Refined Hakomi

By Roger Langmaid

We are especially fortunate to be participants studying, training in and practising the Refined Method of Hakomi which Ron Kurtz continued to develop until his death in 2011. The refinements were not only the addition of new practices and emphasis but also the leaving behind of some practices such as character theory, that Ron felt the refined method had outgrown.

“Since the early 90’s, when I resigned as director of the Hakomi Institute, I have continued to refine the method and to teach these refinements in workshops and trainings along with a few trainers who have studied and worked with me the last fifteen years or so.” (1)

Ron KurtzRon moved the method away from being confined to professionals or institutions.

“Over the years, my vision of the method has evolved. You’d expect that over forty years. It’s evolved not only in its fine detail, but also in a larger sense. I see the method now more as a natural process, not something very complicated. I see it as a way someone with developed skills for caring and relating can assist someone who has the courage and intent to seek a happier way of being through self-knowledge.” (2 )

Ron lists the original Hakomi components and later refinements of practice in his writings. (1)

Perhaps the most significant refinement of all is loving presence, as over technique and method Ron stresses the importance of our relationships, our ability to be with each other in ways that truly support our own study and healing.

“I realized during one mind-opening session that my own state of mind (or state of being) was the most important aspect of the healing relationship. I called it loving presence and began teaching it as the first and most important thing to learn. It was about how one creates that state of mind and what it means to be present with the facts of every moment.” (1)

Before his death Ron acknowledged those who had remained with him and practiced the Refined Method by declaring them his legacy holders.

“So much of Hakomi is an expression of a personal spirit, a way of being. I believe much of that spirit was lost to those who took a different path. The original inspiration has been filtered through too many generations of Hakomi teachers and trainers whose connection to me was broken years ago. Hakomi is no longer a single coherent method. It has mutated into different species, one taught by the Hakomi Institute, another by the trainers and teachers who continued to study and work with me.” (1)

1. The Esalen Hakomi Group Handbook Appendix 1. Evolving vision Ron Kurtz
2. Talk on the refined method by Ron Kurtz – Ireland 2009 transcribed by Trudy Walter