“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.” ~ Job ~
As we go through life, we are all continually learning from one another and sharing our knowledge. An effective teacher-student relationship is essential in creating a solid foundation from which individuals can continue to grow in mind and body.
Bob Wing, founder and instructor of the Aikido program at Naropa University, teacher of the body-centered Gestalt Therapy, and guest faculty at the upcoming Authentic Leadership Program, shares how his practice of experiential traditions over the years has gifted him with the insight to become a better teacher.
Bob has been a practitioner and teacher of experiential education for many years. When he was in his twenties, he stumbled upon the practice of Aikido through an invitation by his niece, who was practicing the tradition at the time. At first, Bob was attracted by the physicality of the practice. As he continued to learn, he became drawn to the mind-body element and completely embraced the tradition, honing his skills through the years.
As Bob became more attuned to his practice, he became interested in experiential education and began to incorporate other traditions, including the body-centred Gestalt Therapy, into his practice. Along the way, he acquired a Master’s Degree in Theology and, in 1982, he founded and began teaching the Aikido program at Naropa University.
As his practice and teaching evolved, Bob became involved in the Art of Hosting, a unique approach to leadership that incorporates mind-body practices, interaction and innovative ideas to encourage good leadership. As Bob explains, the Art of Hosting involves learning how to invite people to work rather than demanding that they do so. This subtle approach to leadership enables individuals to learn how to deal with challenging situations and respond in a positive manner.
In his leadership workshops, he guides participants to fully engage, physically and cognitively, in the interactive process. Bob points out that making a definite decision is not always the best option. He encourages people to consider an open-minded “maybe” rather than a definitive “yes” or “no”. As soon as individuals arrive at a decisive answer, they stop that important edge of interacting. When individuals grasp the concept of holding on to the “maybe”, however, they are fully interacting with what is actually happening in the moment.
Bob credits his background of Aikido, Gestalt Therapy and the Art of Hosting with enabling him to continue to grow as a teacher and practitioner of experiential learning. Through the practice of these traditions, he has learned to become strong within himself and enjoy living with the exciting possibility of “maybe”.
Bob encourages people to open themselves up to the prospect of not knowing. He is confident that individuals who learn to hover in the “maybe” mind-body practice will be surprised to find a whole new world of opportunities waiting to be explored.
Bob Wing, MA, founded the Aikido program at Naropa University in 1982. In addition, he was a Faculty member in Naropa’s Contemplative Psychology Department for many years.
Bob is currently director of WiseActions, an organization dedicated to cultivating compassionate and transformative action in the world. He is founder of The Mountain Warrior Institute and Warrior of the Heart seminars, each designed to enhance individuals and groups to live and work in wise, skillful, and courageous leadership. Bob also hosts seminars in the Art of Hosting and the Art of Social Innovation.
Bob is a respected sculptor and painter trained extensively in Trager Psycho-Physical Integration. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado and leads international workshops and training programs in experiential learning.
Authentic Leadership Program
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