It has been twenty-seven years since I began creating the Hakomi Method. At present, it is being taught by dozens of people in fifteen countries. During those twenty-seven years the work has evolved quite a bit. A few major changes and many lesser ones have been made. This document describes the work as I teach it now, in 2007. The latest version is a significant refinement of the original. Some important things have been added, others that now seem unnecessary have been dropped.
The work from the beginning was experiential, using reactions evoked by little experiments with the person in a mindful state. That process remains the core of the method.
Fourteen years ago, I introduced the idea that loving presence is the appropriate state of mind for the practitioner. It is our first and most important task. That one change made a huge difference in the effectiveness of the method.
More recently and equally significant, I came to see the work as assisted self-study. This view is quite different from that of traditional psychotherapy. I see it now as mindfulness-based, assisted self study. Seen in this light, it is closely related to the Buddhist and Taoist principles that were among my original inspirations. As assisted self-study, the work is, in some fundamental way, quite different from those therapies that find their foundations in medicine and place themselves within that paradigm. This method can be part of any method of psychotherapy. But it is much more than that. It is basic to all human relations. It is a natural part of the universal human endeavor to understand ourselves, to free ourselves of the inevitable suffering that follows simply from ignorance of who we truly are. It is the path taken by all who work to go beyond the half remembered hurts and failed beliefs that linger in the unexamined mind and body, hurts that act through barely conscious habits and reactions. This work is part of that heroic labor, a cousin to sitting meditation, to singing bowls and chanting monks.
This work is… a cousin to sitting meditation, to singing bowls and chanting monks.
Anyone who is capable of a few moments of calm will have no trouble pursuing self-study using this method. And just as exciting, being an assistant in that process is well within the reach of any good-hearted, intelligent person who takes the time to learn the method.
A word of appreciation. In practicing, learning and teaching all these years, I have benefited greatly from the people I have assisted, the colleagues I have worked with and all the bright and loving students who continue to fill my life. For all they gave and still give, I offer heartfelt thanks!
With permission, excerpts from writings of Ron Kurtz
© 2007 Ron Kurtz Trainings, Inc.