Rosen Method in Ukiah, California
By Valerie Luoto, Bodywork Practitioner and Introductory Workshop Teacher, Ukiah, California, AND INTENSIVE PARTICIPANTS
On February 17-23, 2007, there were 37 of us gathered at Vichy Springs Resort, Ukiah, California. This is the third intensive here in Ukiah, the first one was just a year ago last February. The course was co-taught by Marion Rosen and myself, with Karen Vinding teaching movement. Aurelia Priotto St. John and Zach Howe also helped teach the movement and were bodywork assistants, along with Annabelle Apsion, Elena Tolpygo, Hursey Baker and Sylvia Nobleman. We also had Thomas Van Denmark come and speak one afternoon about the “Peaceful Touch” program in the U.S.
I felt something incredible happened at this intensive. From the first day, there was a spoken, immediate feeling of trust and connection. I was touched by the depth of sharing that ensued - the openness, willingness of the attendees and the overall support and the space to process that formed. There was a good mixture of seriousness and play. We emphasized early on the importance of taking care of oneself during an intensive, and saw both the difficulty and the relief involved in this action. It was inspiring to see how people worked together, the honesty, the courage and then the transformation that happened.
We compiled this article so we could share this amazing experience, that it be witnessed and not lost. Together, we shared a very special week. Here are a few of the personal stories and sentiments.
A Very Special Intensive - by Margie Powers
What is this big egg shaped rock in the center of the room? Valerie removes the top half of the rock to reveal its core and declares the circle “open for Rosen business”. That rock was to become a powerful symbol of healing for me throughout the week. A very appropriate totem - I, like that rock, was there to be cracked open and my deepest inner self revealed. Its strong grounding presence gave us all the chance to open more fully.
Into loving hands I went. Deep memories surfacing, core beliefs rattled, body tension on alert – I journeyed to a place I have been avoiding and dancing with for as long as I can remember. A subtle release and I felt the beginnings of a reconnection to myself. Sweet soft tears of freedom, a reclaiming, a softening begins. But there was more – another piece wanting to come out, so back onto the table and into another set of loving hands. Those hands seemed to peel off the armor that was protecting my heart, deep breath at last, a subtle bubbling up of my own power and worth. These bookend experiences were so profound and meaningful to me – I am deeply grateful to have these pieces of me back and for the spaciousness I feel. Memories continue to bubble up and a deeper understanding of the “why” of the intense holding I had experienced keep coming moment to moment, and I am moving more freely in them. I am also being very gentle on myself. I feel I have been blessed with a very precious gift, I intend to honor that.
Thank you Marion for your vision, for encouraging us to spread peace one body at a time. Thank you Valerie, Karen, and all of the assistants and participants that witnessed and supported us throughout that amazing week at Vichy Springs.
In deep gratitude -
Margie Powers, Santa Rosa, California
The Inner Child Wanted Out - Anonymous
Various factors resulted in severe, debilitating insomnia. The most recent effort to combat it was using a CPAP breathing apparatus for sleep apnea beginning Feb 8th. A "smart card" in the machine tracks dates & times of usage, length of sleep, awakenings, interruptions of breathing, etc.
Then, at the Vichy Feb 17 Intensive, a profound rescue of my terrified inner child occurred with the incredible assistance of Karen Vinding. (Over 20 years, I’d periodically ask mental health professionals about this image of a young girl pleading for my help.) Quite shaken, it took days to accept that this vision would no longer haunt me; that she and I were safe to laugh & play. After a reassuring Rosen session with Zach Howe, I shared: "I’m so calm. I don’t recall ever feeling so comfortable in my own skin."
At my follow-up sleep clinic appointment, March 6, the physician’s assistant reviewed the remarkable improvement charted by my "smart card". She said I looked better; sat in the chair differently; that I "looked more comfortable in (my) own skin." I had to laugh at that & shared my Rosen rescue. She cried. In black & white, the charts showed a sudden, dramatic & continuing improvement in my sleep pattern during & since the Rosen Intensive — proof positive of the health benefits of the Rosen Method.
-----One Woman’s Story (name withheld)
“A small miracle?” - by Aurelia Priotto-St. John
I was up in Ukiah at the Intensive this past February and I was sharing a cabin with Marion, Valerie and Karen. It felt like a little family gathering together at the end of the day, sharing a meal in our cozy dining room, warmed by a domestic fire and exchanging about the day and about us in a friendly, informal atmosphere. One evening I was telling them about my difficulty to fall asleep at night, sleeping only 2-3 hours and needing to take pills, and how much this condition was affecting my energy. This has been going on for 2 years, since I had my surgery in my stomach. So I heard Marion saying: "I want to give you a session tonight, here, before you go to bed" followed by Valerie's and Karen's words: "We too, we will work on you". So, it happened. Six hands were laying on me, Marion at my head and neck, Valerie on my diaphragm and Karen on my hips. I felt their hands working together, same quality, same gentleness, quiet. The Touch and the silence were speaking their presence and were assuring me that there was nothing else to do other than receiving this attention, this care from these beings. Pure presence in their touch, not a shade of doing something. I felt myself completely open to their hands, to a quality of tranquility that was permeating the room. It went on for a long time. Then I felt Marion moving down to my feet and enveloping them with her hands as if for ever. At a certain point the session came to its natural completion. I got up and looked at these three women with love and silently I reached for my bed. That night I slept straight for six hours and without any pills. I couldn't believe it. The following morning I felt that kind of rest and well being that my body had forgotten for a long time. I called my husband to tell him about the good news.
- Aurelia Priotto-St John, Sausalito, California
I AM OK................BY DONNA RUOFF, Ukiah, California
I attended the Feb. intensive in Ukiah with Marion, Valerie and Karen. It was my sixth one and I had a huge breakthrough. On day six I was lucky enough to receive a full session from Valerie. She has a gentle touch and great patience which allowed me to go very deep. During the session I realized that I am OK just the way I am, I don't need to be fixed. My heart also started to open and I can breath easier and fuller than I can ever remember.
Since the intensive I have noticed that I don't have to try to fix everyone, nor do I have to be in control and I can now take a compliment, something I couldn't do before. My inner critic that could always find bad in everyone is gone. I feel free, I love myself and I am OK.
By Deitrich Meyer
The Rosen Intensive at Ukiah this February was my third. If we keep in mind that words are mere echoes of the true experience, then I can say the following:
Who am I? Who am I becoming? Who was hidden for such a long time behind the mask of persona and the story? Although seeing and experiencing my self coming into my own rights is a matter of my personal innermost essence, it is only possible with the mutual loving care and acceptance of ALL present.
And here is the essential element: presence. The loving presence with which the teachers, practitioners, assistants and students interacted. The openness and trust created brought to my consciousness the deep responsibility equally necessary to meet the other human being. And at this moment I could allow my body to let go of what it had unnecessarily held - it opened my being to receiving and to giving.
There was a time at about midpoint in the intensive when I felt I wanted to roll up and be alone - yet not separate! This is when I experienced the positive quality of boundaries. I could "say": I am here and you are there. You can see me. I am not hidden - yet I am quiet.
There was some apprehension after leaving the circle of friends in having to face "the world". Yet surprisingly, the inner openness carried through the noise and din. My colleagues at the Spacial Dynamics training (Bothmer gymnastics) noticed the profound changes in my being and interaction. I also experienced the positive acknowledgment of "strangers" at the supermarket and other places.
My colleagues observe a deepness in my gaze, a kindness in my actions and wisdom in my words - and expressed it to me. Other "strangers" I meet respond to me with kindness and openness, they will reveal themselves in what might be termed personal remarks about themselves and a general ease in my presence, something I had not noticed before. Also I noticed how my children respond to my simple questions with trust. Even over the phone, in speaking with others, there seems to be a better personal rapport. The very fact that I myself can observe and share these experiences attests to the coming out of my true self.
Love and peace is spreading.
Dietrich Meyer, Pine Grove, California
by Bette Baptist
i am new at writing for rosen but here goes-
clearly, there are times to remember
and then...
the memories we treasure
marion, teachers, guides, and seekers,
brought together to breathe alone and as one
touching that transcends all that is outside-
movement that synchronizes earthly form and space with spirit
recalling our truth
forgotten but none the less true
a privilege sacred and given in love
an honor bestowed free of wanting
a kiss to rosen in ukiah
- bette baptist, west pittston, pennsylvania
By Grace Wu
In this intensive I discovered that I have many emotions that I have not allowed myself to experience and express, particularly anger, sadness, and love. I have a well-controlled facade that fools even myself. During the intensive, I got in touch with my anger and spent an entire night being angry at everyone and everything! When I reported my “good” Rosen news of being angry all night, Marion added, the next step is to go tell those people that you are angry with them. YA, next step....! And in the middle of the last night, I woke up to a sad realization that I have not been able to let love in. While I have been able to feel joy, warmth and love for others and letting love come out of me, it is not the same as letting it come back in. Thank you’s, compliments, and kind words would slide like water off a duck's back. They don't get in. I've changed dramatically in the last 8 months since I started experiencing/studying Rosen Method as if I were a new person, but am still so surprised that with each Intensive there’s MORE, HUGE parts of me that had been lost that I am just rediscovering and so looking forward to acknowledge, get re-acquainted with and reclaim!!!
I also had the great privilege of assisting with the registration/organizing for this intensive. This turned out to be, not only rewarding, but an important part of my intensive experience. I saw people working together to make this intensive the best it could be, pitching in to make the space we meet sacred. It awakened many memories and emotions of service and community, a part of me that I love, but have discarded and abandoned, when I left a religious organization I was deeply involved with 20+ years ago, disillusioned. I didn’t think there could be anything out there that could ever awaken this part of me again. Well, HERE I AM!
Thank you, Marion, for YOU, for your love, courage, passion and hard work in continuing to share this work and thank you, Valerie, for embodying/exemplifying Rosen, for your passion to teach/spread Rosen, for creating a safe, respectful, and warm environment to learn in, and for giving me the opportunity to contribute. THANK YOU!!!
- Grace Wu, Sunnyvale, California
By Mette Kragelund
We had a sharing circle so powerful and open that I categorized it as a healing of the general consciousness. One by one, each person shared more deeply, supported by stronger and stronger group attention, leading to intensely courageous sharings. Suddenly, I felt the whole group processing at deep levels individually and as a group. We worked on shared, deep, unconscious hurt. We were all held by a circle vibrating with enormous power of presence. It was allowing and spacious. In this sharing circle, I saw each participant and each of the teachers uniting into ONE powerful "group-Rosen- practitioner”, one who could hold the space and meet the deepest pain of the general consciousness in a real-time, group-sharing process.
Mette Kragelund, Denmark
By Janet Oliver
This is my voicemail message, after the Ukiah Intensive, to the Rosen practitioner who introduced me to Rosen:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! THANK you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ”
Janet Oliver, Berkeley California
Heartfelt thanks to Grace Wu and Sylvia Nobleman for their assistance in pulling the stories together/editing this article, and to all the brave participants who dared to share their stories.
I have heard Marion say, often after an intensive, “Now this was the best intensive ever!” For me, this one was it. I felt what had happened this week brought us as a group, and individually, HOME. Marion is right. This work can be taught. This work is profoundly healing and brings forth peace. Special thanks to Marion…without you, none of this would have been possible!
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