What is Hakomi?
Hakomi is a method that was created and developed by the late Ron Kurtz. He originally called it Body-centered Psychotherapy. Hakomi was originally referred to as “body-centered” because the information about someone’s present experience and how someone is organizing experience is more available from nonverbal expression than from what the person says in words.
As the method developed and expanded beyond the psychotherapy setting, he began to call it “mindfulness-based assisted self-study and self-discovery”.
It is a natural part of the universal human endeavor to understand ourselves, to free ourselves of the inevitable suffering that follows from ignorance of who we are and “how the world hangs together”. It is the path taken by all who work to go beyond the half- remembered hurts and failed beliefs that linger unexamined in the mind and body, hurts that act through barely conscious habits and reactions. Hakomi is a part of that heroic labor, a cousin to sitting meditation, to singing bowls and chanting monks.
Hakomi, A Brief History
Ron Kurtz is the original developer of the Hakomi Method. He began leading workshops and trainings in the mid-1970’s and led the first training in the Hakomi Method in 1977. In 1981, he and his colleagues founded the Hakomi Institute.
In 2008, Ron received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The US Association of Body Psychotherapy and an honorary doctorate from the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute for his work in developing the Hakomi Method.
Ron collaborated on several published books on Hakomi. The first book, The Body Reveals, written with Hector Prestera, M.D. (1976), was about reading the body for psychological information. His second book, Body-Centered Psychotherapy (1991), described the Hakomi Method. The third book, Grace Unfolding: Psychotherapy in the Spirit of Tao-te Ching (2011), was co-authored with Greg Johanson. After his death, his final thoughts on the Hakomi Method were published under the title The Hakomi Way: Consciousness and Healing (2021). The Practice of Loving Presence: A Mindful Guide to Open-Hearted Relating (2019) was co-authored with Donna Martin.
In the last decades of his life, he began to describe his work as mindfulness-based assisted self-discovery. This version of the Hakomi method is taught by trainers and teachers of the Hakomi Education Network whose trainings are available worldwide.
The Hakomi Education Network
The Hakomi Education Network (HEN) is an international organization dedicated to preserving, developing and teaching Hakomi as created by Ron Kurtz. During his life, Ron had made many changes to his original approach which he came to refer to as “mindfulness-based assisted self discovery.”
This website is our center of communication. As an international community, we are deeply connected in our intention to teach the principles and practices of Hakomi. Across cultures and languages, we share our love of the unique spirit and expression of this work and we choose to embody and share an open-hearted way of relating and supporting our human potential.
Ron Kurtz named a small group of legacy holders, tasked with inspiring people worldwide to continue to learn and practice the method, to create study groups, to develop skillful practitioners, teachers and trainers, and to promote Hakomi as a conscious and compassionate way of being in the world as well as an approach to self awareness and personal healing.