Healing Touch: Everything’s Coming up Rosen

By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2019

It might seem counterintuitive to consider as a spiritual practice a healing modality that looks like it largely consists of massage-like touch with a little bit of talking. The Rosen Method, after all, was developed in the early 1980s by a former physical therapist named Marion Rosen. The bodywork is based on the concept that people protect themselves from past painful experiences through the body mostly showing up as chronic musculoskeletal pain and tension.

Yet much more goes on than meets the eye. The physical protection mechanism, according to Rosen, also serves to separate people from their true selves. Rosen Method aims to re-integrate the whole person.

“The spirituality in the Rosen Method is that it’s not about fixing anything, or making things different than they are. What gives Rosen Method its power rests in the foundation of allowing what is, its gentleness, standing in the unknown, and not having an agenda,” said Meg Butler, a Summerland-based Certified Rosen Method Practitioner, echoing the tenet of many spiritual practices, from meditation to chanting. “There is simplicity and beauty of this work and its profound capacity to invite wholeness – however wholeness is experienced.”

The Rosen Method has another strong connection to spirituality, Butler explained.

“Like many mindfulness techniques, we watch the breath, but unlike yogic traditions or even meditation, we’re not controlling it, but watching the breath that breathes itself. We use the breath as a metaphor for life – how you breathe that unconscious breath is a reflection of the life being lived.” 

Butler came to the Rosen Method 25 years ago when she was both looking to remove barriers to romantic relationship and seeking a spiritual practice. A weekend training with founder Rosen led to her pursuing a four-year training. Butler has maintained a practice in the process ever since. 

This weekend, she’s offering a two-day introductory workshop called “Rosen Method: A Somatic Approach to Awareness” that will be held at a downtown location in Santa Barbara. The weekend is meant to both expose people to the modality and offer some hands-on healing, including demos and one-on-one treatments between participants. Attendees should come away with a deeper awareness of how emotional imbalances show up as tension in the body, and how awareness starts the process of healing. 

“It’s about exploring the connection between the body and our emotional state, exploring whether we still need to put tension in certain places,” Butler said. “The idea is to bring into an area of choice whether to be vulnerable or not, rather than having it be unconscious and the tension up all the time.”

Admission to the workshop which runs 1-6 pm on Saturday and 1-5 pm Sunday, October 26-27, is $270. A preview lecture/demonstration takes place from 7-9 pm on Friday, October 25, at Unity of Santa Barbara and costs $15. For more information, call Butler at (805) 684-0356, email info@megbutler.com, or visit http://megbutler.com.

Spooky Spirituality

Get groovy at DiviniTree’s first annual Halloween event for which the regular lights will be turned out in favor of a special blacklight scheme for an energizing glow-in-the-dark yoga experience led by Rachel Wilkins. Participants should arrive dressed in Halloween costumes and/or blacklight-friendly attire (neons and crisp whites glow the strongest) and be ready to add to your glow with custom body paint from Tribal Markers and other body artists. Then prepare to stretch, pose, and move to spooky ghoulish beats for the creative Halloween-inspired flow yoga session on Halloween eve, Wednesday, October 30. All levels are welcome for the 7-9 pm session and the studio expects the class to sell out, so pre-registration is advised to lock down a spooky spot. But leave the glow sticks at home, as Halloween Glow & Flo is an eco-friendly event. Fee: $25 in advance, $30 day of.

Discovering Yoga at DiviniTree

The downtown studio this week also offers one of its periodic Yoga 101 – Foundations of Yoga classes, as Sierra Noland leads a free session from 1-3 pm on Saturday, October 26. The workshop is designed for absolute first-timers, those still in the beginning stages, or anyone who wants to dig deeper into the yoga tradition and fine-tune their primary yoga asanas (poses). The two-hour session not only provides basic instruction but also serves as a non-intimidating environment to ask any questions you have about yoga: the poses, history, philosophy, breathing, meditation, and more so you can maximize the understanding and the benefit of the practice. Participants will also learn how to use props and their own bodies to modify poses and movements to meet their unique needs. The poses then will be incorporated into an accessible and moderately-paced Vinyasa flow that links movement and breath. The intention is for participants to leave the free workshop with the tools to start confidently practicing yoga at home or in the studio.

DiviniTree is located at 25 East De La Guerra Street. Call (805) 897-3354 or visit http://sb.divinitree.com.

Ecstatic on East De La Guerra

DiviniTree also hosts the return of the Santa Barbara Ecstatic Dance Co-op, the organically organized weekly gathering having found a new home after a few weeks’ hiatus. DJ Caille (aka Baldemar Guerrero) handles the beats and rhythms for the Friday, October 25 re-launching of the community dance open to collaboration and synergy that was created by Michael Love. “My intention for this set is to connect us to all the feelings we have in our bodies in our daily lives,” offered Guerrero. “The hugs that almost bring us to tears. The children that remind us to jump for joy. The moments we choose dance in public to a loved song, or a seductive breeze. When we are generous with one another. I’d like to honor all the feelings that make us human and spiritually connected.” Admission to the 7:30-9:30 dance is $10.

Those interested in serving as musical host and creating a 90-minute playlist of the music they themselves love to dance to can learn the guidelines and arrange a date via emailing Love at mjlfilm@gmail.com or texting (805) 452-6455. Connect to the community, get news, give suggestions and see the future schedule online at www.facebook.com/groups/348680169122789. 

Yoga Dance Magic Glowing

Glow is also a go at Yoga Soup on Saturday night, when Yoga Dance Magic founder Emma Davis leads a 50-minute all levels YDM silent disco yoga class, in which participants wear headphones and the instruction and rhythms are aimed to activate the breath with intuitive postures. The yoga session then transforms into a dance party where all are invited to stretch, ecstatically dance, engage in consensual contact improv, be still and meditate and otherwise move as freely as each individual wants, all to beats from DJ Nyrus delivered through the high-tech headphones. October’s theme for the monthly event is “Neon Glow Flow,” so feel free to wear bright clothing for black light highlighting, or dress up in Halloween costumes that will let you move freely. Admission is $15 for the entire event, including the 7 pm yoga warm-up and 8-9:30 silent disco ecstatic dance. 

Wild Yoga goes East-ern

Unless you’re scared of the sunset, there’s nothing to fear about Wild Yoga’s next session of wind-down evening flow yoga at East Beach, which takes place 5-6 pm on Thursday, October 24, on the grass near the public restroom where Calle Ceasar Chavez meets Cabrillo. Bring your own mat or blankets, water and props, and wear comfy clothing with layers as the temperature cools down quickly as the sun sets. The suggested donation is $5-$10 in cash or via Venmo @sonyabarriere. Visit www.facebook.com/wildyogasb.

Haunted Potluck? 

Halloween falling on a Thursday means the holiday is invading even the Bodhi Path Santa Barbara Center, where the sangha is hosting one of its periodic potluck parties from 7-9 pm on October 31. The event represents an opportunity to study the support of community and the interdependence of conditions by participating in sangha’s supper, where the concept of “shaping your own experience” extends to preparing a vegetarian dish that’s as spooky and/or festive as you’d like to make it.

The previous Thursday, October 24, the center also hosts “The Power of Transformation” teaching by resident teacher Dawa Tarchin Phillips, whose talk address how, unlike purely intellectual endeavors, the power of Dharma lies in its ability to generate authentic and holistic transformation. The teaching focuses on transformation and how you can experience more of it in your own life. In between, the sangah’s ongoing Book Discussion Club continues its study of Working with the Emotions by Jigme Rinpoche, which delves into how such emotions as anger, jealousy and pride affect us negatively, and how to be liberated by releasing them, in a 7-8:30 pm session on Tuesday, October 22.

Bodhi Path Santa Barbara events take place at 102 W Mission Street. Call (805) 284-2704 or visit www.bodhipath.org/sb.

Quiet Contemplation

Santa Barbara Buddhist Meditation Meetup’s next full-day retreat finds Kate Ratliff and Ajahn Khamjan co-hosting a silent meditation retreat on Saturday, October 26, at the American Buddhist Meditation Temple to practice a variety of traditional techniques designed to work together to cultivate, develop and strengthen mindfulness in every aspect of daily life. Guidance and basic instruction will be offered at appropriate times, and a sound healing session will also be offered, but otherwise talking should be kept to a minimum. Chanting, sitting and walking meditations, a Dharma talk, mindful movement, Ayurvedic healing, mindful eating (bring your own lunch) and a late-afternoon Q&A session comprise the offerings. Participants are welcome to come for the whole day, or for any portion of it. There are no formal fees to participate in any of the ABMT events, however heartfelt donations for the temple and/or the co-hosts are gratefully accepted. ABMT is located at 1251 Orchid Drive. Meetup info at www.meetup.com/Santa-Barbara-Buddhist-Meditation, or call (805) 680-9794 or visit www.abuddhisttemple.org. 

Cumes on Shamanism 

Veteran School of Extended Learning teacher David Cumes offers a new class this weekend examining shamanism and indigenous wisdom and how they help to describe life’s cosmology. According to Cumes, who is also a well-respected urologist in town, the knowledge can be life-affirming, life-changing and even life-saving. He’ll explore several paradigms and techniques and help participants discover how to access a non-local, “quantum field” of information across the veil between worlds with the help of their own spirit guides. You’ll likely come away knowing how to correct issues with rituals, use sacred spaces as a medium, and apply indigenous wisdom to heal, diagnose, and treat psycho-spiritual ailments and challenges. Admission to the 10 am to 1 pm class on Saturday, October 26, at SBCC’s Schott Center Tannahill Auditorium is $25. Visit https://sbcc.augusoft.net. 

Cups of Soup 

“Let’s go deep!” is the theme for October’s Authentic Relating Games gathering, with the invitation to explore inside to become aware of and reveal those parts of yourself that are not easily accessible. Jenny Calcoen and Damian Gallagher lead the evening of self-discovery and connection through group play in the relational field 7:00 – 9:30 pm on Friday, October 25. Admission is $18 in advance, $25 day-of…

Half a dozen local authors whose books fall into the spirituality and/or self-help sphere will appear together in a book fair sponsored by the creativity coach group CreativeHowTo 2-4 pm on Saturday, October 26. Learn about the author’s process from creation to publishing in a Q&A panel followed by a book signing and opportunity to mingle with the creative writing community. Montecito’s Agatha Carubia (“Heart-Based Singing”) is among the panelists. Free…

Naturopathic physician Dr. Lynn von Schneidau, counselors Bill and Gloria Kastenberg, and local yogi Luca Cupery team up for an immersive seven-day Health Rejuvenation & Cleanse Retreat, a journey toward self discovery and deep interpersonal self healing through physical, mental and emotional soul work. Visit www.purerenewal-retreat.com or https://haramararetreat.com/2019/10/26/dr-lynns-health-immersion-rejuvenation-retreat-mind-body-soul-intensive for details about the October 26 – November 2 retreat…

Learn financial skills and tools to transform your relationship with money so that it becomes an abundant, freeing, and positive force in your life in the free 3 Keys to Financial Freedom: Free Workshop at 7:15 pm on Wednesday, October 30. Sara Arredondo will lead an exploration of how the relationship with money is connected to one’s sense of self, wellness and spirituality before shift to considering pragmatic tools, education and money management – leading to an understanding how they are intimately connected.


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