working on an oral history and biography of Charlotte Selver’s life. Stefan is Executive Manager of the Sensory Awareness Foundation.


The Art of Surprise

Unexpected joys dwell within your everyday circumstances. Open your senses wide to realize their subtle beauty. Once you’ve experienced these moments through the lens of Sensory Awareness, you may no longer find the word ‘ordinary’ pertinent to describe your day.

Ray Fowler has been a student of Sensory Awareness for forty-five years.  He studied with Charlotte Selver for thirty-two of those years.  In addition to offering a workshop on Monhegan Island each summer, he has given workshops at the Gestalt Therapy Institute of New York, Johns Hopkins University, Middlesex County College and Ohio University.  Ray is also a Juilliard-trained orchestral conductor (BM and MS) and a forever-surprised father.




Honoring What Comes

The process of ‘Living Wide Open’ broadens as you explore ways to integrate these new-found wonders into your life. Experiment with ways of moving beyond the isolated ‘wow’ experiences toward a fresh relationship with your world.

Judyth O. Weaver began working in Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks in 1968. She leads workshops in Canada, Japan, Mexico and the U.S. She is a somatic psychologist, with an extensive background in Somatic Experiencing, Gestalt, Pre- and Perinatal therapy, Rosen method, and T’ai Chi Ch’uan. For 25 years, Judyth has been deeply involved with the Tibetan Nuns Project, providing support and education to these courageous exiles.  Whatever she is offering, whether working with groups or individuals, adults or babies, Sensory Awareness is always the basis of her work.


Sharing the World

One opening leads to another, and another. Sustained exploration of ordinary objects and movements leads to a deeper appreciation of your own life and fresh insights into the lives of others. What seemed most private and individual opens onto a path to deeper connections with other human beings, across the street and around the world.

Michael Atkinson took his Ph.D. in Phenomenology and for decades has explored the psychology of perception and the construction of meaning, literary and lived. Michael began his study of Sensory Awareness in 1974, is the current President of the Sensory Awareness Leaders’ Guild, and an ordained Buddhist Dharma teacher interested in the relation of Sensing to the psychology of contemplation.



Registration Form

Register online here or contact Sara Gordon at (415) 634 5595.

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Privacy notice: We never share your contact information with anyone.

Directions to the Garrison Institute.


Lodging rates are for the whole weekend and include both housing and meals. Accommodations will be available on a first come first served basis.  Space is limited, so please reserve early.          


Continuing Education: 9 CEs potentially available.

SAF cannot offer CEs to professionals licensed in New York. However, we are approved to offer 9 CEs by the California State Board of Nursing and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Many states recognize these CEs.

Please let us know in advance:

  • If your state accepts these CEs, you are a Nursing or Bodywork professional and you want to receive official CE credit. 
  • You would like a Certificate of Attendance (which some states accept for Behavioral Health professionals as well.)

There is a fee of $25 for this.

Tuition Scholarships:

There are some tuition scholarships available.
Call Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt at (603) 525-7289 to see if you qualify.

Cancellation Policy

Refund minus $50 administrative fee when canceling prior to fourteen days before the workshop. No refund within fourteen days of the event.