The sensory awareness movement was founded in the 1930’s by Charlotte Selver. She brought this practice to the United States in 1938, and shared it with thousands of students around the world for over 75 years. She died on August 22, 2003 at the age of 102 years old. As a pioneer within the Human Potential Movement, Charlotte drew leading luminaries to study and work with her, including Erich Fromm, Alan Watts, Fritz Perls, Shunryu Suzuki & Ruth Denison to name but a few.
Sensory Awareness is a mindfulness practice through which we connect with our own natural intelligence and vitality; we discover what responds in us in the midst of change; and we learn to rely on our sensations as guides to the fresh terrain of each moment.
It helps us revive our capacity to be more embodied in the here-and-now. That is, to re-experience more fully the living somatic realities of life: gravity, breathing, balance, energy, touch, movement, and more. Through practice exploring deceptively simple sensory experiments, habitual thoughts and tensions melt into the background as we become more mindfully grounded and in contact with the present.
In this way we can become more fully alive and reclaim greater authenticity and natural ease in everything that we do.
I wish you would once in a while look into the eyes of a healthy baby and would see with what earnestness, interest, great power of concentration – a basic saying yes – such a child has. The child doesn’t yet want anything special: it is equally interested in everything that comes. When the child takes something and looks at it from all sides, or when somebody goes through the room and the child’s whole attention follows…..that is how we started. And it is also what we can come to – when this natural inner drive for full relating is unearthed and set free.
We wouldn’t be all the time so full of expectations and wishes, but we would be seeing more clearly that any world in which we live can be as astonishing as the world of a baby. And then all things are precious.
Charlotte Selver – from ‘Reclaiming Vitality and Presence – Sensory Awareness as a Practice for Life’
More information can be found at the Sensory Awareness Foundation which also gives a list of leaders who teach these classes around the world.