Tricia Bowler and Michael Haines have been exploring freeing touch and love since they came together in partnership in 2012.
In 2014 Tricia and Michael purchased just under 5 acres of land in the Cowichan Valley. This was a "coming home" of sorts for both of them. Tricia graduated from high school in Duncan and Michael graduated from high school in Victoria. Once part of an old lumber mill that was decommissioned in 1936, the land and some of the old mill ruins are being transformed by Mother Nature into a lush and varied landscape. Happy to steward this continuing restoration, Michael and Tricia named their new haven Sankta Amo (meaning Sacred Love in Esperanto).
It is now a place where they welcome invited friends and community members to explore and experience, along with them, communal accepting love and how human touch can facilitate a wholeness in self... and wholeness in community.
"I am especially proud of our Grace Principles, which form the foundation of our gatherings. Without safety, graceful connection is tricky. My extensive work in personal development modalities has found a home in the life practice of holding another in loving acceptance. This precious way of being provides the opportunity for others (and ourselves) to hold and love all of our parts, even the ones that show up as messy and troublesome"
"Perhaps my greatest capacity lies in creating and holding loving, honouring space for myself and others. I see the body and brain as a complete sensory network that stores memory. Our continued discoveries of how different kinds of touch can shift and deepen our experience of ourselves, and life itself, provides exciting potential each time we gather to lovingly 'hold' one another."
When the neural messages of accepting, nurturing love are alive in our bodies through touch while we gently revisit moments in our life when we weren't held or acknowledged, the stories we carry don't necessarily change, but our concept of ourselves within those stories can.
Over the years we have have received wonderful input from wise mentors. Here’s a list of some of our most significant influencers:
Caffyn Jesse, Intimacy Workshops and Sexological Bodywork
Daniel J. Linden, Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind.
Jeff Foster and Matt Licata, philosophical writings and teachings.
Tamera Healing Biotope, the teachings of Dieter Duhm and Sabine Lichtenfels.
Peter K. Gerlach, Break The Cycle: An Introduction to Effective Parts Work.
Amara Karuna, Heart Nurturing Therapy.
Thomas and Joan Heartfield, Maui Workshops.
Monique Darling and Pete Peterson, Five Elements of Touch.
Carsten Almskaar, Akido philosophy and workshops.
New Culture Camps, Forum.
Shauna Herter, the safety of games.
Christopher Ryan and Cecilda Metha, Sex At Dawn.
Heide Goettner-Abendroth, Matriarchal Societies
Various plant medicine guides and experiences.
Plus many more friends, community members and participants who have gracefully given us honest feedback and suggestions.