Connect and be connected...
Feel and be felt...
Listen and be listened to...
Trust and surrender...
Relax and let go...
Be aware yet still...
Be calm yet energized...
Know and be known...
...an exploration of communication, through movement, body contact, sensitivity and awareness...an attentive mind and a listening touch...
What is Knowing Touch?
Knowing Touch is about developing the capability to Listen, See, Sense and Know a person by the information streaming through the physical contact, communicating without speaking, literally reaching out with our hands, while our mind, our intention and our intuition are ready to receive the information we need. Knowing Touch is precisely that which enables us to know what to give and how to react in a given moment.
It is the art of connecting with a pure, focused, wholesome and well-meaning intention. We develop a physical touch that is highly sensitive and aware, firm yet gentle, emanating kindness and compassion. A touch that listens and therefore knows through an intuitive sense that transcends the limitations of the five senses and the spoken word, and results in an effective treatment.
Beyond the physical...
This course brings awareness to personal attitudes, convictions and states of mind, which are expressed non-verbally, in subtle forms such as body language, movement in space, facial expressions, group dynamic and interaction.
We also learn how to consciously create a space that is safe, supportive, nurturing and emotionally comfortable that will lead to a harmonious interaction with the other person/s, be it a patient, a client, a student, a co-worker, a partner, a friend, a family member, a new acquaintance. In such an environment people can relax and stay open to each others' thoughts, emotions, words and actions.
Knowing Touch - for who?
This course is suitable for...
... therapists - facilitators - bodyworkers - massage therapists - hands-on and hands-off healers - counselors and advisers - managers - teachers - instructors ...
...and any person who wishes to better understand, communicate, connect and flow harmoniously with themselves and others.
Knowing Touch is a preliminary for any Zen Shiatsu Course level (or other healing and therapeutic methods), as it deals with the most elementary concepts of body and energy work:
- the physical approach and mental attitude in a therapeutic and healing environment
- how to prepare oneself before giving a treatment to be energized, focused and open.
With this preliminary preparation, any therapeutic method is not only technically correct from the professional aspect, but it is also an effective, nurturing and holistic experience from the receiver's perspective.
After learning Knowing Touch, one can apply it to any form of bodywork or healing, physical or energy-based. It is the one step before the practical and theoretical knowledge of movements, sequences, positions, points, theory, etc.
In the course we will...
- explore our own inner world of communication and expression and how we reach out to the world around us.
- observe how we can "listen" to what others are saying, beyond the limitations of words and speech, using body language and movement.
- experience what it feels like to "listen with our hands" and "know" the inner world of the other.
- experiment with topics such as trusting and connecting, surrendering and 'letting go', leading and following, giving and receiving, generating empathy and compassion, being in unity and flow.
- learn how to enhance our intuition and "listen" to the body through a sensitive and gentle touch.
- approach the healing process through the experience of a heightened sense of awareness, feeling and "knowing" intuitively what is needed in the present moment.
- practice on our own, in partners and as a group, sharing and exchanging our experiences.
- concentrate our minds with the simple and effective practice of meditation.
- ground and energize our body with a daily practice of Qi Gong.
- Learn and apply essential skills for approaching another person, a situation, or even our mental and emotional processes with a balanced, focused, attentive, open and intuitive attitude.
- See beyond the traps of words, prejudices, preconceptions and biases. We practice being open-minded, to "know" from a place of true awareness and compassion, to guide or follow as necessary with total listening attention.
- Be 'available' for another person, in such a way that we can observe, react and give in the best possible way. We learn how to ground ourselves, to focus and center our minds, to direct our attention and awareness, to reach a place of inner calm and non-judgment.
- Apply intuition and know what is needed in a given place and moment, regardless of the specific personal dynamic.
- Develop a touch that knows precisely what is there under our hands, and knowing how to touch others in a way that will make the physical work beneficial, wholesome and healing.
During the 5-day intensive course we will work with and investigate one main theme each day, using different exercises, practices, meditations and dynamics, presenting the main idea, and seeing its characteristics and relevance to personal, social and clinical interaction.
Grounding, Listening & Feeling - Trust & Surrender - Connecting & Knowing
Guiding & Following - Awareness & Emptiness - Compassion & Empathy
Heart & Energy - Unity & Oneness - Flow & Intuition
As you progress in the course, you will go deeper and spiral inwards to the essence of these themes, seeing where you are strong and clear, where you can improve and where you can let go or change to develop and enhance yourself and your skills.
The practices and methods used in the course originate from many sources - meditation, tai chi chuan, qi gong, contact dance, improvisation and movement, buto, guided relaxation, bodywork, yoga, dhamma, zen, etc. In this diversity different characteristics of our personality are brought to the surface, bringing awareness, consciousness and sensitivity to both the body and the mind.
Exercises are done alone, with a partner and in a group. At the end of each day there will be a summary of the main theme in the form of a hands-on practice exchange. As we progress in the course, each day the summarizing exercise will incorporate all previous themes.
On the therapeutic level, we learn how to -
- calm and focus the mind to be completely attentive to the work at hand;
- apply gentle and subtle techniques of approaching and entering the space of the body;
- sensitize our hands to feel and know the 'story of the body';
- follow our intuition and give what is most appropriate.
To Know how to Touch and to have a Touch that Knows!