Touch You: Touch and intimacy in Relationship Workshop
July 13-20, 2019
Only $1,995 Per Couple
Arrive July 13 by 6:30 PM!
(NOTE: WE ARE 3.5-5.5 HOURS FROM SAN JOSE DEPENDING ON MODE OF TRAVEL)
I’ve offered Intimacy workshops for massage therapists to help them open up to, address and improve the subtle qualities of touch in their work that impact the healing connection with the client. In trust and vulnerability, tremendous multi dimensional healing can occur. I currently provide and teach this as Shamanic Bodywork. When I taught this under the title “Intimacy,” the massage therapists who were ready for this work self selected, largely based on their understanding and openness to that one word.
Yet, most often, people would say, “That would be a great workshop for couples.” Indeed it would be. At that time, I was not ready to teach couples. You see, for a very great many reasons, intimacy, vulnerability and touch are much, much easier between relative strangers. That one fact alone creates more challenge in working with couples, even individual couples. Teaching a group of couples, with all the unknown relationship issues and attitudes is potentially quite incendiary.
I am ready to accept that challenge now. I invite you and your significant other to join me on a journey of discovery. To facilitate this journey, I will be sending short chapters out to you to read for background and to provide a common base of understanding. I will host video Zoom presentations for the two of you to attend together along with other couples. I will specifically and separately host video discussion groups where you may open up about your experiences and challenges, both in the past, and as you embrace this new way of relating to each other, to touch and to sexuality. As you wish and feel led, I will offer private video sessions to coach, address questions or offer suggestions to you both. Finally, there will be retreats, here in Costa Rica, and perhaps in the US, for you to attend as a couple and learn, hands on, so to speak. Your individual and couple boundaries will emerge and be honored, yet within those boundaries, we will not shy away from touch, intimacy or sexuality. We will embrace it all.
I want to specifically and purposefully invite LGBTQ couples to join us.I am a straight male. I have had a couple of gay sexual encounters. I resonate with women and female energy and interests, far more so than with our culture’s identified, appropriate masculine interests. I tend to have far, far more women as friends that I do men. But while I relate to women, I can’t pretend that I can ever know what it means to be a woman. I simply can’t have that lived experience, however open to it I may be. A former partner has described me as a lesbian in a man’s body. I don’t have any idea what that means, much less how to experience life or sexuality as a lesbian. Or a gay man, a transsexual, a bisexual. I am open, but I am bound to my experience. I know that in touch, in intimacy, in sexuality, there is a duality. Giving and receiving. Active and Passive. Yang and yin. Masculine and Feminine. These are fluid characteristics of energy. I believe straight CIS gendered couples are often limited by fixed ideas around their anatomy and cultural conditioning. I am willing to learn. I am open to your teaching, to your correction of assumptions I make from the ground of my own limitations. I promise you safety and respect. Beyond that, I welcome the opportunity to learn and challenge myself. You are welcomed here.
Yes, there will be techniques, discussions and demonstrations of techniques, of touch, intimacy and even sex. But technique is not the foundation of connection, nor does skill in technique achieve any exceptional experience. Technique arises naturally from a ground of unconditional love, though it may take some trial and error to emerge, perhaps quite a lot. We are not taught to touch, nor encouraged to do so. We are, when we are taught at all about sex, taught to fear, to be cautious, to avoid. If we are lucky, we arrive at some very crude understanding of general anatomy and mechanics. Enough merely to copulate and reproduce. The underlying message is one of shame, fear and distrust.
If we overcome this within our relationships and ourselves to find satisfying physical connection, it is subject to considerable disruption and inconsistency from the many other dimensions of our relationship. Work, time, the children, friendships, anxiety, aging, illness, finance, our individual trauma histories both disclosed and undiscovered, religion, culture, all create storms on the tranquil sea of our blissful and ecstatic times together.
I want to share with you an approach to touch, intimacy and sexuality wherein the flow of energy between you feeds and nourishes your entire relationship, each of your personal growth paths and your relationship with the divine, with spirit. I would like you to come to experience your physical relationship as a pervasive continuum of giving and receiving which keeps no tally, feeding you as much in the gift as in the receipt. I would like your physical intimacy, including sexuality, to become a core support to your growth as individuals and as a couple. It should tend and nurture your flowering mindfulness and consciousness.
This is the very purpose of relationship. Carl Gustav Jung described the goal of personal growth as “Individuation.” In-divid-uation. Undividable. Whole. The complete conscious incorporation of all that exists within our psyche. Imagine having a life partner with a complementary, and sometimes conflicting, energetic signature, as committed to your growth as they are to their own. Imagine that the physicality of your relationship is not merely the flower, but the rhizome, the root of this flower you tend together.
This is the approach we will make to this most difficult and challenging of subjects. We will do it in love, in safety and in the greatest possible vulnerability. Then, whether you are sitting quietly in the evening sharing the details of your day as you massage each other’s feet, or writhing in ecstatic union, in ‘le petit mort,’ lost in divine connection, rolling in a seemingly endless orgasm, touch will be the ground under you. The essential loneliness and separation of incarnate being is so much lighter and easier to bear when we touch and are touched like we mean it.
What Students Say About Our Classes:
“An amazing gathering of people and an amazing teacher. The experience enabled me to grow mentally and allowed me to physically let go of all shame and energies that served no good to myself or others attending. There was also a spiritual growth and a deeper connection to other inhabitants of earth from my end was gained. There will definitely be a following gained by those opened to Michael’s beautiful energy.”
-Andre, Student and LMT
“Excellent course and instructor. Michael is very professional and clear regarding boundaries and ethical concerns, which is very important with this style of massage. The facility is fabulous, private, quiet, with everything available that could be required by course participants. I gained deeper clarity about my own massage therapy work even after 20 years as a practitioner. Michael has the ability to integrate and articulate theory from broad sources weave it together with the practical aspects of instruction. I highly recommend this instructor’s work.”
- LMT and experienced massage instructor
“Michael, the spirit of LomiLomi lives within your whole being. It’s felt, witnessed and heard. It’s an honor to have you as a teacher. The location is very nice and comfortable, all the equipment is perfect. The slide show on the TV was organized and informative. This was an excellent experience for my whole being. I feel like a new person after this whole experience. Lots of limitations shed and a whole new way of being filled in.”
-Student Evaluation Comment
"Thank you so very much. I am transformed, by which I mean I simply feel I have been restored to myself. The darkness has lifted. The workshop was powerful, whole and expressed so well what I know to be the truth but had not yet fully articulated. You do a remarkable job of weaving all the pieces together and of holding us all with love and gentleness. I can't wait to work with you again!"
"The workshop was amazing and transformational, exceeding my expectations ~ which were fairly high to begin with. It was without a doubt the best, most well organized and professionally presented 18 hours of training I've attended in the decade I've been practicing. (And I've attended some great workshops over the years.) Three days for the physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually challenging and enlightening work were really not enough time (my only caveat). This work ~ and the quality that you, as facilitator, bring to it (including the remarkably well thought out and written 111-page accompanying text) ~ could easily have gone on for another day or two. Our hands-on time will elevate my practice! I've returned home eager to add our flowing dance strokes and stretching work to my own intuitive fusion work. The weekend became a lovely. intimate, sacred, and nurturing time-away-from-time, as our small group of six sweet, courageous souls traded and learned, and traded and learned some more. I am awed by the vulnerability and courage of our little band of healers."
"I don't think I've ever spent three consecutive days in such absence of judgment -- in a bottomless reservoir of honesty, support and loving feelings. Wow. It will take me a while, or forever, to metabolize it all.
What really worked for me was the balance between the hands-on work and the book work. The written part was so well-done, well-developed and thought-out, and supported by evidence-based research in an amazing variety of ways. I appreciate that even as I accept that some things are magically beyond measure and explanation. But I think all those elements come together in your course to create the strongest and most helpful experience. You're a born teacher."
-Patty, LMT and Professional Journalist
"In all the years I've been practicing and taking trainings and workshops(and I've taken many) This was the best, most transformative, enlightening experience of them all. My only serious suggestion would be to extend it by another day or two- or even three. A Retreat! Michael you are such a powerful, intuitive, compassionate healer. Thank you for creating and holding this sacred space."
-Student Course Evaluation Comment
"This was a workshop about so many aspects of our humanity....It was a multidimensional approach to our profession. I have gained clarity and courage. Sometimes others come to our lives as catalysts, and as messengers or reminders for what still remains blurry to us. I am very grateful for that to you specially and also to (each of my classmates).
Steps and Planning
Register: Pay workshop registration $1,995... or a non-refundable deposit of $500
Book flights: Arrive in SJO by morning the day before the workshop, Depart SJO after 1:00 pm the day after the workshop.
Download Transportation PDF (with ground transport options)
Individually Complete the Online Questionnaire for each of you
Read assigned and/or recommended readings before the workshop (PDF sent by e-mail upon registration.
Participate in the Zoom Meetings online prior to the workshop
Transportation From Airports:
San Jose or Liberia
Bus, Shuttle, Rental Car, Taxi
(Recommend Coordinating with Other Students) Download PDF Click Here
Intimacy and Touch for Couples(July 13-20)$ 1,995/Couple
Lodging and Meals
You also get to explore local restaurants, we will go out for dinner four times during the retreat, these are not included in the package. (Meals are usually around US$ 15)