-   Annual West Coast SAF Workshop May 1 - 3, 2015
      -  East Coast SAF Workshop October 9 - 11, 2015
      -  Honoring the Path of the Warrior featured in Mindful Magazine  
      -  New Feature:  Leaders in Sensory Awareness:  Monhegan Island:  
         Ray Fowler, Penny and Robert Smith
      -  Remembering Ruth Dennison and Peggy Wood

Please join us for an enriching weekend of learning in community
May 1 - 3, 2015
West Coast Annual Conference at Vallomborsa Retreat Center




for newsletter  Gratitude

 A sincere thank you to all of you who gave so generously to the foundation last year-- and all the years before. This includes those who gave of their time as well as those who gave financially. Many of you did, and continue to do, both. Your generosity is a part of everything that we do. 

It is moving and humbling to feel the level of commitment that so many of you have for this work and the depth that you bring to it. We go forward focused on how to support those new to Sensory Awareness as well as those of you who have taken it deep into your lives and who continue to share it with others.  

How can we stay connected? Support the work and vision of leaders all over the world? Nurture those new to sensing who want more opportunities to practice and study with a gifted leader? These are some of the questions before us now, with ideas emerging and developing which we will share with you soon. 

  Annual West Coast Workshop: 
  May 1 - 3, 2015

  At Vallombrosa Retreat Center, Menlo Park, California

Vallombrosa Retreat Center: An arboretum with 200 species of trees

The west coast workshop is fast approaching. We hope that you will join us for a revitalizing weekend of exploring together, led by ten gifted members of the Sensory Awareness Leaders' Guild. Vallombrosa Retreat Center is a refuge in the midst of the city.  

Click the link below to register and for more information.   



The new East Coast Workshop is set for October 9 - 11, 2015 at the Garrison Institute in New York, about an hour north from New York City by train or car. The Garrison Institute is a beautiful facility on the Hudson River. This international gathering will be an opportunity to rekindle connections between many students and friends from the days when Charlotte Selver was teaching on the East Coast. Formerly a monastery, Garrison now hosts seminars, retreats, workshops and programs throughout the year.   

To find out more about the East Coast Workshop, click here: 

East Coast Workshop at Garrison Institute 


  Honoring the Path of the Warrior (HPW) featured in Mindful Magazine   

"The power of the river is immediate.
You have to show up." 
--Lee Lesser, Executive Director of HPW 
"War veterans--who've seen more pain and devastation than most will see in a lifetime, struggle to find peace, and ways to fit back in and contribute all they have to offer.  Three days on a roiling river bring them a step closer to feeling good in their own skins again."  --Katherine Ellison, journalist, "Mindful Magazine", February 2015.

Please join the SAF in giving generously to this program. Veterans attend all events for free, costs covered by the fundraising efforts of HPW.

To read the whole article, click on the link below. 

Healing Waters: River rafting and Sensory Awareness with HPW

For more information about HPW: Honoring the Path of the Warrior


VETS river
HPW Veterans sharing a meditative moment on the beach after a day of whitewater rafting



Leaders in Sensory Awareness

This new feature is an invitation to get to know the many gifted leaders in Sensory Awareness across the globe. For years this work has been offered in Europe, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the United States. Each quarter the newsletter will highlight the work of several leaders and the history and context of their work.


Monhegan Island, Maine


      This summer marks the 51st year that Sensory Awareness will be offered on Monhegan Island.   


Charlotte Selver held annual workshops on Monhegan Island for 37 years (1964 - 2001), leading students in a month of Sensory Awareness experiments until she was 100 years old.  Since 2003, Penny Smith has held three weeks of Sensory Awareness workshops on Monhegan and 5 years ago Ray Fowler began offering an additional week of sensing to follow those offered by Penny . They are both seasoned leaders who have studied and practiced Sensory Awareness for many decades. Because of them, it is still possible to experience a full month of Sensory Awareness classes on Monhegan Island.   Penny's husband, Robert Smith, who is a photographer, offers a walk, "Steps to Seeing", twice weekly that focuses on expanding our capacity to truly see the world around us. 


Monhegan Harbor


Classes are held in the Monhegan Schoolhouse, which is a large, airy room with wooden floors and many windows looking out towards the ocean. To see the schoolhouse, click here: Monhegan Schoolhouse . Engaging in a week or two-week long class in sensing is an opportunity to really immerse oneself and benefit from all that Sensory Awareness has to offer.  For Penny, Robert and Ray, this work is a way of life, deeply internalized over many years of practice.


Penny Smith has studied and practiced Sensory Awareness since 1968. 

"Like many disciplines, if you work with it long enough it becomes second nature.  Years ago, I remember Charlotte telling me not to take notes, she said: If it's poignant it will
never  leave you." 
(Penny Smith)  

She offers three workshops at the Monhegan Schoolhouse:   

  • July 20 - July 26, 2015
  • July 27 - August 2, 2015  
  • August 10 - 16, 2015  

For further information about registering and fees, contact Penny Smith:

By Phone:  

Home: 718-445-0790  Cell: 718-541-0875 

After Mid June call:  207-594-6495

or by e-mail: 

"I remember in particular, explorations of my own weight, through the joints, how one can find effortless balance of bones in the sockets. I felt a deep sense of support and connection with the earth under me. It was wonderful to feel the support and know it is always there for me."  --Workshop participant 

Ray Fowler is an orchestra conductor who has studied and practiced Sensory Awareness since 1971. Meditation in Action is a seven day workshop, August 2 - 8, 2015, where Ray Fowler will offer participants "the possibility to experience deep, inner quiet through simple experiments in walking, standing, lying, being with ourselves, with another person, the force of gravity, the breath...When we are present for them, our everyday activities have far-reaching consequences and offer the opportunity to discover how we can spend our time more consciously on the planet."  


"I appreciated Ray's very nuanced leading. There was so much from each day, but in one experiment I remember a surprising awareness of movements and attachments of muscles deep in my pelvis and legs. I didn't realize how much of me is connected to that core place and how much I also stopped movement there. Much more freedom for walking and moving was discovered from exploring the tiniest movements in response to Ray's invitations to explore. More freedom and lightness in walking became more freedom and lightness and connection to everything."  Workshop Participant


To learn more about this workshop and details about getting to Monhegan: 

 Contact Ray: 540-667-3245 or by e-mail:

[email protected]   

Cost of the workshop is $350 before July 1, $395 after July 1.  

Twice a week, Robert Smith takes a group out for a walk:  "Steps to Seeing".  

There is a rich visual world that goes unnoticed by most of us.  He wanted to share his way of seeing and to offer the gift of visual awareness to others.

"Sensory Awareness has proven a major and enduring influence in my development as a 
photographer by opening the world to finer sense perception. It continues to inform my ability to empathize with my natural surroundings." (Robert Smith)    


To see some of his photos, click on this link :  Robert's Smith's photos.  


The Rockwell Kents House


Monhegan can be expensive, but it can also be very affordable. The summer I went, nine of us rented the "Eider Duck", a three story converted fish house, for a week. (It sleeps eleven). Ray just told anyone interested in coming to Monhegan about the original three of us until we grew to nine. We had plenty of space to be on our own, but still enjoyed many communal meals and shared time together hiking and wandering the island.  The Eider Duck cost each of us less than $300 for the week. There are also other rental 'cottages' on Monhegan that can house 5 - 6 people making the cost of lodging very reasonable.  But you need to reserve soon for this summer as they fill up quickly. 


The View from the Eider Duck.

www.shiningsails.com manages many of the rentals which you can view and reserve on their website.    

Some other options are:


Hiking the coast of Monhegan.




    In Memoriam: Remembering Ruth Denison  
                   Ruth Denison at the Annual West Coast Conference, Vallombrosa 2010 
Ruth Denison: 09-22-1922 - 02-26-2015
Because of the support and generosity of Ruth and Henry Denison, Charlotte Selver was able to bring her work to the west coast, initially offering classes in their home.
Ruth subsequently integrated Sensory Awareness into her Vipassana meditation retreats. She was unique and adventurous, compassionate and generous. Ruth is among the first of western women authorized to teach Buddhist meditation. She turned no one away from Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center and she is especially known for helping highly traumatized individuals to heal their hearts and minds, reclaiming their lives. 

Michael Atkinson, president of the SALG, remembers a workshop he took with her in the early 1970s:

"I remember the puzzled looks on the faces of the Insight Meditation Center staff as they stood on the porch watching all of us retreatants out on the lawn, moving strangely, slowly, unorthodoxly, and with great attention, as we followed Ruth's gentle promptings.  It was a few years before I would learn that what we were doing with such natural focus was called Sensory Awareness."

A documentary about her life is in the process of being completed by one of her long-time students, Alexandra Kumorek. You can see a 10 minute trailer and additional information here:
 The Silent Dance of LIfe 

For more articles on Ruth Denison:
In Memoriam:  Remembering Peggy Wood
Peggy Wood: May 4, 1924 - December 31, 2014
Peggy Wood on Monhegan Island 


Peggy Wood, long time supporter of Sensory Awareness, died last New Year's Eve.  Peggy lived simply, gave generously and willingly worked quietly behind the scenes to support many organizations that had a common vision of peace, social justice and equality:  The American Friends' Services Committee, the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) and Sensory Awareness.

"Up until a year ago, Peggy was still attending Sensory Awareness classes and adapting experiments to what she was physically able to do.  She was very kind.  Her work was always connected to something that was of service to the larger community."                                                                                                                            --Louise Boedeker

"Peggy was a lovely woman, straightforward and without guile.  Her presence on this earth was a quiet, uplifting force for those who knew her."                        --Sima Weitzman

She contributed to several of the early bulletins of the Charlotte Selver Foundation.  Here is an exerpt from one of them.

On Ways of Walking Down the Street, Collected Writings on Sensory Awareness, Winter, 1984, p. 25.  

"Sometimes as I walk down the street a beam of sunlight illuminates the world in such a way that habit and place and time all fall away.  I remember particularly one October morning in Brooklyn when I was going to the subway to get to work.  An autumn haze filled the air, luminous with the long rays of the early morning sun.  They fell across the structure of the elevated tracks.  Every post, every beam, every iron rivet lay carved in the three-dimensional shadow slanting downward through the mist to rest in the gold dust of the street.

A train came along; its restless motion, its temporary noise, were swallowed up in an all-encompassing quiet.  I felt it stretching through the whole city and beyond -- to the motions of stars and galaxies.  All was included, nothing left out."...."I am aware of being me, and being here.  Where I am going doesn't feel important: it is just the being, the walking that matters." pgs. 25 - 26 


Thank you for your conscious, loving presence among us--then and now. You have listened and expressed from a vision of kindness, clarity, wisdom and love.  
--From her memorial service    

Thank you so much for your support.  If you haven't already become a member of the Sensory Awareness Foundation, please visit us at:
Thanks for a successful membership drive in 2014!