Who is it for?

This program is open to all, beginners as well as SPT and Theory U practitioners. Come as you are, and let’s practice together. 

When our heart is full, humans naturally long to express themselves.” – Chögyam Trungpa

Professional certification

For professionals, this retreat counts as an SPT-Basics course in the certification pathways of the u-school. For those seeking a structured capacity-building experience, the u-school for Transformation offers three practitioner certification pathways.

For professionals who have access to training funding through a French OPCO, please reach out to Agathe and Anne-Sophie no later than January 31st. In this case, the registration process will go through their professional training organization. Please contact: [email protected] [email protected].


In our highly challenging times, what does it take to apply the power of mindfulness, awareness and compassion to the transformation of our communities, organizations and systems? What does life call us to do, when it calls the best in us? 

These are two of the essential questions that Social Presencing Theater (SPT), Arawana Hayashi’s life work, addresses and helps us move forward.

We invite you to embark with us on a 5-day journey to slow down, learn and practice the tools of SPT, relate them to the systems change framework of Theory U, and strengthen the connection between your inner life, relational and spatial awareness, and action confidence.

”You have a tremendous responsibility: the first is to yourself, to become gentle and genuine; the second is to work for others in the same way. It is very important to realize how powerful all of us are” – Chögyam Trungpa, True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art

What is SPT ?

SPT is an embodied social arts-based change methodology for making visible current reality and exploring emerging future possibilities. 

Drawing from the contemplative arts traditions and the improvised performing arts, SPT brings presence, embodiment work and mindfulness-and-compassion practices into the Theory U systems change methodology. Its set of practices synthesizes embodied presence, movement theater, stillness, and dialogue. 

SPT is a Social Arts form that puts into action the creative potential of Theory U and presencing. It reveals the wisdom in every social system and supports movement towards healthier futures. 

Meet Arawana Hayashi describing the root principle of SPT in an interview with Otto Scharmer.

“Since there are always multiple causes and conditions holding us back or stretching us in different directions, we need a method that allows us to feel the richness of our situation and also shows us a direction and a place to put our next step.”Arawana Hayashi, Social Presencing Theater : The Art of Making a True Move

What is Theory U?

Theory U is an awareness-based method for changing systems developed under the leadership of Otto Scharmer. Grounded in the MIT tradition of action research and learning by doing, Theory U has evolved over two decades of experimentation and refinement by a global community of practitioners. At its core, Theory U has three main elements:

  • A framework for seeing the blind spots of leadership and systems change: the “interior condition” from which we operate
  • A method for implementing awareness-based change: practical methods and tools
  • A new narrative for evolutionary societal change: updating our mental and institutional operating systems

Theory U draws our attention to the invisible source dimension of the social field, to the quality of relationships that we have to each other, to the system, and to ourselves.

 “In order to operate in the complexity of this century we have to do some inner work.” – Otto Scharmer, Theory U: Leading from the Future As it Emerges

What we’ll do

The program will include a daily combination of:

  • Morning meditation practice
  • SPT practices which consist of movement and embodied exercises in awareness, collective play and improvisation, embodied systems mapping, and reflection dialogues. We will cover the following practices : 20 minute Dance, Duets, Groups of 5, Village, 4D mapping, Seed Dance, Field Dance
  • Theory U principles and practices: 3D model systems mapping, journaling-visualization, and case clinic. 

Our approach will be one of exploration and discovery rather than performance. 

Basic Program Price: 700 € 

Professional Accredidation price: 1600 €

For professionals who have access to training funding through a French OPCO, please reach out to Agathe and Anne-Sophie no later than January 31st. In this case, the registration process will go through their professional training organization. Please contact: [email protected] [email protected].

Arrival day: Saturday, 16 March.
You are invited to arrive at 4 p.m. to check in and settle into your room. Dinner is served at 6:45.

End of programme: Thursday, 21 March.
Closing circle and celebration in the evening.

Departure day: Friday, 22 March.
No programme. You are welcome to stay for breakfast.

Programme price

Regular700 €
Patron808 €Help support lower income participants
Early Bird595 €Expires 16 December 2023
Under 30 years of age350 €

If you require financial assistance to attend this programme please contact [email protected].

Accommodation and food

Full board60 €/ night *

* includes standard accommodation and all meals.

Price information

  • Regular: this is the regular price for participating in the programme. Occasionaly (if specified in the programme description), there may be an additional fee for materials, to be paid upon arrival.
  • Patron: for those who can offer more than the regular price, your generosity in paying the Patron Price helps cover the costs for others who are not able to pay the full programme price and provides support to Dechen Chöling.
  • Early Bird: 15% discount on the regular programme price is possible only if you register and pay the total cost of your stay upfront, 3 months prior to the start of the programme, i.e. before 16 December 2023. You cannot combine this with the reduced price option.
  • Under 30 years of age: 50% reduction on the regular programme price for persons under 30 years at the start of the programme.

Accommodation: the standard accommodation we provide is in a dormitory for the winter and a furnished two-person tent in the summer. Extra fees for room upgrades can be paid upon arrival. Additionally, room tax will be charged at 0.20 € per person, per night.

See the full price list

Note: participation in any programme offered by the association of Dechen Chöling requires you to be up-to-date with the association’s annual fee (15 €), which can be settled upon arrival.