Charlotte Selver

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Died in 2003.

"Ms. Selver offered some of her first sensory-awareness classes in 1950 at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Later in the decade, she held seminars in California with Alan Watts, the theologian and author of popular books about Zen Buddhism.

"In 1963, she taught one of the first seminars at the Esalen Institute... Two of the movement's leading thinkers, the psychoanalysts Erich Fromm and Fritz Perls, received sensory awareness training from Ms. Selver.

"In 1971, Ms. Selver established the [[Sensory Awareness Foundation] in Muir Beach. Traveling frequently, she conducted workshops throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe with her second husband, Charles Brooks, who died in 1991...She is survived by her third husband, Peter Gracey, whom she married in 1999." [1]

"Her “lucky break,” as she once put it, was when the well known psychoanalyst Erich Fromm became a private student and then later began referring patients and colleagues. This eventually led to connections with other well known psychotherapists such as Fritz Perls and Clara Thompson who also became students and then referred patients and other therapists to her. This, in turn, resulted in connections with Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki and Suzuki Roshi, all of whom felt a close relationship between her work and Zen. This eventually resulted in her being invited to teach at growth centers such as Esalen and others affiliated with Zen Buddhism." [1]

  • Advisory Board, Sensory Awareness Foundation [2] - Richard Lowe their president was honored to be asked to write the foreword for a new book which talks about Sensory Awareness -- New World Mindfulness: From the Founding Fathers, Emerson and Thoreau to your Personal Practice, coauthored by our newest Advisory Board member, Don McCown. [3]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. NYT Charlotte Selver, 102, Guide To Sensory Awareness, organizational web page, accessed June 19, 2013.