Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I
can sort of be two places at the same time.
As you receive this newsletter, I will
actually be in Ireland, and probably far from
any internet access!
I am happy to announce two exciting upcoming
EKP events: the EKP Student Clinic
at the Spirit of Change Expo in Sturbridge,
MA on Saturday, September 27, and Body
Psychotherapy and the Heart for Health
Professionals,a daylong workshop on
Sunday, March 1 at the New England School of
This year, the Institute for EKP will
participate fully in the 2nd Spirit of Change
Expo, with a booth on September 27 and 28, a
student clinic from 11 am - 5 pm on Saturday,
September 27 where our 3rd year apprentices
will be doing 30 minute sessions in a private
space, and an "Embracing the Power of the
Heart workshop on Saturday, September 27
from 6 - 8 pm. All are in Sturbridge, MA.
This is a wonderful community event, and we'd
love to see you there.
We are excited about the workshop at NESA,
since this will provide an opportunity to
bring EKP tools to both acupuncturists and
other health professionals. The workshop
runs from 9 - 5 pm and will be in Watertown, MA.
I am delighted to report that I attended
Young@Heart's first Boston concert on June
20th, and they lit the house on fire. I am
working on an article about the chorus for
the winter issue of Spirit of Change. The
three chorus members I have interviewed have
amazing and inspiring stories, and are truly
heart-warming people. I greatly look forward
to interviewing founder and artistic director
Bob Cilman when I return from Ireland.
We still have a few more spaces in the
Traumatized Heart workshop on Saturday,
from 1- 5 pm in Newton. These groups have been
deeply moving and richly rewarding
those who want an experience of EKP when they
find a space in their busy lives.
As gas has reached $4/gallon and heating oil
costs have skyrocketed, "The
Class. is perhaps very timely. This
coaching class meets weekly
sessions, and provides a chance to look at
is enough, and work through emotional blocks and
obstacles in your relationship with money.
I am now actively taking applications for
Apprenticeship Training Program. The
of the program will begin in January 2009.
Apprentices meet once a month for weekend
sessions. I am exploring incorporating some
Family Constellations work led by
Dan Cohen, into the program. If you are
discussing apprenticing, please write to me at
The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group has
openings for a couple of new members. This is a
mixed gender long-term committed group with a
minimum 6 month commitment. An interview and
EKP session are required to apply for the
Contact LSMHEART@aol.com for more information or
And the 2nd Annual EKP Cape Retreat
November 14 - 16 at the Briarwood Conference
Center in Bourne, MA, provides an intensive
experience of community, healing and EKP.
too early to register. Contact Gretchen
Articles in this issue include : "Finding
the Wisdom in Our Tension and Pain," an
interview with my colleague of more than two
decades, Rolfer Garret Whitney, "Four
Energies That Spark Sexual Desire," drawing
from my colleague Gina Ogden's new book
The Return of Desire, and "Freeing the
Heart Behind Bars" about 3rd year EKP
apprentice Larry Cotton's work with men in
Your comments and feedback are always welcome!
Finding the Wisdom in Our Tension and Pain
The Benefits of Rolfing
Garret Whitney has practiced Rolfing for 25
came to his work through personal experience.
Garret acknowledges a scientific orientation
looking at healing methods. "I tend to get
things I have evidence for, or that work
based on direct
experience." As a 21-year-old, Garret
chronic knee pain, and was told by doctors at
Massachusetts General Hospital that he had
months to walk. Instead of giving up, Garret
researched different approaches that might
knees, and discovered Rolfing.
"Rolfing fixed my knee pain. I became pain
have never had knee pain again. I learned
knee pain was the result of repeated ankle
and the structural adaptations I made.
Rolfing not only
fixed my knees, but also made some other
During my Rolfing series, the way I experienced
myself and the world changed. This included
fears, limitations and limiting postures in
They all changed. It looked like the world
Although Rolfing made a lasting impression,
didn't train to become a Rolfer until a
number of years
later. In the interim, he pursued a lifelong
psychological and spiritual growth for five
worked for a human potential training
and studied other healing methods including
with Ron Kurtz, Zero Balancing with Fritz
massage. Then, in 1982 Garret began studying
the Rolf Institute to become a Certified
after completing the advanced Rolf training
became a Certified Advanced Rolfer.
In the 1920's, Ida Rolf develop Structural
revolutionary healing approach that focused on
physical imbalances in the body, that she saw as
responsible for much chronic pain and other
limitations. However, Rolfers noticed that
to physical responses, clients were also
emotional responses to Rolfing. "People get
work with chronic pain, for personal
for increased performance. Rolfing has been
an adjunct to psychotherapy since it become
in the 1960's," notes Garret. "Rolfing is
not a substitute
for psychotherapy for people who want it.
does have effects that are useful."
"Our hyper-focused highly mental and competitive
culture makes it difficult for people to get
in touch with
the full range of their experience. Rolfing
people get in touch with these deeper
reflects Garret. "For example, fear
manifests itself as
muscle tension in the body. For most of us,
process is unconscious, so what we experience is
tension or pain. By working to increase direct
awareness of the self and the body, clients
to focus, perceive and let go. Clients get
when they are in touch with the felt sense of
Rolfing is also great for developing
one to notice and witness their thoughts,
physical sensations. "I tend to emphasize
along with the actual Rolfing work," says
adds to the effects of Rolfing and helps make
For those new to Rolfing, it is formatted as
session series, working with different
structure. The Rolfer assesses the client's
and posture, and sets a series of structural
restore and enhance balance. For example,
and expanding the breathing, balancing the
the spine and balancing the bones of the foot
structural goals. Each client's series is
designed, based on their individual needs.
completing the initial series of ten
individualized plan can be made for the
future sessions can be done in smaller groups
of 1 - 3,
Garret practices in Concord and Brighton, and
consultations. You can reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is
To learn more about Rolfing and Garret's work...
Four Energies That Spark Sexual Desire:
From The Return of Desire by Gina Ogden
Sexuality is a whole person experience: mind,
body, spirit, heart and soul. In her new
book, The Return of Desire: A Guide to
Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion, Gina
Ogden writes about "the four energies that
spark sexual desire."
"Engaging in the search for your sources of
sexual desire means activating all your
energies of body, mind, heart and spirit,"
writes Ogden. "This holds true no matter
what your age or your prior history--and it
may hold true even if you're not consciously
aware you're activating them."
The four pathways are:
1. Physical Energy: The Path of
This may be the pathway we most immediately
think of to spark sexual desire. Ogden
points out that while we most often think
about activities related to sexual
performance, "that is, genital touching and
intercourse with a goal of orgasm," many
other parts of the body are actually
erogenous zones, and that "our whole bodies
cry out to be touched." Connecting "hugging,
kissing, massage, a sensuous bath," to
"zeroing in on homing sites" enriches and
expands our full body sensual experience.
2. Emotional Energy: The Path of Passion
Ogden writes, "Emotional energy is as
integral to sexual desire as physical energy
is--and it's almost as palpable." Expressing
love, caring and empathy open both the body
and the heart. Feeling emotional safety
increases receptivity and pleasure, and
allows full self-expression.
Perhaps it's this emotional energy that
really distinguishes "just having physical
sex and making love--with a full range of
affection and concern for each other."
3. Mental Energy: The Path of
We use our mental energy in many different
ways that relate to sexual desire. Ogden
points out that our mental energy helps us
make decisions about who we are and what we
want, exploring who we are attracted to, what
our sexual orientation is, whether we are
monogamous or polyamorous, and even what sex
means to us personally.
"We use our mental energy to field the
conflicting messages that come at us from
everywhere--e-mail, TV, glossy ads in which
women's body parts are used to sell
everything from beer to sports cars" and to
"sort through the messages we've received our
whole lives long. "Good girls don't." "Real
men score." "If you really loved me, you'd...."
Our mental energy is also part of our inner
sexual life: "our dreams, fantasies and
other flights of sexual imagination."
4. Spiritual Energy: The Path of
Connection and Meaning
While integrating sexuality and spirituality
may seem like a new idea in a culture that
lives with a sex-spirit split, Ogden notes
that "connecting sexual and spiritual energy
is at the core of personal vitality and
The thousands of women Ogden surveyed in her
ISIS survey, confirmed that the connection
between sexuality and spirituality "leads to
"experiences that may radiate far beyond the
bedroom to energize their whole lives. This
merging of sexual and spiritual energy can
recharge relationships, enhance self-esteem,
transform belief systems, and heal mind and
body after histories of disappointment and
Gina Ogden's new book, The Return of
Desire: A Guide to Reclaiming Your Sexual
Passion is being released on July 15.
The book is available through Trumpeter
Books, an imprint of Shambhala.
Gina is also leading a workshop on "The
Return of Desire" at Kripalu August 15 - 17.
You can contact Gina at
Share your thoughts on this article...
Freeing the Heart Behind Bars:
Emotional Literacy Work in Prisons
3rd year EKP apprentice Larry Cotton has
found a very poignant way to bring the spirit
of EKP to men serving time in a local prison.
He is part of the Jericho Circle Project,
whose mission is to form men's circles in
prisons to help men gain emotional literacy.
The Jericho Circle Project was founded by
Steven Spitzer, a professor of Sociology at
Suffolk University in Boston. Larry found
out about this project through his
involvement in the Mankind Project community.
What inspired Larry to get involved in work
with prisoners was a combination of
experiences. "At my previous UU church in
Quincy, our affiliate minister was a woman
who did a lot of prison work. We had a
workshop around a book called Houses of
Healing by Robin Casarjian. A woman who
had served time in prison came to speak with
us, and she was quite inspiring. In my own
life, I have known some people who have been
in prison, and have had friends whose fathers
have been in prison. I didn't see them as
evil or villains or nasty people. I just saw
them as people."
Having enjoyed being part of men's circles in
the Mankind Project community, Larry felt
called to bring this work to prison when
Steven Spitzer asked if he was interested in
"The work we do in the prison is similar to
what we do in the men's circles in the
Mankind Project. This includes exercises in
establishing safety, an emotional check-in,
checking in with people's work with
agreements and accountability, and doing
deeper personal work around whatever might
come up for a man in the group. Just like in
EKP work, we focus on building a safe
container and acknowledging feelings."
"While there's not always the physical touch
component, in other ways this work is very
similar to EKP. If a man is feeling stuck or
angry about something, we work on going back
to the root of the stuckness or the anger,
which is usually a childhood experience.
Coaching the person or talking through the
experience, helping them go deeper and
letting things unfold from their heart is
similar to what we do in EKP."
"Many of these men are in prison for reasons
having to do with anger, and within the
prison a lot of anger comes up. It's often
dealt with in a physical way. In the men's
circles, the men are learning there are other
ways of dealing with anger."
"One of the most profound things that
happened in the group was in one of our
opening discussions 5 - 6 weeks into the
program. Our group of men is fairly diverse
racially. There is a good breakdown between
hispanic, black and white men. Within the
circle, when we create a safe container, we
view each other as equals, both the inmates
and the facilitators. It doesn't matter what
age you are, what race you are, or what you
"One or two of the men have commented, and
others have agreed, that when we are in a
circle, we operate in a certain way and go
very deep and are open to exposing ourselves
in new ways. There's a very deep bond that
forms. When the men in our men's circle hang
out with their own groups in the prison, men
outside the circle are recognizing the
deeper bond between the men who are in the
circle together. Some deep respect has
developed between these men who are usually
in different groups. This is very powerful.
For me, there is great meaning in how the
work ripples out beyond the circle itself."
The men's circles run for 8 week cycles,
after which the hope is half the group will
continue. During his first 8 week cycle,
Larry led an EKP heart meditation. "I
volunteered to lead the meditation, and used
portions of it. It helps create the
container. It helps men come in from what
they've been doing for the day and get
centered and settled. It opens the door to
what will happen that particular evening."
As Larry continues into his second 8 week
cycle, he feels there will eventually be an
opportunity to do an EKP session as part of
the group work. "But even if there were not,
I feel that the skills I have gained in
studying EKP help me spot little nuances I
might not otherwise pay attention to. For
instance, as we are doing a meditation or
work is being done by one man and they are
the focus of attention, I am careful to look
around the room and see how the work is
affecting the other men. Just like in EKP,
when one person has a turn everyone has a
turn. And watching for visual non-verbal
cues, and being present to everyone there is
important. I am careful to look around the
room and see how the work is affecting other
men. I try to be aware of who is intently
involved and who might be spacing out for
From his work with the men's circles, Larry
has seen that "the line between people on the
outside and people on the inside is much
finer than people in society would like to
believe. I am aware of the importance of
early life experiences. I'm impressed with
how intently the men listen to each other and
the facilitators, how intently they pay
attention to what is going on in the circle.
They really listen and care about what other
men are saying."
"One thing that inspires me," reflects Larry,
"is that I am walking around free. These
guys are behind walls. They take some pretty
bold steps in doing what they need to do to
set things right with family members. And I
have a larger appreciation for the freedom I
have to make changes in my own life."
You can learn more about the Jericho
Circle Project at www.jerichocircle.org.
Share your thoughts...
Upcoming Groups, Workshops and Programs
For an afternoon of healing community and the
the heart, come to the Healing the
Heart workshop on Saturday, August 16
from 1 - 5 pm
Newton. To register, contact
The Money Class is a six week coaching
class that helps you make peace with money.
through emotional blocks and obstacles,
much is enough and take action steps to meet
goals. 11:30 am - 1:30 pm in Newton. Daylong
intensive workshop is also available. Contact
If you'd like to spend a weekend in a
beautiful Cape Cod location while enjoying the
healing and heartfulness of an intensive EKP
please come to our 2nd Annual EKP Cape
Retreat the weekend of November 14 - 16.
more information or to register, contact
Stecher at email@example.com.
EKP Apprenticeship Training will begin in
January 2009. The apprentice
group meets one weekend a month. The program
four year cycle. The first two years focus
skills and concepts of EKP with ones peers,
the very popular second year study of
developmental psychology. The second two
clinical years, where apprentices get to work
guest clients in our student clinic. If you
in apprenticing, contact LSMHEART@aol.com. An
interview and one EKP session are required to
to the first year apprenticeship training group.
EKP opportunities in Newton include:
- Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
- On-going Thursday night EKP Body
Psychotherapy Group (which currently has room
couple new members)
- On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process
If you would like a Healing the
workshop near you, or have a group of people
who you would like to bring EKP to, please
To find out more....
The Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network
programs for the 2007-2008 season are posted on