Social Somatics Classes

Whats Rank and Privilege Got to Do With It?

(World Work Conflict Processes-Process Work/Arnold Mindell).

Every group has tensions within it that are so familiar as to be almost invisible. Sometimes these tensions in ourselves, our relationships, in our communities and organizations seem insurmountable or intangible as if there is something else driving them that is lingering just below the surface, perhaps taboo. Often these are the shadows of class, race, gender, money, agism, ableism etc. These subjects go un-acknowledged, yet have a major impact in and on our communities and play enormous roles in our interpersonal relating and dynamics.

Our ideas about ourselves whether we are white, black, mixed race, disabled, young, old, poor, rich, educated or uneducated; be it kind, considerate, non-prejudiced, inclusive, liberal, radical, Republican, Democrat, Anarchist, Buddhist   or progressive (and all the general definitions of these words) feel threatened when an awareness of rank and privilege is brought into the room.
Rank and privilege are concepts that help us understand our own unique position on the status hierarchy.

Process Work has a unique and unusual way of understanding” Rank” that, unlike “Privilege” reveals how EVERYONE has “rank” (and therefore also less rank) where as in the current accusation of “privilege”, this is generally never considered. We will learn what the difference is between rank and privilege, the basic theory of “Rank” as categories; Social, Situational, Psychological, Spiritual and how these apply to us through exercises in “Inner Work” (with ourselves), other and group. Revealing the levels of rank and privilege we enjoy and often unwittingly exploit, brings great consciousness, trust and communicative possibilities into the group context, however you identify.

To put this all into a larger context, other questions we will explore will be; What are the unconscious trances, triggers and fears we have around all these edgy issues? How do we discover them in ourselves without getting stuck in shame? How do they affect our ability to be in relationship with each other in a group or in community? And how do we educate each other to stay awake to the subtle/overt signals when rank and privilege are being the triggers? Please join us in this juicy participatory dialogue!


Transforming Conflict through Embodiment:

Skills for Transforming Self & Group Conflict.

(Using Somatic Techniques and Arnold Mindell’s Deep Democracy Approach)

Conflict is scary to most of us. Yet most of us forget that we are in constant conflict, first with ourselves, then in relationship, our community and the wider world. Culturally, we are not taught tools to deal with conflict, but rather are conditioned to think of conflict as a negative force. Many of us deal with conflict by polarizing, and digging deeper into the holes created by our own positions, rather than learning to work with conflict in an expressive and pro-active way. Arnold Mindell calls conflict “an organic process of a one-sided situation that is trying to balance itself”. How different our world would be if we could hold such a positive view on the possibility and healing potential of conflict.

Deep Democracy is about creating a space where the myriad of voices and issues and cultures and states of mind are represented. It holds that all parts of consciousness and experience have equal importance, rather than the historical privileging of certain voices above others.
By bridging the arts, body sciences, somatic psychologies, education and group process, we work to link polarities and create new forms of participatory leadership and social action. Using body-based tools enables us to encounter a wide range of perceptions, expressions, aliveness and diversity, enhancing the overall health of our communities.