Berkeley 2019

National West Coast Workshop

at Berkeley Shambhala Center, 2288 Fulton Street Ste 202

In a world that may seem unstable on a large scale and filled with distractions close up, what could be more important than finding our own ground — a ground we trust and can act from, strengthening our integrity rather than feeling it undermined. 

When the senses attune to the dependable tug of gravity, when we wake up to the support that the earth offers, we learn to find our own dynamic balance with increasing confidence. Ordinary actions, like lifting a glass of water or shaking hands, become opportunities to regain trust in our own experience and response-ability. In the immediacy and intimacy of the moment fully met, preoccupations can fall away, and we step into new situations and relationships with a renewed sense of ease.

A weekend workshop with Sensory Awareness Leaders Lee Klinger Lesser, Richard Lowe, Connie Smith Siegel, Len Shemin, Jill Harris, Eugene Tashima, Sara Bragin, and Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild president  Enric Bruguera from Palafrugell, Spain.

And, hopefully, you!

Scroll down to register.

Session Themes and Leaders

Berkeley 2019 schedule

Knocking at the Door of Our Senses
When we arrive in the now, we let our senses open gently to perceive what is in us and what surrounds us. Without pushing, without doing, without knowing, we allow the most extraordinary and the most natural thing to happen: connecting with life as it shows up in the moment. 
Enric Bruguera: A professional photographer as well as a Leader of Sensory Awareness, Enric was first drawn to sensing by his observation of body language, and the subtle insights to which it led.  He began studying Sensory Awareness a quarter century ago and found it opened a new way of living for himself and his students.  He is director of The Center for Bodily Learning (Centre de Pedagogia Corporal) in the Catalonia region of Spain and teaches workshops in Europe, South America, Mexico, and India. Enric is president of the Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild.

Sensing and Creative Expression
Drawing and the expressive use of color are gifts we all possess. When not hindered, they flow naturally from our sensations of being alive. Through a conscious connection with what we see and touch, our inner world is expanded as we discover our personal forms and unique points of view.
Connie Smith Siegel MFA  is an exhibiting landscape artist who has taught drawing and painting at the University of Colorado, University of California and JFK University. She has written three books called Spirit of Drawing, and Spirit of Color, which combine drawing, color, and Sensory Awareness, as well as The Healing Spirit of Drawing & Color, which uses creative expression to address life issues.

Treasuring the Gift of Daily Life
Everyday life offers—sometimes imposes—many different possibilities of interaction: Do we react or do we respond? Are we going through the motions of something, or are we in touch with it? How can we reclaim the quality of being in the process of doing? Direct experience will give us clues.
Jill Harris MA co-led numerous workshops with Charlotte Selver in Sensory Awareness between1980 to 2000 and has offered classes in this work in the Bay Area for many years. Jill was one of the earliest members of the Esalen Massage Crew who developed Esalen style massage that was deeply influenced by Sensory Awareness.

Embracing This Living Moment
Are we actually present in our daily living? Does our inner narrative, that constant stream of commentary throughout the day, impact our aliveness and sense of well-being? Is it possible for us to be more available to meet whatever is occurring in the present moment? These questions will be explored through simple experiments, sometimes playful, sometimes quietly mindful, opening up the potential for discovering deeper connection and a greater sense of ease.
Len Shemin had his first taste of Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks at Esalen Institute in 1969. His love of travel led to a successful import business for many years with his wife, Anna. He has always had a passion for exploring the nature of consciousness, a journey that has taken him from Krishnamurti to Tai Chi to Vipassana meditation. More recently he has been involved in non-dual teachings that have enriched and continued to deepen his explorations of Sensory Awareness.

Down to Earth: Opening to Our Nature
Waking up our sensory perception has many benefits, one of which is deepening our felt connection with the earth. In this session, we’ll explore how gravity, breath, movement and more are inviting us to settle down and become more grounded in the here-and-now.
Richard Lowe LMFT is a practicing psychotherapist and Sensory Awareness leader in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served as the first President of the Sensory Awareness Leaders’ Guild, co-edited Reclaiming Vitality and Presence: Sensory Awareness as a Practice for Life, and is the SAF’s former Executive Director. Additional related studies include Breath Awareness Therapy with Magda Proskauer and graduate training in Dance/Movement Therapy.

Thriving in Uncertainty
We can rely on and count on uncertainty. It is a fundamental truth of our lives. Our sensations are trustworthy allies that invite us to be present and to show up for the request and opportunity of each moment. This is how we thrive in uncertainty, meeting what is there and responding to what is needed, one moment at a time. It is a simple and life-changing practice.
Lee Klinger Lesser MA has been leading workshops in Sensory Awareness for over 30 years. She led workshops together with Charlotte Selver, founder of Sensory Awareness in the United States. Lee began studying Zen in 1978 and appreciates the deep interconnectedness of these practices. She co-founded Veterans PATH (formerly Honoring the Path of the Warrior), offering mindfulness retreats for returning veterans.

Experiencing Deep Stability
Sitting in meditation is cultivating a wakeful attitude of equanimity toward whatever life presents. Eugene guides us toward an unflinching presence by inviting us to be a living, breathing, responsive being, rather than freezing in the perfect position.
Eugene Tashima is a mathematician by training, who studied with Charlotte Selver for decades.  An instructor of Tai Chi, Eugene also teaches meditation and is a student of Sakyong Mipham  Rinpoche.  He is particularly interested in offering Sensory Awareness to underserved populations, such as prisons and high schools, where this work can make a striking difference. 

Eating With Our Senses Wide Open
Pausing, we let ourselves be filled with the crunch of a carrot; the purple of a beet; the smell of a soup simmering; the burn of pepper on our tongue. We may be struck with how our teeth and lips and the magic of saliva are all working in concert to keep us alive; how many people have made this meal possible? No matter how separate we may feel when we begin, bringing the practice of Sensory Awareness to the table can help us discover what we’re truly hungry for.
Sara Bragin attended her first Sensory Awareness class in 1991 led by Charlotte Selver. Since then she has been an enthusiastic student of the work and is delighted now to have the chance to lead classes herself. Sara has been a P.T., an ad writer, an interviewer, a psychotherapist and is now writing and performing her work. Her memoir, The Living In Her Dying was published in March.


We are pricing the workshop as low as we can to make it affordable to a diverse group of people.

The regular fee is $180 ($155 for SAF members).

Student special: $125 (contact

No one turned away for lack of funds. Please inquire with us at  

This is a non-residential retreat,
beginning on Saturday morning, April 13, at 10 am
and ending on Sunday, April 14, at 5 pm.

Berkeley 2019 schedule

If you need inexpensive accommodations, you might want to look into making a reservation at the Berkeley Y. It’s within walking distance of Shambhala Berkeley. 

Register Online Now

Contact us at with any questions you might have at or (415) 634 5595.


Please arrive between 9:30 and 10:00 am on Saturday.
On Saturday, the workshop begins at 10 am and ends at about 9 pm.
On Sunday, the workshop begins at 9:30 am and ends at 5:00 pm.

Cancellation Policy

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