Presence and Art at the Service of an Enlightened Society


Arawana heads the creation of Social Presencing Theater (SPT) for the Presencing Institute. Working with Otto Scharmer and colleagues, she brings her background in the arts, meditation, and social justice to creating “social presencing” that makes visible both current reality and emerging future possibilities for individuals and groups.

Arawana’s pioneering work as a choreographer, performer and educator is deeply sourced in collaborative improvisation.

Her dance career ranges from directing an interracial street dance company formed by the Boston Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs in the aftermath of the 1968 murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, to being one of the foremost performers of Japanese Court Dance, bugaku, in the US. She has been Co-Director of the Dance Program at Naropa University, Boulder, CO; and founder-director of two contemporary dance companies in Cambridge, MA.

She is currently on the core faculty of the Presencing Institute. She joins Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer for the Executive Champions Program co-hosted by the Presencing Institute and the Center for Systems Awareness. She co-hosts social arts residencies with Claudia Madrazo and Ricardo Dutra in Mexico, and joins Michael Stubberup and Ninni Sodahl for the Sustainable Co-Creation program in Denmark. She co-teaches with Phil Cass in the Physicians Leadership program in Columbus, Ohio.


with Arawana around the globe

June 12-15

Executive Champions Workshop

With Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, and Melanie Goodchild
Stowe, VT, US

July 15-16

Curiosity, Compassion, and Courage:
An exploration of BIPOC experience, Part two

With Nicole Taylor and Grace Shim
Philadelphia, US
More info here 

August 20

In-Person Retreat: Embodiment Practice

With Nichol Chase
Garrison Institute
Garrison, NY, US

SPT Book


With foreword by Otto Scharmer

This book offers a journey into the origins, principles, and practices of an innovative social art form co-created by Arawana Hayashi and colleagues at the Presencing Institute. This embodiment practice supports individual and social transformation. With a welcoming introduction to the work, Arawana provides a starting place for beginners and a deeper understanding for experienced practitioners who wish to create powerful spaces for heart-based learning and action. The book contains practice instructions and stories highlighting the uses of Social Presencing Theater in companies, schools, and social projects.


Praise from Peter Senge, MIT & Center for Systems Awareness

"Arawana Hayashi is a master. She has invented a form whereby people learn to use their bodies to explore, individually and collectively, what the intellect can never fully grasp—the complex social structures we humans create and become stuck in. She has created a wonderful vehicle to guide the journey."

Praise from Eileen Fisher, founder of Eileen Fisher, Inc. 

“Arawana's clear and lighthearted storytelling invites us into new ways of being together—she explores how we can collaborate beyond words, become more present and aware of the world around us, and sense into the emerging future.”

Praise from Wendy Palmer, author of Leadership Embodiment 

“This book takes you on a remarkable journey into uncovering the link between embodiment, awareness, and social systems. As Arawana describes her process using Social Presencing Theater, we experience how our own movements can be problematic, or hold the key to creativity and coherence of the whole.”

Praise from Meredith Monk, composer, performer and interdisciplinary artist

"Social Presencing Theater guides us to be present to the vibrancy of each moment, and to integrate awareness of the inherent truth of our physicality with an understanding of how it expands into social consciousness and action. This profound and multi-layered book is an eloquent and inspiring affirmation of the power of art as spiritual practice and as an agent for social change. It offers a balm for our turbulent world.”

Praise from Dr. Angel Acosta, Director of Fellowship, Garrison Institute

“The Art of Making a True Move is a fierce and gentle contribution at a moment when we desperately need to reconnect with our own bodies and to make sense of the collective body, the human community. This book is both a treasure and a prayer."

Praise from Larry Yang, author of 'Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community'

“Throughout Arawana’s graceful teachings are the qualities of inspiring, visioning, and guiding people through the movement of life—movement of learning, movement of change, movement of manifesting.”

Praise from Tho Ha Vinh, Director of Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan

“It is not easy to write about a lived, embodied experience; but Arawana’s deep connection with spiritual roots and her long-standing dance practice enable her to share in a very expressive way the essentials of Social Presencing Theater."

Praise from Steen Hildebrand, Professor, Aarhus University

"This outstanding and beautiful book presents Arawana’s experiences and wisdom in an inspiring and uplifting way."

真實的動:社會流現劇場 | The Art of Making A True
- in Traditional Chinese Edition

Social Presencing Theater | L'arte di compiere movimenti autentici  - in Italian Edition

Teatro de Presencia Social: El Arte de Hacer un Movimiento Verdadero 


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A R A W A N A • H A Y A S H I   © Copyright 2023  |  All Rights Reserved     •    Image and Video Credits: Ricardo Dutra and Presencing Institute Field of the Future Blog

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