I waited several years to study with Ray Castellino. I knew my birth story enough to know that it would not be fun to unpack. My birth was incredibly challenging and involved multiple losses. That was the part I knew I was scared to face. What I didn’t know was how Ray could make hard things both fun and meaningful.
In the late summer of 2000, I took my first workshop with Ray. Anna Chitty was assisting him. I was about to start my Biodynamic Craniosacral Practitioner training with John and Anna Chitty. I had no idea that my life was about to change, nor that Ray and Anna would be my loving guides and mentors for years to come.
Ray was so warm and welcoming to everyone. He didn’t just make everyone feel special, he was genuinely interested and cared about the details.
The workshop I took with Ray was a womb surround workshop. With Ray’s expert facilitation and the support of his assistants, seven participants each explored a part of their early birth-related history in individual turns that lasted several hours.
Minutes into my turn, Ray and I were laughing so hard we couldn’t sit up. We fell to the floor and began rolling in separate directions like two marbles out of a jar. When we stopped, we were facing each other, which just made us begin laughing again. Together our breathless, genuine, and rolling laughter metabolized a part of my conception story that had caused my parents great pain. And that was just the beginning!
Photo by Surface on Unsplash
Which makes me want to laugh again, as we did that day long ago, about the beginning time before my life began, what pre and perinatal therapists refer to as the preconception period, and my conception. My work in the pre and perinatal realm is one of the experiences that have taught me that consciousness exists outside of the body and that the soul ready or willing to incarnate is fully conscious of what is occurring. More recently, scientists have shown that babies in the womb understand the feeling tones of the world their mother inhabits, including stress and calm and the feelings behind words, even if they don’t speak the language.
I was amazed by Ray and his approach and the power of the group container. And contrary to my expectations going in, I was already looking towards the next workshop and opportunity to explore my birth material, curious about what I would discover. I continued to take workshops with Ray and graduated from his two-year foundation training in 2004. The foundation training gave me the credentials to lead workshops in his style, but I haven’t. I chose instead to bring what I learned with Ray to clients one on one for decades and in the last two years in family sessions.
I am ready to begin to offer workshops, the template for which is the one I first took with Ray over twenty years ago. These intimate workshops are open to Craniosacral Therapists and Somatic practitioners. I am offering two this year, in April and September. I have made some changes to Ray’s structure to increase the professional development opportunities that come from having plenty of time to explore what happened in each turn and to compare the turns to each other from a practitioner perspective.
Each workshop participant will take a turn exploring their early material in a skilled and safe enough container. Turns will be facilitated by me with the support of assistants. The workshop is limited to five people. Previous experience with the subtle rhythms of the body and solid practitioner skills are a pre-requisite. Participants may be graduates of a 700-hour training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy like the one we teach at the School of Inner Health or another multi-year Somatic Training. If you have completed a training of this sort, please consider applying. The container held by skilled practitioners will open the doors to deep levels of perception and insight, with plenty of time to explore and integrate each participant’s experience.
Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash
Participants will be asked to fill out an application and be invited to participate. Participants will be sent the application after signing up.