Posted by .

A Recipe for Human Amore

by Mary Ann Gray Mary Ann VoorhiesVoorhies

Years ago, I attended a series of workshops that literally changed my life in a most powerful way. The workshops were based on the teachings of Martin Heidegger. Fernando Flores took Heidegger’s work and created a way to accelerate the human soma is various ways so as to allow that person to achieve A NEW WAY OF BEING in a relatively short time.

Heidegger taught that there is no permanent self. In fact, humans always are in a PROCESS OF BECOMING. Humans, through somatic learning, can design a new self, with the help of the coach and small community, that is more capable, confident, understanding, a better listener and wise. These workshops are called Ontological Design. In these workshops, people, through somatic learning, can become more available and better able to form intimacy and community.

When I first attended these workshops, I was reserved, scared, aloof, and had poor self esteem. All of that has changed. I am now better able to interact with others in more powerful ways. It set me on a new trajectory in my life. I will forever be grateful to the originators of this work, for it has made all the difference in my life. It has helped me reach more of my full potential. What I learned there was to have good self esteem, to be more loving, more personable, more committed to my goals, and more courageous to face life’s problems. What I learned made me a spiritual warrior — a person who is committed to making a difference in the world.

At these workshops, I met a teacher, Stuart Heller. What he taught me with the methods of Tai chi, was that there are four ways of acting and reacting when one has conflict with others. Most people are habituated to act in only one of the four ways. Because of this, they are enslaved by a somatic habit and are not able to act or react in any other way. The four ways are:

  • Wind – Moves away and off to the side so as to avoid the opponent (This was my habit.)
  • Water – Backs up but still keeps contact with the opponent.
  • Fire – Moves forward to meet and push the opponent.
  • Ground – Rigidly stands still and pushes back without moving the opponent.

After many months of practicing Heller’s work (the exercises) I was freed of my habit, and I was able to be water, fire or ground. I had learned to become versatile and more at choice. The fact that I learned to be fire and ground came as a big surprise to others who knew me, including my husband. I would say shocked, even. Thanks to Heller’s work, my entire way of being became more of power and might — might meaning having a different outcome. Years later, when I became a clinical somatic educator, I found out that Heller had been a student and friend of Thomas Hanna, the founder of Hanna Somatics.

What I envision for the future of the human race is that if more and more somas (human beings) practice ontological design, Hanna Somatics (clinical somatic education), Heller’s somatic work (Walking Your Talk), and the Evolutionary Church, we will have produced the new humans in record time. Our society will transform into one of wise, loving, committed, strong, homo amores. These educational processes have the potential to create a giant evolutionary leap for humankind.

Hanna, in his book The Body of Life wrote, “Somatic education is not only something new and unexpected. It is something of momentous consequence. It entails a basic transformation in our understanding of the human species and of the capacities of the human individual. That which we have believed to be unchangeable in the human creature has been discovered to be not, after all, so unchangeable. Such a discovery amounts to a reassessment of the nature of ourselves and of humankind … The somatic realm is as fascinating as it is surprising. Moreover, it offers us a practical understanding of the human being that is, I believe, the harbinger of a new era in human education and medicine.”

Additional Resources

For more blogs on Hanna Somatics go here>>>

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.