Christine Price came to Esalen Institute as a student in 1971. Her participation in a two week Gestalt workshop led to a partnership with Richard Price, co-founder of Esalen, and began her life-long engagement with the study, practice, and teaching of this approach. Chris now teaches primarily in Aptos, CA and continues to lead workshops throughout the USA, Japan, and Europe.
Christine writes: “Gestalt Awareness Practice (GAP) is best viewed as a sport and an art, as well as a form of spiritual practice. Developing a greater capacity to be present in our lives is the motivation, and working with whatever arises is the means for that development. Therefore, the process is aimed at inquiry and discovery rather than problem solving.
“The emphasis is primarily intra-personal, centering on the student’s relationship to his or her own experience. Attention to breathing and physical sensation is a key component of the practice.
“I am a teacher, not a therapist, and this process is not intended to be therapy. People come as students, not as patients. My function is to support, reflect and facilitate contact with whatever arises. Within this context, students may contact sensation and emotion, explore life situations and behavioral patterns or practice self-expression and communication. Investigating dreams is a very engaging part of this approach. Throughout, the motivation is developing a quality of awareness, moment to moment, and the ability to be present.”
GAP relies on work beyond sessions, through daily awareness practice. Learning within a group setting is an integral part of this study.
Chris is also engaged with ceremony as a way to honor life and death. She has helped to create and officiate birth blessings, christenings, weddings, and funerals as well as ceremonies that mark entry into womanhood or menopause, and aWakes for those in the process of dying. An aWake is a gathering with a terminally ill person, their family, and closest friends where together they can celebrate life and face the approaching death of the loved one. Chris’s husband, Steve Waldrip, is a hospice spiritual counselor and teacher in the Ridhwan School. Together they offer programs related to grief, preparing for death, and living in the process of dying. Visit our Full Circle workshops page.