Karuna Institute
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Other Courses
Authentic Movement Training
Karuna Institute

The Embodied Relational Field:

(CPD) Continuing Professional Development
**NB: There is only 1 place left on this workshop*
5-day Workshop : NEW DATE** 11-16 August 2019

Shantam David Zohar Co-founder and Director of the Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy Program at Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University
Maura Sills, co-founder and co-Director of the Karuna Institute
Cost : £750 (Deposit required to secure your place : £250) All payments non-refundable and non-transferable

Course Description

This course covers essential mindfulness and compassion practices within the relational field. The course introduces participants to current therapeutic and contemplative practices and relational skills, grounded in the practices of relational mindfulness, Authentic Movement and Mindful Communication. The following seven skills will be presented, discussed, exemplified and explored. These are:

  1. Sensing, Feeling, and Thinking: the building blocks of immediate, tangible experience. We will learn to identify and represent these appropriately as they arise and come into being. We will consider the Buddha's words, "There is a body here," as a practical antidote to dissociative strategies so common to the human condition.
  2. Modes of Self: How we hold, perceive and represent ourselves has a major effect on our wellbeing and on our ability to contribute to the wellbeing of others. We will study three self-states and consider their potential uses and abuses in the relational field.
  3. The Mindful Narrative: Mindfulness practice delays the formulation of automatic narratives, thus providing practitioners with a cherished gap between interaction and conditioned reaction. We will consider how to make best use of this valuable repose.
  4. Wise Endurance: staying with it is a central practice in many contemplative practices. We will establish personal guidelines for the ways in which we take things upon ourselves in the clinical setting and in relationships et large. When is it best to sit and observe and what is the value of following impulse?
  5. Relational Impact: somatic countertransference and witness consciousness as pivotal ingredients of the ongoing relational echo. How to know what's mine and what's yours? When does such categorization support sanity and when is it an obstacle to establishing contact and deepening trust?
  6. Motivational Insight: What it is that we are striving to experience and what, by all means, are we trying to avoid? Posing this one question, we will learn to identify the atom of motivation in the clinical setting and in our daily interactions.   
  7. Compassionate Contact: and at the heart of it all: Karuna. The heart's trembling in response to pain and suffering. We will encounter Trungpa's image of the Shambala warrior and it's implications to clinical and interpersonal work.

 All of this has important implications for psychotherapy and the psychotherapeutic relationship.  The heart of the therapeutic process is not to re-work or change our self-nature, but to perceive it as it is, and appreciate our inherent freedom.  Psychotherapeutic activity is understood to take place within the context of a relational field within which the state of consciousness of both therapist and client are not separate.  Both therapist and client are thus on a mutual journey of exploration in which their processes are interdependent.  This goes beyond the usual concepts of transference and projection, and extends into a mutually arising field of consciousness.  The psychotherapist learns to perceive the information that is communicated within this wider field, and to respond appropriately.

Drawing on decades of personal and interpersonal contemplative practices, Maura and Shantam look forward to this first time, in-depth collaboration. We hope to create a safe container for open sharing and creative self-exploration, in the spirit of the radical transformation traditions.

This course will be of interest to therapists in many fields of practice including psychotherapy, counselling, practitioners of complementary and orthodox medicine, body-oriented therapies such as Craniosacral Therapy, Dance Movement therapy and mindfulness-based practitioners in general.

We welcome people attending for various reasons including:

We welcome people from all spiritual traditions or none - it is certainly not necessary to be a Buddhist to do this course, or have any prior knowledge of Buddhism. We respect and encourage the diverse ways people can connect with personal forms of wellbeing such as through nature, animals, music, art, dance and movement.


Download the application form


Shantam David Zohar is Co-founder and Director of the Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy Program at Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University, where he teaches Authentic Movement and Mindful Communication. He is also founder and director of the (Israeli) two year Authentic Movement Training. Zohar is an award winning author and has studied and taught awareness practices for the past thirty years. His teachings draw from his own direct experience as meditator and practitioner of the form, and his academic background, including undergraduate studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and graduate studies at the Karuna Institute in the UK. He has lectured and delivered workshops internationally, and works with institutions, groups and individuals.

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