Fellowship Forum: Arawana Hayashi on Welcoming the Unknown Through Embodied Practices

On March 11, we continued the Garrison Institute Fellowship Forum with a conversation between Arawana Hayashi and Dr. Angel Acosta, Director of the Garrison Institute Fellowship. They discussed Hayashi’s work on embodied presence and awareness practices for getting unstuck in the face of uncertainty. As the events of the past year have reminded us all, one of the only certainties in life is, in fact, uncertainty. This time dialogue offered practices to help us face and embrace the unknown, and we invite you to revisit it at any time below.

The Garrison Institute Fellowship Forum is a series of conversations with extraordinary leaders with expertise and experience in awareness-based contemplative wisdom, the science of interconnection, generative action, and collective healing. Each conversation will be co-facilitated by the Garrison Institute Fellows and Fellowship Director Dr. Angel Acosta.

Arawana Hayashi’s pioneering work as a choreographer, performer and educator is deeply sourced in collaborative improvisation. She currently heads the creation of Social Presencing Theater (SPT) for the Presencing Institute. Working with Otto Scharmer and colleagues at the Presencing Institute, she brings her background in the arts, meditation and social justice to creating “social presencing” that makes visible both current reality and emerging future possibilities. Her dance career ranges from directing an interracial street dance company formed by the Boston Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs in the aftermath of the 1968 murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, to being one of the foremost performers of Japanese Court Dance, bugaku, in the US. She has been Co-Director of the Dance Program at Naropa University, Boulder, CO; and founder-director of two contemporary dance companies in Cambridge. MA. She continues to perform in a multi-disciplinary performance ensemble, originating out of Naropa University and the ALIA Institute, where she currently teaches in leadership programs. Arawana is an acharya (senior teacher) in Shambhala – a global network of meditation centers dedicated to applying mindfulness to “creating enlightened society.” She teaches both meditation and art based on bringing out the basic goodness of individuals, of relationships and of society.

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