Our students’ testimonials highlight their experiences with consistent challenge–and meaningful, vulnerable discussions–in a safe place. Because we treat even our most mundane moments as teaching and learning opportunities, students emerge with direct insights about what they need to work on.
“I was first exposed to the Fourth Way Teachings in 2012 and have been doing the Work with Leandro and Grisel Soto. These online movement sessions with Carol have awakened the Work for me and made the concepts such as ‘seeing’, ‘asleep’, ‘being mechanical’ real and practical as the awakening to the 3 centers is unfolding. For example, I am learning Tai Chi and we were asked to do it with eyes closed. I was able to tap into the sensations within the body and saw how both the intellectual and body centers joined together and brought full ‘presence’ to the experience and my emotional center was calm and went along with the other 2 centers and I was able to execute that exercise seamlessly. Also, Carol makes the impossible possible as we see her actively doing the Practices along with us which is an awakening impression. Her way is gentle but on point and supportive. As a result, the Work is now very real for me. So grateful for these sessions and to be able to have access to them from home. Thank you, Carol.”
Keisha N. Hyde Porchetta (Devika)
ISIP™ Authorised Mentor
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
“My time with Carol continues to be an anchor in my emotional and spiritual life. Her insights are astute, and her guidance well-timed. Carol is incredibly present, and it is apparent that she derives tremendous emotional and spiritual gratification from undertaking the Work with a community of like-minded people. My preferred venue for the Work remains the 3-day Intensives. I relish the opportunity to have unfettered time and safe space to explore themes as they arise. The pace and intensity of our connection is at once natural and exacting. I leave the Intensives invigorated by the experience of having someone like Carol in my corner in the most important Work of my life. I also leave with the certainty that I have the tools I need to be successful as I continue in my journey of healing, and of vulnerable connection. “
Social Program Designer
“Before Akaldans… I was so low, lacking in self-esteem and confidence for my future, that I kept myself away from others and, in the process, all the necessary activity that keeps one afloat in the world. Then I met Carol. When I participated in the readings, the Movements of G.I Gurdjieff, and the further extended meditations/ practices, I found myself more present and conscious. I am beginning, every day, to realize I need not fear what is unconscious in me, because the tools I’m learning are helping me bring light to the inner and the way forward.
Participating at Whidbey Akhaldans is no easy matter. The center of this place is the Work on Thyself.
Like a gardener I have been trimming away the weeds and unnecessary parts that do not serve me.
I must be frank– my two years spent at Akhaldans were quite uncomfortable. This pain derived from what rose up in me in the Movements and practices that Carol assigned me. This is not solely a place to seek bliss and ecstasy. You will most likely not enjoy what you discover about yourself…And even if you aren’t as successful at removing these uncomfortable parts of you at first, hold steady…Just know there is another side to yourself that trauma, genetics or a lifetime of mistakes can’t hold you back from. A whole other version of yourself that shimmers with realness.
Everything Carol has shown me during our Transactional Analysis counseling, movements realignment, to going out in the world and working construction (I apprenticed with a bricklayer for a time), was absolutely integral to my development. Top all this inner journeying off with equally remarkable views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, kayaking on Penn Cove and lots and lots of hiking. You will be walking on sacred ground at Whidbey Akhaldans. Carol has put a lot of work into making it a radically safe and grounding place for sincere seekers of any background.”
Skyler Ray Lewis
Former residential student
Carol is a teacher who has taken the time to get to know me. She has helped me come to realize that the box I have put myself in for most of my life is now too small for the person I’ve become. She pushes me out of my comfort zone in a gentle way. The Gurdjieff Movements push me to be uncomfortable in a good way so I can live in balance in all aspects of my life.
giving myself permission to live a bigger life that includes sudden miracles, and unexpected blessings. I deserve this newfound state of freedom where my soul is unobstructed. I am open,
willing, and ready to let my spirit explore endless ways in which I can be happy and at peace. I am putting this box aside. I’ve outgrown my past.
Through TA I have learned to give to myself what I used to rely on others for. I’m falling in love with becoming the best version of myself but with patience, with compassion and respecting my own unique journey.
Participant in Whidbey Movements and TA classes and Portugal 2019 retreat
I liked the class today; much of it was profound. You led wonderfully skillfully and we were courageous and willing and even had fun with frustrations. I know there is great value in these sets of movements. Besides the learning and experience and conversation, I was really touched by the closing “ritual.” You asked us to be with our experience and presence as long as we could. I am still feeling the sweetness and opening of it in my heart. I really love that.
Thanks a lot.