Greeting Messages (translated from Japanese)

I would like to extend a big thank-you to all for your enthusiastic support of Sensory Awareness which has resulted in founding Sensory Awareness Japan in 2011.

Perhaps many people think that I have been learning Sensory Awareness for long time or I know about it very well.

However it was 2006 that I first met Sensory Awareness, so it wasn’t so long ago. Until then, I had never heard of anything like “paying attention to one’s own sensations”.

I still remember very clearly my first Sensory Awareness Workshop which was held at a temple in Kyoto. For three days I was really serious, intense, working so hard on what I was told by Judyth. Nevertheless, I was not able to sense my sensations at all. On the final day of the workshop, at the very last sharing time, when Judyth asked everyone “How are you feeling now?” I felt really miserable because I did not feel anything. One by one, people around me told their experiences as their feelings took them. As I looked around I saw some people nodding their heads in agreement. Again, I felt terrible because I did not have anything to say.

I felt disappointed in myself, I tried not to meet anyone’s eyes, I was desperately hoping that the sharing time would finish quickly. After a while it seemed that no one else wanted to speak so I raised my eyes from the floor. Unfortunately my gaze met Judyth’s. She looked at me with her curious eyes but said nothing. I felt people noticed the silence between Judyth and me. Because I had hardly said anything for the three days I started feeling a bit uneasy and thought I should say something. So I tried and tried to search for the words. However I could not find anything in my mind to say so I finally opened my mouth and said honestly “I have been trying really hard for these three days but I still don’t know what I am doing. Moreover I can still not feel anything at all. I’m sorry but I guess I’m not cut out for this kind of work…” “Is that so?” Judyth answered and then asked “How do you know that? What does that feel like?”
Again I thought and thought, searched and searched for an uncomfortably long time and said ” -Well, it is like there is a butterfly somewhere between my stomach and chest and it flies restlessly” When Judyth heard my answer she smiled to me and said “Then, take good care of your butterfly”

This is my first story of Sensory Awareness. Isn’t it like a Zen riddle? At that time I never imagined that I would be involved so deeply with Sensory Awareness and eventually come to be able to gladly announce the establishment of Sensory Awareness Japan.

By the way, in Sensory Awareness why do we pay attention to our sensations? Why are those sensations so important for us? Also why does our leader ask us to verbalize our experience? Is verbalization really necessary? These questions are what I have been thinking about since my first day of Sensory Awareness. And I gradually come closer to answering those questions. However these answers are still not clear yet and I hope to explore these questions more as I share my time and experience with you.

Now I would like to thank all of you for reading such a long greeting message.

I certainly look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Yuka Saito

* * * * * * * * * *

It was 1990 that I first met the words “Sensory Awareness”.

At that time as a healthcare worker, I was wondering and researching what it means to listen to one’s story. I was studying at Japan Counseling Center and th class next door was “Sensory Awareness” led by Hiroshi Ito.

After almost twenty years, when I had an opportunity to experience Sensory Awareness it filled me with deep emotions as I finally met something I had been looking for for so long.

I’d learned a lot from Noguchi Taisou by Michizo Noguchi and Takeuchi Method by Toshiharu Takeuchi. Now, as a teacher of Feldenkrais method, it is also a great pleasure for me to come to encounter Sensory Awareness, which is the very basic work – “the work on the whole person”

This work gives me “a clear motivation to live fully” by leading my awareness to my own sensations.

It would be more than my pleasure if I can share its treasure with many more people. With Yuka Saito, I am thankful to help and work for Sensory Awareness Japan and I look forward to its further development in Japan.

Finally I must thank all the people who have been helping and making a path for Sensory Awareness with passion and sincerity.

Tomoko Sugita