Sensory Awareness does not have a ‘goal’ of relaxing or any ideal of what to make out of the human body but of simply being more fully there for what we are actually meeting and experiencing in any given moment.
During a session the facilitator guides through simple sensory experiments to help become more deeply attuned and responsive to the felt sensations and dynamics of gravity, breathing, balance, energy, movement, and more.
Through a progressive awareness-expanding process, habitual thoughts and tensions recede into the background as our senses revive and we come to experience life more fully and clearly in the moment.
A sense of deeper connection to ourselves and to the world around us emerges naturally. To experience ourselves as part of a living world feels to many of us like “coming home” and with it our capacity grows to embody greater ease, presence and authenticity in everyday life.
Sensory Awareness can bridge the gap, which is often experienced between the turning inside during formal meditation practice and the innumerable encounters in daily life and even within a retreat between the mindfulness during sittings and the relapse into automatic pilot behavior during transitions into other positions and to ordinary activities like eating, cleaning, resting.
This down-to-earth way to revive greater aliveness and presence has been developed in Europe by Elsa Gindler over many years during the first half of the last century. During Nazi Germany Elsa Gindler stressed that the question how to come to rest in presence is not an escape from the world but necessary condition to become awake and to respond out of real understanding.
This non dogmatic way has been brought to the U.S. by Charlotte Selver, who became a catalyst for the formation of the Human Potential Movement. Many people were drawn to this work offered by Charlotte under the name “Sensory Awareness” and influenced by it including Erich Fromm, Frits Perls, Alan Watts, Shunryu Suzuki and Ruth Denison.
Since then it has continued to touch many people as an authentic invitation to become fully present and responsive for the wonder of being alive.