In 1993 I traveled to Esalen along the Big Sur coast of California to attend my first workshop with Ron Kurtz. My friends and colleagues with whom I was traveling had all heard about Hakomi and we were interested in spending time with the creator. We were particularly intrigued by the name of the new workshop he was offering: “Loving Presence.” The workshop turned out to be life altering. Ron was just beginning to reframe the way he was teaching the Hakomi Method and Loving Presence was clearly included it’s fundamental practices.
At this same workshop I met a young man who had just returned from a time in residence at Green Gulch Farm, the rural practice center of the San Francisco Zen Center. He had been part of the Fall Practice Period at Green Gulch and had gotten a lot from it. I was not only new to Ron’s work, I was new to Zen. I asked, “What is a Practice Period?” From that question and his generous response my life’s direction shifted.
These two simultaneous and serendipitous events led to my signing up for a three-year training in Hakomi that Ron announced at this workshop at Esalen. He called this special residential training sequence to be held in a forest retreat center in Oregon, “Psychotherapy as Spiritual Practice.” Over the following three years I began training with Ron and also began training as a student with my Zen teacher Zenkei Blanche Hartman at Zen Center. These two threads, Hakomi and Zen, began weaving together that December to form the key ways I teach and work with people today.
Earlier this year I was invited to participate in the Hakomi Global Summit, an online conference featuring some of the best teachers of the Hakomi Method. I recorded the interview a few months ago with Manuela Mischke-Reeds, a wonderful Hakomi trainer and Buddhist practitioner herself. You can find the interview by following the link below. I hope you find it useful.
P.S. During my original three year training in the early ’90’s I met a woman who was on the training team for the very first time. Her name was Donna Martin. Over the past 20 years she has become a tremendous influence in my life, a wonderful teaching partner, and a best friend. I am so blessed to have her in my life and to able to co-lead Hakomi events around the world with a woman I believe Ron thought of as his closest student and most talented successor (my opinion!). She is also featured in the Global Summit and we are shown here at Hui Ho’olana where we teach in Hawaii.