Embodied Presence: The Art of Making a True Move

Embodied Presence Arawana Hayashi Teaching movement and LeadershipEmbodied Presence: Art of Making a True Move is a workshop that is offered twice annually as a 4 day intensive taught by Arawana Hayashi. It can be offered as a shorter introductory program. For instance it was offered as a one-day pre-conference workshop at the 18th annual Pegasus conference in Boston in November 2008. And as a one half day program in collaboration with Peter Block at the November 2008 Gathering Of Leaders in Columbus, Ohio.

This work is capacity building for using the Theory U as a method for accessing profound change, and it is an integral part of the Presencing Foundation course of Presencing Institute. The Art of Making a True Move workshop provides people interested in further training with conceptual frameworks, methods and practices.

The work is of benefit as:

  • A training in a wholistic body-mind approach to leadership capacity
  • The foundation for creative process in teams
  • The technical and conceptual framework and training for engagement in the Social Presencing Theater


The Art of Making a True Move workshop investigates genuineness – an integrated relationship between body, mind, and environment. In her acclaimed workshops, Arawana invites participants to discover their natural creativity as she guides them through a gentle process of paying attention to the body and to physical and psychological space. Through these non-verbal exercises, they discover fresh responses to challenges in the speed and fragmentation of contemporary life.

Arawana has presented “The Art of Making a True Move” in educational and cultural institutions, business and organizational settings, and at meditation centers throughout North America. The workshops provide a unique kinesthetic learning experience that strengthens personal confidence, creative collaborations, teambuilding, group communication, and leadership skills.

Cultivating a body of resonance

Many of us are preoccupied with thoughts and mental models that hinder us from being thoroughly present in the body and open minded in conversations, tasks and creative thinking. Mindfulness practice, noticing sensations free from judgment and goal-orientation, brings us into the body and into the present. We notice our habit of thinking rather than being. By returning attention to the body, the busy mind settles into a deep integration with the body. This practice promotes a sense of groundedness and presence.

Awareness is the basis for creative team play

Most performing artists engage in collaboration and have skills in ensemble creative process. This step-by-step training enables groups to break old habits and gain fresh perspectives. The method shifts attention from the content of the communication to other important but often neglected sources of insight – rhythm, spatial arrangements, composition in time, choice making process, energetic qualities. The team uses six simple everyday movements to create a “dance.” The simplicity of the form highlights what is emerging from the collective and teaches skills that enable the group to communicate genuinely.

The true move emerges from the field

Each participant takes a leadership role within the group, using gestures to illuminate the power of being present – the ordinary and extraordinary sense of “making a true move.”

This practice emphasizes relaxing in the challenge, letting things arise naturally from the situation, and performing with clarity and conviction. It reduces the separation between performer/leader and audience. Support and trustworthy feedback are always available.

‘A true move’ is the expression of genuine art and enlightened society.