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Day-to-Day Sensory Awareness
Guided Practice Recordings

For guided explorations in German go here.
Gehen Sie zur Seite Audio-Versuche für angeleitete Versuche in deutsch.

About these recorded Sensory Awareness explorations: I have been recording many of my workshops lately. From this material I am publishing excerpts, experiments which can be easily done at home without a ‘teacher’ present. Sensory Awareness ‘experiments’, as we call them, are shaped very much by the people attending a session or workshop. They are not fully scripted in advance but find their form through the connection of ‘teacher’ and ‘student’. In contrast, recordings do not adapt to the specific situation and the needs of the ‘student’ listening and practicing with them. Please keep this in mind as you follow the instructions given. When you work with the same recording several times, and I recommend that you do, see if you can approach it newly each time, as an exploration and an opportunity for discovery, rather than treating it like an exercise manual for something you want to become good at. They are meant to support a daily practice of coming to one’s senses, that is to cultivate living in full connection and ‘tuning in’ to what responses are called for in a given situation.

I will announce further uploads through my Pathways of Sensory Awareness Facebook page. If you "like" the page you should be notified when they become available.

I happily offer these recordings for free. Should you want to make a contribution to support this effort you can do so via PayPal, using the Dana* button below. This is not at all expected but certainly appreciated. Thank you!

   
   

*Dana is the Pali word for 'generosity' or 'gift'.


You can download the audio recordings.
'Right-click' the link and choosse to 'download linked file'.


 

 

Inhabiting the Space You're In

We spend much time in spaces very familiar to us, our homes, our work place - as well as that space we call I – yet we are sometimes hardly 'in touch'. The focus of this class is to reconnect with the place we're in as well as with other 'things' inhabiting that place.  

This class was given by phone as part of the Sensory Awareness Foundation's Sensing Sundays series on January 24, 2016. The edited recording contains all the suggested tasks/explorations as well as illuminating reports from two participants.

 

In Touch but not Entangled

I led a phone session on the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day which centered on the question of the relevance of Sensory Awareness in emotionally difficult and stressful daily life situations.
This inspired a "somatic meditation" on Thanksgiving Day's family challenges, and how our connection with the floor and gravity can help us to stay in touch but not entangled.

Below are two versions of this session.

The shorter YouTube video version and the full session as an audio file.

I hope you will find them useful - even if you are not celebrating Thanksgiving in your part of the world.

To participate fully you will need a chair and a mop. Alternatively you can also use a broom or a simple stick. The mop adds a touch of strangeness which you may (or may not) enjoy. ;-)

Extended audio file (right click for download options)


Finding Sitting

This video shows how we can work on posture playfully and deeply by very clearly connecting and interacting with the force of gravity, following our innate sense for balance rather than an external ideal. In this way, sitting becomes a living activity rather than a prescribed form.

A highlight of this video is seeing Charlotte Selver at 100 years of age participating gleefully.

 

I was not able to contact all participants to get their okay to be seen in this footage. At the time people signed a release form for use of their appearance in publications of the Sensory Awareness Foundation. I am using these videos courtesy of the SAF but this is not an SAF publication. If you see yourself and do not want to be seen, please contact me.

 

"Not Just About Me" - Giving Yourself to a Task

A "Sensing Sunday" Session, June 28, 2015, with Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

(right-click for download options)


Engaging with the Earth's Pull of Gravity

A "Sensing Sunday" Session, July 12, 2015, with Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

(right-click for download options)

"Sensing Sundays – An Invitation to Practice at Home" is a series of phone classes offerd by the Sensory Awareness Foundation. The classes are given by members of the Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild.
For more information on this series visit the SAF web site.

 

Upright and Down to Earth

Standing, Walking, Sitting

This is an excerpt from a class I gave during Charlotte Selver's 2001 Study Period at Green Gulch Zen Center. Watch - and participate.

I was not able to contact all participants to get their okay to be seen in this footage. At the time people signed a release form for use of their appearance in publications of the Sensory Awareness Foundation. I am using these videos courtesy of the SAF but this is not an SAF publication. If you see yourself and do not want to be seen, please contact me.

 

What is Sensory Awareness?

An introduction to Sensory Awareness.

 

 

Focused Sensing

Introduction:

 

 

Focused awareness of bodily sensation

Sit on a stool, a chair, or on the floor. still, upright but not rigid. (You can also do this lying down.)
Sit still but it’s okay to change, to move quietly if something calls for changing.

Practice:


(right-click for download options)


Head & Hands

 

We work with our hands touching our head in different places.

For this 15 minute exploration you best sit on a stool or on a chair with a flat seat. But it can also be done sitting on the floor or lying down.

(right-click for download options)
De Poort Conference Center, Nijmegen, Holland, October 2013

 

Sensing and Sensibility

Sensing: perceive by a sense or senses / be aware of
Sensibility: the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences
(from the Apple Dictionary)

This is a four-part exploration that focusses on bodily sensation, breathing (which is contact with air) and seeing (which is contact with many visible presences), in standing, sitting, lying and walking. The four parts are of one piece and build on each other but you can also work with them individually. You don’t need any props but space enough for lying and walking a few steps. If you can, use the floor to sit on with no extra support but you can also sit on a stool if necessary.

Sensing and Sensibility

 

Still, Alive, and Present
A Sensory Awareness Approach to Mindfulness Meditation

This three-part guided meditation was recorded in January 2015 at the Mindful Barn. The three parts were offered as a unit: 15 minutes of silent sitting, followed by 10 minutes of walking, then a second 15 minute sit. You can "do" the whole meditation in one session or each part by itself.

In the first part, studends were holding warmed stones in their hands or on their thighs. This is a New Hampshire winter treat, not essential to the meditation, though the presence of the stones can be helpful in the process of "arriving".

You can sit on the floor, use a cushion, or sit on a chair. No specific instructions are given for posture. If possible, sit upright and do not lean on anything. Sit in a way that is reasonably comfortable for you, so that you can sit still for 15 minute but feel free to change as needed. For the walking meditation you need a stretch of about 15 feet of floor space.

Feel free to download these guided meditations.

Still, Alive and Present 1 sitting

Still, Alive and Present 2 walking

Still, Alive and Present 3 sitting

Still, Alive and Present complete

 

An Introduction to Sensory Awareness
This introductory class was given at the Sensory Awareness Foundation's April 2011 weekend workshop at Vallombrosa Center in Menlo Park, California. I encourage you to participate where possible. There were about fifty participants in this class, so you will have to adapt some of the experiments when you work alone.

 

Meditation as Participation
Guided meditation and experiential talk
given for the Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha on February 22, 2011

When I took my first Sensory Awareness workshop I had already been a dedicated Buddhist practitioner for several years. I quickly realized that the two approaches not only complemented each other beautifully but that Sensory Awareness gave my meditation practice a solidity and grounded it in everyday life in ways I had not experienced before. It has been my whish ever since to bring the two practices together in my work and occasionally opportunities such as this arise.

I recommend that you participate in the guided meditation rather than just listening to it. It takes about 20 minutes and can be done sitting or lying.

You can also participate in the talk. You will need a fellow participant, like a rock or some other "thing". For the talk we used stones and sand bags but it may be worth having an every day object ready, such as a mug or plate or something from your office desk.

Feel free to download the meditation and talk to your mobile device.

Listen to the guided meditation

 

Gaialogues Interview
on futureprimitive.org. Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt talks about the relevance of Sensory Awareness for today's challenges in an interview from December 2008.

What is Sensory Awareness?
by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

Explorations of Sensory Awareness and the Marks of Time
by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

Charlotte Selver and Sensory Awareness in Times of Violence
by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

Charlotte Selver April 4, 1901 – August 22, 2003
Eulogy for Charlotte Selver

About the Memorial Service for Charlotte Selver
both articels by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

Studying with Ruth Matter, by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

A Conversation with Charlotte Selver, by Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt

Sensory Awareness and Our Attitude Toward Life
by Charlotte Selver

For more articles about Sensory Awareness and Charlotte Selver visit the web site of the Sensory Awareness Foundation.


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Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt
PO Box 185, Hancock, NH 03449 USA
Email: stelaeng@mac.com / Tel.: (603) 525-7289