Arawana Hayashi is an acharya (senior teacher) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. She teaches workshops for individuals and organizations throughout the United States and is also leading the development of Social Presencing Theater in collaboration with Otto Scharmer and the Presencing Institute.
Hayashi was trained from childhood as a dancer, and her pioneering work as a choreographer, performer, and educator is deeply sourced in improvisation, collaboration, and traditional dance forms.
From 1968 to 1973, she directed an intercultural street dance company that performed in troubled neighborhoods as part of Boston’s Summerthing community arts program.
In the mid-70s, Hayashi became codirector of the dance program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she was involved in experimental inter-disciplinary performance work that became the foundation for the university’s current degree programs in dance, performance, and somatic psychology.
An accomplished practitioner of Bugaku, or Japanese court dance, Hayashi’s study of this form began in 1977 under Suenobu Togi, formerly a member of the Japanese Imperial Household Agency Music Department.
In 1981, Hayashi returned to Boston and founded the Jo Ha Kyu Performance Group, which she directed until 2000, when she joined the faculty of the annual Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership.