Sensory Awareness Foundation



Links to Sensory Awareness Resources: The websites below are rich with information, articles, reflections and photographs. Some have audio files of sensory awareness experiments available for you to download and explore.

A website based in Germany with information about classes in Sensory Awareness in Europe.

A website based in Japan with information about Sensory Awareness workshops and classes in Japan.

Leaders’ websites in English:

Stefan Laeng:
Stefan by Maud small

Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt
has studied Sensory Awareness and related practices since 1980, with Seymour Carter, Ruth Veselko, Ruth Matter, Charles Brooks, and Charlotte Selver, with whom he studied and worked extensively until her death in 2003. He was president and executive manager of the Sensory Awareness Foundation from 1995 through 2007.
Stefan lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He offers workshops in the USA and Europe. Currently he is working on an Oral History and Book Project, documenting Charlotte Selver’s life.

Lee Klinger Lesser:
Veterans PATH

Lee Klinger Lesser
studied Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver for 33 years. She has been leading workshops for 32 years, both in English and in Spanish, in the United States, Mexico and Canada with artists, business people, early childhood educators, health professionals, people in wheel chairs, teenagers in juvenile detention, therapists, Zen students and many others. In 2008, She and co-founder, Chris Fortin started a program for veterans of the Gulf wars. This program, formerly Honoring the Path of the Warrior, is not called Veterans PATH.  PATH stands for Peace, Acceptance, Transformation and Honor.  This comprehensive program provides a safe environment for veterans, many of whom are struggling with severe PTSD. It enables them to rediscover meaning, purpose, and joy in their lives through mindfulness, meditation, and community.

Richard Lowe, MFT:
Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe 
has studied the practice of Sensory Awareness for over thirty-two years.  He has offered workshop for the last thirty-five years in a variety of venues including retreat centers and universities. A past President of the Sensory Awareness Leaders’ Guild, he is also co-editor of Reclaiming Vitality and Presence: Sensory Awareness as a Practice for Life. He maintains a private practice in psychotherapy in San Francisco and offer an on-going Sensory Awareness workshop on Sundays at Fort Mason, San Francisco. (For times see our workshop schedule.) For clients interested in exploring mindfulness and greater bodily awareness Richard offers Sensory Awareness, which can be quite helpful in quieting the mind, developing the capacity for greater inner focusing and in deepening the therapeutic process.

Terry Ray:
Terry Ray

“There are different ways of knowing. Intellectual understanding is factual, measurable, and can be precisely communicated. Knowledge from direct or subjective experience is not measurable. Sense perception is knowledge as experience versus knowledge as information. We can Know hunger, Know digestion, Know what is right for us, Know when someone is telling the truth, and so on, and in this way we come to our own wisdom. As children we lived this way naturally.

Sensing (Sensory Awareness) is the living of a reality that is tangible. We experience our own existence within the envelop of our skin. In our direct perception there can be no authority outside of our own sense doors. If we don’t find out for ourselves, we haven’t really found out. We can be inspired. We can be given tools. We can be pointed in a certain direction. We can practice with others, but we go the way alone.” (from the web site)

Purchase her book on her website.  It is designed as a guide for exploring visual art and sensory awareness.

Robert Smith:


“Blue” © Robert Smith

With an alertness nurtured by inner quiet and informed through years of practice of Sensory Awareness, Robert Smith brings us a special vision of the natural environment. In the process, his extraordinary seeing eye reveals the intimate landscape we usually pass by. “Sensory Awareness” has proven a major and enduring influence in my development as a photographer by opening the world to finer sense perception. It continues to inform my ability to empathize with my natural surroundings. My hope is that these images will be able to communicate my deeply felt connection with nature and share a part of this rich heritage with you.

Judyth O. Weaver:
Photo of Judyth
“My therapeutic techniques draw from over 40 years of meditative practice and study of t’ai chi ch’uan, qi gong,  and sensory awareness, as well as biodynamic craniosacral therapy, Reichian therapy, Rosen method, and pre- and perinatal therapy. I was professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies for over 25 years and am co-founder of the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and and creator and founding chair of its Ph.D. Program in Somatic Psychology. I began my studies with Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks in 1968, returning to the US after 3 years, most of that time having been spent in a zen monastery in Japan. The work of sensory awareness informs everything I do and I very much enjoy sharing with others this deep, simple way of living.”

Leaders’ Webseiten auf Deutsch:

Elizabeth Lenzen:
Elisabeth Lenzen is Heilpraktikerin für Psychotherapie & Körperpsychotherapie, Diplom Sportlehrerin für Rehabilitation u. Behindertensport, Gestalt & Integrative Psychotherapie(FPI®), Integrative Leib- und Bewegungstherapie (FPI®),
Systemische Therapie mit der Inneren Familie(IFS®), Sensory Awareness® Leaderin & SAFE® – Mentorin.
Besonderer Dank gilt Seymour Carter (Gestalt & Sensory Awareness – Lehrer, gest.2012, ua. Schüler bei Ch. Selver, F. Perls), meinem langjährigen Lehrer, Supervisor und zuletzt auch Freund. Sie bietet Tages- und Abendkurse in Deutschland.

Leonore Quest und Thomas Niering:
Der bewegungsraum am lietzensee ist ein ort der konzentration und der entfaltung neuer bewegungsmöglichkeiten.

leonore quest, thomas niering und elisabeth kann, bieten einzelstunden in körper –und bewegungstherapie gruppenstunden und wochenendkurse an. elisabeth kann arbeitet zusätzlich als physiotherapeutin, sie und thomas niering geben massagen.

grundlagen der körper-und bewegungsarbeit sind die goralewski-arbeit, benannt nach frieda goralewski, sowie sensory awareness-erleben durch die sinne, wie charlotte selver ihr eigenes lebenswerk bezeichnet hat. sie und frieda goralewski waren schülerinnen der im letzten jahrhundert hochgeschätzten berliner körpertherapeutin elsa gindler.” (from the web site)

Wege der Enfaltung, e.v.:
Der Verein “Wege der Entfaltung” ist eine gemeinnützige Organisation, die dem Lebenswerk von Elsa Gindler, Heinrich Jacoby, Elfriede Hengstenberg, Charlotte Selver und Emmi Pikler verbunden ist. Ihr Anliegen ist es, die Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse dieser wegweisenden Pädagogen in der Erziehung von Kindern und Jugendlichen wie auch in der Arbeit mit Erwachsenen umzusetzen und zu vertiefen.

Arbeitskreis heinrich jacoby / elsa gindler, Switzerland

A beautiful resource for information on Gindler/Jacoby work and Sensory Awareness in German. “Eine Interessengemeinschaft für alle, die an der Jacoby/Gindler-Arbeit interessiert sind; eine Dachorganisation für alle, die aktiv in der Arbeit stehen; ein Forum für Austausch, Diskussion und Information sowie Aktualisierung und zeitgemässe Vermittlung der Arbeit.” (from their web site)

Heinrich-Jacoby/Elsa-Gindler – Stiftung, Germany
Die gemeinnützige Heinrich-Jacoby/Elsa-Gindler- Stiftung wurde 1985 von Sophie Ludwig gegründet. Sie dient dem Zweck, die Nachlässe von Heinrich Jacoby, Elsa Gindler und ihrer langjährigen Mitarbeiterin Sophie Ludwig zu verwalten, Dokumente und Ergebnisse ihrer Arbeit der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich zu machen und die praktische wie wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit ihr zu fördern.

Sitios web líderes en español:

Marcela Avila Guirette:
Photo of Marcela
Maricela Avial Guirette es un líder en la conciencia sensorial, certificado por Charlotte Selver. Se formó en la práctica y la enseñanza de cursos de conciencia sensorial durante 10 años que estudian en México (Barra de Navidad) y los EE.UU. (San Francisco Zen Center, verde Gulch). Ella también completó un entrenamiento de 4 años en la Escuela Humanista de Erich Fromm. Ha presentado talleres de conciencia sensorial a las corporaciones, retiros, para el grupo y las sesiones indvidual.

Miren Salmerón Murguiondo:
Miren Salmerón Murguiondo obtuvo un título: Diplomada en fisioterapia nº col. 148 .  Ella esta una Osteópata D.O., MROE nº 48, con más de 17 años de experiencia en consulta propia como osteópata y en el campo de la osteopatía pediátrica y obstétrica.  Miren también completo estudios de Psicoterapia Corporal en Biosíntesis.  Es miembro de la Alianza de Líderes de Consciencia Sensorial.  Ella es miembro de la Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild. Discípula directa de Lee Klinger Lesser.

UCSB Library, Department of Special Collections
The Department of Special Collections collects, maintains and makes accessible rare, valuable and unique materials which support UCSB students, faculty and research programs, as well as the local national and international scholarly community. Charlotte Selver’s papers, as well as SAF archival material, are part of their Humanistic Psychology Archives.

International Emmi Pikler Foundation:
The International Emmi Pikler Foundation at Lóczy is guided by the mission of founder Dr. Emmi Pikler to offer aid in raising healthy, happy children. Established in 1946, this agency, with worldwide recognition, is dedicated to empowering children and families through outreach programs that serve the child, parent and caregiver. The Pikler objectives recognize the need to offer an environment where children are respected and nurtured to become emotionally, socially, and mature individuals, able to adjust to the needs of others and the real and comprehensible needs of society. To see a video of her work click here.

Resources for Infant Educarers:
RIE is a non-profit organization that has developed and is teaching a unique philosophy and methodology in working with infants. The RIE approach helps raise authentic infants who are: competent, confident, curious, attentive, exploring, cooperative, secure, peaceful, focused, self-initiating, resourceful, involved, cheerful, aware, interested and inner-directed.” (from the RIE web site). The connection with Sensory Awareness is through Magda Gerber’s mentor Emmi Pikler, a pediatrician from Budapest, whose collaboration with Charlotte Selver’s colleague Elfriede Hengstenberg informed her work with children.

Mit Kinder Wachsen:
A web site in German with information about ‘working’ with children, based – among others – on the work of Gindler student Elfriede Hengstenberg. “Der Kern und die Achse unseres Ansatzes ist die Überzeugung, daß Kinder ihr volles Potential in sich tragen. Damit sich dieses Potential verwirklichen kann, brauchen sie eine auf ihre jeweiligen Entwicklungsbedürfnisse abgestimmte vorbereitete Umgebung, in der sie weitestgehend ihren selbst gewählten Aktivitäten nachgehen können. So lernen sie aus eigener Erfahrung reale Lebenssituationen einzuschätzen, Initiative zu entwickeln, Entscheidungen zu treffen und Verantwortung für ihr Handeln zu tragen.” (from their web site)

Wege der Entfaltung, e.V. , Germany:
(Siehe oben)  (See above)

Other Resources

Erich Fromm on-line
Erich Fromm (1900-1980) is seen by many as being one of the most outstanding figures of 20th century humanism. Unlike many other German-born social scientists and philosophers, Fromm’s reception and influence have been wide-spread, as have been his books which were translated into every major language and found a readership of many millions.” (from their web site) “I know Charlotte Selver’s work, having studied with her for several years. I have found it of greatest help for myself. I consider the principles on which this work is based of great significance for the full unfolding of the personality.” Erich Fromm

Everyday Zen:
The Everyday Zen Foundation’s mission is to share the Zen attitude, spirit, and practice with the world. It is dedicated to listening to the world, to changing it and being changed by it. Everyday Zen’s work involves many areas: traditional zen practice (talks, retreats, personal relationship); work with Jewish and Christian meditation, with the dying, with lawyers and conflict resolvers, with business, with poetry and literature. This work is accomplished through Zen teacher and poet Norman Fischer’s teaching and writing and traveling, as well as through the activities of the many supporters and practitioners of Everyday Zen, all of whom are engaging with spiritual practice in the world.

Institute of General Semantics:
“Since its founding in 1938, the IGS has promoted and taught Alfred Korzybski’s non-Aristotelian system, general semantics. The formulations of the system give us tools which enable us to improve our evaluations so that they more closely correspond to “what is going on”. Improved evaluating leads to improvements in most areas of human life.” (from the IGS web site).

Charlotte Selver offered workshops at IGS in the fifties after Charlotte Schuchardt Read, long time secretary of Alfred Korzybski, started to study with her. Charlotte Schuchardt Read incorporated the insights of Sensory Awareness into General Semantics seminars, leading students toward experience of Korzybski’s “silent level” through nonverbal sensing.

Don Hanlon Johnson:
Don Hanlon Johnson
Don Hanlon Johnson has spent nearly half a century studying how transformative body practices can enhance personal and social change, and how they can impair it. He came to these practices out of a study of philosophy, which luminously articulates the disastrous social and personal results of the mind/body split enbedded in mainstream thinking and institution-building. Don has tried to find methods for healing these splits in the academic world of writing, pedagogy, and research; in the personal realm of self-cultivation; and in the larger world of social change. At the deepest level, he looks to these practices as a source of a spirituality grounded in the flesh of human yearning. His work is centered as a professor in the Somatics Graduate Program, which he founded in 1983, located at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Don has written many books: Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities, Bone, Breath and Gesture & Groundworks: Narratives of Embodiment,  to name a few.

The Lifwynn Foundation:
“The Lifwynn Foundation is a small group of people dedicated to exploring the pathology and the promise of the human situation. This pathology fragments our lives and separates us from ourselves, from others, and from the needs of the planet. The purpose of The Lifwynn Foundation is to investigate the causes of this world-wide human predicament. At present, society is riddled with violence, addiction of all sorts, ethnic conflict, environmental degradation, inequality of distribution, etc. Our work addresses these problems. It is aimed at furthering human transformation and social healing.” (from the LF web site) Mary Alice Roche, Sensory Awareness leader, and founder of the SAF, is an active member of the Lifwynn Foundation.

San Francisco Zen Center
“The San Francisco Zen Center was established in 1962 by the late Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi. Today, Zen Center is one of the largest Buddhist sanghas outside of Asia, home to a diverse and growing community of priests, lay people, teachers and students. In addition to Beginner’s Mind Temple in San Francisco, Zen Center operates Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the first Zen training monastery in the West. We are dedicated to continuing Suzuki-Roshi’s style of practice, which flows from the insight that all beings are Buddha, and that the practice of sitting in meditation is itself the realization of Buddha nature, or enlightenment.” (from the Zen Center’s website) Since its beginnings Charlotte Selver was closely connected with San Francisco Zen Center and for many years offered workshops at Green Gulch Farm. “The work of Charlotte Selver… is the inner experience of entire being, the pure flow of sensory awareness when the mind through calmness ceases to work – deeper than mind-made awareness. What is this “entire being?” If you want to say something about it, you should know how to be it.” Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Alan Watts
“An interactive experience of the story and life work of Alan Watts.” Charlotte Selver met Alan Watts in 1953. Together they offered many workshops throughout the fifties and sixties. “Charlotte Selver conveys the actual sensation of some of the things which I try to express in mere words – and above all, the organic relationship of man with the whole world of nature.” Alan W. Watts