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Accessing the Wisdom of the Body

13 November 2022 | $50 Registration | Rabbi Matthew Ponak and Julie Thompson, M.Ed. RCC

In this four hour mini-retreat, you will be introduced to different avenues to access your body’s wisdom. You will have the opportunity to engage with foundational somatic (body-based) practices and learn about the core principles of this type of inner listening.

Participation is limited to 12 people.


Rabbi Matthew Ponak

Matthew Ponak is a rabbi, a Certified Focusing Professional and a teacher of Jewish mysticism. His upcoming book, Embodied Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism for All People explores body-centered awareness practices through a Jewish lens. To learn more about his work and upcoming offerings please visit

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Julie Thompson

Julie Thompson, RCC, has a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology and draws on family systems and trauma informed perspectives in her work with individuals and groups. She finds gently experiential, body centred talk therapy helpful for clients to explore their experiences and move toward their goals for change. She brings her sense of humour, optimism and desire for authentic connection into all aspects of her work.

Accessing the Wisdom of the Body: Join Us

What to expect

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This workshop is an invitation to gently experience and relate to your body’s wisdom using the method of Focusing. For more information on this modality visit

The day will include:

(1) an introduction to the foundational concepts of body-centred awareness

(2) Experiencing Focusing practices and contemplative movement (eg. Chi Gong)

(3) Opportunities for reflection and sharing of your experiences

Potential Benefits

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  • Developing a dialogue with physical sensations and the innate wisdom of the body

  • Deepening emotional self-awareness

  • Understanding and cultivating the interface between body, mind and spirit

Accessing the Wisdom of the Body: What's Happening

Details and FAQ

When is this?

13 November 2022
9am to 1:30pm

Where is it?

Highlands Nature House in the Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary

Find directions here

What should I bring?

  • Lunch (we won't be providing lunch so please bring your own)

  • Comfortable clothing that permits free movement

  • Outdoor clothing suitable for walking

  • Payment if you haven't paid ahead of time

How much does it cost?


And, if that is too much of a stretch, just email Greg to request a bursary.

What religion / philosophy is this?

While the Westshore Community of Practice is a Christian organization (church), this offering draws from multiple wisdom traditions including Judaism.

How should I prepare?

The only preparation you'll need to do is to complete the application form. We aren't requiring any pre-reading or specific knowledge. Feel free to visit for a sense of the practices and content.

Accessing the Wisdom of the Body: FAQ
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