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Fri, Oct 06


Saranam Retreat Center

Come to Your Senses

Encouraging Self-Awareness through Sensory Perception Using Practical and Experience-Based Fun

Come to Your Senses
Come to Your Senses

Time & Location

Oct 06, 4:00 PM – Oct 09, 12:00 PM

Saranam Retreat Center, Montrose, WV 26283, USA

About The Event

In this retreat, we will apply the systematic yet playful observation of each of the senses – discovering

how they provide us with tools that are always available (and easy to remember) that can help you shake

loose from unhelpful patterns, gain empathy for yourself and others, and make choices that feel good in

your gut. Immersed in an atmosphere of curiosity, with fellow explorers, you will participate in activities

that foster courage and invite wonder. You will learn ways to engage fully and courageously with all that

life brings – the good and the bad – and tap into a deep sense of confidence, groundedness, and balance.

What if practicing mindfulness and heightening our awareness turns out to be really fun?

By engaging with the physical senses with a willing and open mind, you can come home to an

empowering truth: that what might at first seem like another new habit to establish is actually an innate

ability that just needed to be recognized. You will make the best kind of discoveries: the ones that

cannot be taught.

Activities will include:

- Exploration of breath and movement

- Synesthetic expression: describing perceptions of one sense through terms typically applied to another

- Sensory deprivation: limiting one sense to heighten the experience of others

- Practicing and refining one’s ability to identify and describe one’s own perceptions with accuracy and specificity

- Connecting sense and memory

- Experiments with sensory misperception

- Periods of intentional solitude and reflection

- Encouraging bravery in exploring the edge between familiar and unfamiliar, within safe boundaries

- Discovering senses beyond the “famous five”

COST: $300 includes instruction, materials, meals, and accommodation at Saranam

               Early bird registration price: $250 - register by Friday September 8


QUESTIONS? Email Kiki Alba at

TO REGISTER, Email Kiki Alba at

NOTE: The workshop will cap at 10 participants, so don't delay registering. Also if fewer than 4 register by September 30, the workshop will be cancelled and any paid fees will be refunded.

The workshop will be led by Kiki Alba, Lenore Pomerance, and Kyle Weaner. Here's a little bit about them:

Kiki Alba

Kiki’s delight in inhabiting and experiencing a range of places and cultures goes a long way in explaining how her lifelong sensory scrapbook was compiled. She was born and raised in southeast Ohio, attended high school in Massachusetts, earned her MA from the University of St Andrews, in Scotland, and lived and worked in France, London, and Beijing before returning to the US. She has worked in museums in Pittsburgh and New York City, and has taught students of all ages, in academic and non-academic 

settings, on three continents - covering entry level to highly specialized content, in subjects as varied as English, French, math, yoga, music, dance, photography, and the history of art. Her love of learning and helping others learn is both motivated and supported by an active engagement with ever-changing sensory perception. The most recent skill she has been developing is lime plastering, a challenging but rewarding activity that tests the balance between precision and intuition. Her practice of Vipassana meditation is her primary foundation for observing sensations, as they are, from moment to moment.

Lenore Pomerance

Lenore's first great adventure after college was in the mid-1960s, teaching English in Thailand with the Peace Corps. She next went to Taiwan to deepen her experience of the Chinese language and culture, nurtured growing up wandering through San Francisco's Chinatown and her three years studying Mandarin at UC Berkeley. Earning an MSW and becoming licensed to practice psychotherapy at the age of 50 gave her a humble appreciation of our developmental challenges throughout the lifespan, particularly at times of transition. Some transitions are thrust upon us: death of a loved one, fertility issues/childbirth, divorce, an ominous diagnosis. And some come from within, a calling for change that we cannot ignore. We are challenged to navigate these transitions with as much awareness and balance as we can gather to be open to whatever the outcome is. Turning 70 called Lenore to China to renew her language skills and learn taiji and qigong. Now, at 80, she is living full-time with her husband in Seneca Rocks, WV, while teaching qigong and seeing therapy clients online. She practices weekly with her two taiji masters, Nick Gracenin in Washington, DC (dctaichi), and Wu Ping in Guangdong, China (fangyuan taichi center). Lenore finds that taiji and qigong help to bring mental and physical awareness to 7 of our important senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, proprioception (where our body is in space), and interoception (how we feel inside our bodies). Inspired by the Saranam community in Montrose, WV, she wishes to blend her 30 years as a psychotherapist with the mind/body benefits of qigong and taiji for increased physical and psychological balance.

Kyle Weaner

Play and exploration were big parts of growing up in the mountains of West Virginia for Kyle. From imaginative play in the woods, swimming and boating in river rapids, skiing in the winter, to foraging for wild foods, Kyle has cultivated physical awareness and capability in connecting with and moving through the environment for his whole life. Kyle has been a licensed massage therapist for 20 years, and therapeutically accesses sensation and pain as a way to come to the present moment to relieve pain, stress, and trauma. Kyle studied traditional Tibetan Medicine as an apprentice under Dr. Jampa Yonten for nearly seven years in India before returning home. He founded the Jivaka Wellness Center in 2013, and serves the community through Tibetan Medicine, massage, yoga, and meditation to help others get in touch with the body/mind connection and their own health and well-being. Kyle is a Buddhist, and draws on his study and practice to guide his work.

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