Shakio: An ancient Aramaic word meaning the flow of life.

Shakio Institute is a place of radically gentle learning, a community of practice dedicated to the exploration of the Implicit – the embodied wisdom in the process of becoming.

It is a place of convergence, integrating the languages of Mystical Traditions, Focusing – the philosophy and practices developed by Eugene Gendlin, and Performing Arts – movement, vocalization and imagination.

Here we explore How art, Focusing and prayer can open us to the flow and wisdom of life going beyond categories and perceptions.

There are four main streams of learning in Shakio:

IBF – Instancing Based Focusing
PLAYING FORWARD – An Embodied approach to performance.

“Experience is a myriad richness.
We think more than we can say.
We feel more than we can think.
We live more than we can feel.
And there is much more sfill.”

Eugene T Gendlin

“I give myself to prayer.” Psalms 109.

Learning streams


How can I translate what my body knows into new insights and concepts?
How can I distil out of rich personal experiences the core of what my knowing is?
How do we lucidly research the seemingly paradoxical, the marginal, the illogical? And how do we retain freshness in research without collapsing into stagnanting knowledge?

Thinking At the Edge – TAE was developed by Gendlin and research colleagues as a method enabling direct access to implicit knowledge in one’s field of expertise/interest. It assumes that each one of us has the potential and responsibility to create regenerative knowledge for ourselves and for the society we live in.
The approach guides practitioners in expressing the potential in something that wants to be said. It is a movement from a felt sense of knowing, which alludes definition, to a ripening of new and articulately defined concepts and theories.

The objective of this stream is to enable participants to develop a mini-model that articulates their hidden spark – the unique gift we have to share with the world.


Upcoming Module:

“So What’s Alive In You, Gene?” – Thinking At The Edge Of Life
During the last 4 years of Gendlin’s life, Dave Young had weekly conversations with him that started with this question: “So what’s alive in you?” The talks took place at the initiative of TIFI who asked David Young to conduct and transcribe conversations with Gendlin with the intent that they would be published.

These intimate conversations have in them a deep sincerity. In this course the Focusing community will have access to them for the first time. We are extending an invitation to all those interested in Gendlin and his project to immerse yourself in this unfolding dialogue as if it is taking place before
your eyes.

We will meet each time for 90 minutes to read closely some of these “conversations”, and to look into the new ideas embedded in them. More importantly, we will identify the subtle steps a great philosopher takes whilst slowly developing his thinking, and explore how these steps can help us develop the delicate fabric of our own further thinking.


The Art of Prayer is a regenerative learning approach exploring a core component of our shared human existence – our natural capacity for prayer. It is a framework of practices, in which people from all walks of life and traditions, religious and secular, prayers and non-prayers – are invited to reconnect and rediscover gateways into the field of prayer.

Our work fosters the possibility of opening us up to the wisdom active in various traditions, in new philosophies, in ancient stories, without limiting ourselves to only one of them. It is an engagement with prayer and praying that is beyond theology.

Together we reformulate and refresh pathways into the intimate experience of being in the world; of being in the field of prayer; of becoming creatures endowed with curiosity, kindness and a sensitivity to the yet unknown. It is about transforming our understanding of the act of prayer from a mere practice into a living model for existence.

IBF – Instancing Based Focusing

The practice of Focusing was developed by Dr. Eugene Gendlin, a philosopher and psychologist working at the University of Chicago. The Philosophy Of the Implicit (PoI), forms the philosophical framework from which Focusing was developed. PoI investigates our implicit experience – not yet expressed or defined – from which complexity and meaning emerge.

Focusing is a practice of deep listening to the felt sense, the process in which meaning emerges as language out of a rich field of bodily sensations and feelings. This ability to attentively listen inwards may initiate a fundamental transformation in the way we perceive and experience our lives. Through practice, the ability of the living body to answer complex human questions becomes not only a theoretical possibility but a reality.

What is focusing with the IBF method?
In Gendlin’s philosophy, an Instance is a specific occurrence or experience in which something really happened. It is an event we were present in and experienced directly. By connecting with instances from our lives the IBF approach enables us to discover and explicate deep and complex meanings relevant to our daily lives as well as our spiritual development.


The course Playing Forward offers a unique approach to the creative process, based on the understanding that each person, each situation, each story – is yet unknown and carries within itself a field of intricate meaning.
The creative process is derived from the ability of the creator to be open to this field, which is something one can sense.

The creative process is not arbitrary; rather, it requires the individual creator’s multisensory attention. It requires one to moderately contain the “unknown” and to know the secret of ‘reduction’ (tzimtum) – the secret of creating through imagery, words, motion and shapes.

The exercises and courses in the stream were inspired by several methods and thinkers, among them: Eugene Gendlin and the Focusing Method; Jerzy Grotowski and his methods of theater and composition; and structural processes inspired by Jewish Mysticism.


Shakio is a space for collaborative exploration founded by Dana Ganihar, an experienced Focusing instructor and a teacher of the philosophy of Eugene Gendlin, and Baruch Brenner a multidisciplinary artist, rabbi and certified Focusing instructor who investigates and teaches performance art and Jewish mysticism.

Baruch Brenner Is an Israeli theater director, actor, singer, teacher and an ordained Orthodox Rabbi. Over the last 25 years, he has been a leading innovator in integrating Jewish and spiritual practices with experiential work in theatre, movement and vocal arts. He was the artistic director of the Vertigo lab in the eco-art village, and a research fellow and member of Jerzy Grotowski theater ensemble.
Baruch facilitates educational programs and workshops exploring religious and mystical traditions, with an emphasis on Jewish mysticism – Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy – making them accessible to the general public.

Dana Ganihar, M.Sc. is a teacher and researcher certified as a Focusing Coordinator by the international focusing institute in New York. Over the last couple decades she has led numerous workshops and seminars exploring the work of psychologist and philosopher Eugene Gendlin: IBF – Instancing Based Focusing, PoI – Philosophy of the Implicit, and TAE – Thinking At the Edge. Dana has initiated cooperative research exploring the potential impact of Focusing practices on diverse fields such as biology, architecture, creative writing and religion. She is an adjunct lecturer in the Architecture department of the Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology, where she teaches Focusing in the Design Studio.

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