The Hakomi Method of Awakening with Marlies Cocheret De La Moriniere
Taste of Sex – Guest Speaker
Beth C

Episode 47 - The Hakomi Method of Awakening with Marlies Cocheret De La Moriniere

Join OneTaste's Harmony Niles in this in-depth interview with Marlies Cocheret De La Moriniere, an expert in the revolutionary Hakomi method of therapy. Hakomi therapy works with the mind, body, and spirit to help people awaken and fully live in truth. In this interview, Marlies shares with us some of the methodology and philosophy of Hakomi therapy. We also get an intimate look at her personal journey of self discovery and awakening. Explore some of the great questions of our time with this amazing teacher and perhaps learn something about yourself in the process.



Announcer: This interview was recorded on April 29th, 2008 at the San Francisco One Taste Center.

Harmony Niles: Welcome to “A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews”. This is your host Harmony Niles.

It is Tuesday night here at One Taste Urban Retreat Center and we are about to go into our weekly Tuesday night forum where we invite teachers to share their wisdom in an informal and interactive environment.

Tonight we are here with Marlies Cocheret de la Moriniere. Marlis is a spiritual teacher, counselor and certified Hakomi therapist, a  student and teacher of Zen Buddhism, and a certified Tantric educator. She has studied with Osho and Adrashante, Berry long, and Daniel Ojay. She has a private counseling practice in Santa Cruz, and holds bi-monthly Satsangs for women and for both men and women. She was recently featured in Rita Marie Robertson’s book “Ordinary Women Extraordinary Wisdom”.


Marlies Mariniere: I think, in general, my wish in life is that everybody wakes up and everybody is able to live the truth of who they really are. It really saddens me that so many people are not able to live that.

Harmony Niles: Marlies thanks for coming into One Taste tonight and being on the show.

Marlies Mariniere: You are welcome. My pleasure.

Harmony Niles: Can you tell me about your personal journey? How did you come to this path?

Marlies Mariniere: Ok. We need all evening for that. It is not how it is supposed to be.

I was on a search very young for churches. I did not grow up in a family where we would go to church. Even though, my father was Jewish we would not go to the show or do anything like that.

But I was on a search for something and I knew that when I would find “it”, whatever it was, I would know it. That was one part. The other part was very early on I was raped a few times. So I think in that combination of bringing those two parts together, in a way that I will be talking tonight too, that is really what helped me waking up to myself and in that process healing the sexual part.

But very early on I was really interested in relationships. I had boyfriends and just a lot of people I enjoyed being with.

I remember when I was 15 years old I read this book about Katmandu and I knew I was going to end up there one day and that is what happened. I feel the spiritual journey kind of happened the moment I came in here.

But then when I was 25 and I was in India from then on it really took off.

Harmony Niles: Well it sounds like you have traveled extensively. You have and amazingly diverse education. You have a Masters in psychology. You studies Buddhism and Tontra, so these things from different traditions. How have you integrated that?

Marlies Mariniere: For me, also studying Advaita the non-dual teachings with Zen Buddhism and Tontra, I feel I just wanted to be awake. I wouldn’t call it that then, that I wanted to be awake but I knew that it is not how it is supposed to be. So you could say the spiritual teachings really helped me to be truly who I am and that is a tremendous gift.

I am bringing that, just the naturalist, into the love making. That is kind of how it came together. So what I said before, also in the sexual healing or in the sexual department because a lot of spiritual teachings don’t talk about sexuality. I think I had the luck that the teachers I have been with that. In most teachings it is excluded or it is not talked about as much in society or often in a very perverse way, I think.

That is changing, luckily. We live in a really special time where this wakefulness and sexuality  have a chance to really come to a sense of fullness.

So I feel my spirituality really helped me to be awake, kind of, stepping out of the dream, really knowing who I am, and bringing that knowing into lovemaking and into all of life because truly lovemaking is making love with everything that is love, physical love.

Harmony Niles: Your talk tonight is entitled “How Does Stillness Make Love?” Can you give us a preview of the answer?

Marlies Mariniere: Yeah, I can.

I work a lot with people around sexuality. There are many things that I am very struck by, but when I work with couples and I ask them, for instance, the question; how is your sex life. When they actually do make love they say well we have orgasms. I often find that intriguing that when you have an orgasm that means you have a sex life.

What I endeavor to show people- and it is all from my own experience. Otherwise, I think, that you can not really teach something out of a book. That doesn’t really interest me.- is that the love making is the most beautiful when I am really in contact with myself, with my true self, whether it is stillness or emptiness or God or the divine  or however you define it or whatever you want to call it.

So here in this title I call it stillness. When you really are stillness and bring that into love making then all other kind of love making start unfolding that has in my book really nothing to do with sex and not much with a goal or anything. It is really resting. It is kind of called a relaxation sex instead of reaching sex. You step together in the unknown. Of course, life is the unknown anyway. But we all try to control it and we try to control our experience and change things. This is a way of really stepping into yourself and from that place of emptiness or fullness really meeting the other who has emptiness or fullness and stillness also.

Then something starts happening that you don’t know. That is where my passion is, really, to really dare to step into the unknown. We hear it quite often, “yeah, I step into the unknown. I don’t know. I will see”. But to truly sit there and in the lovemaking, laying there or sitting there or whatever position you are in, to really see any movement that is happening. Does it come because I want to please my partner? Or Something needs to happen or I am afraid or…

But to really be still and only move when something truly wants to happen that’s very very different. It can be scary for a lot of people because you really will be out of control and it demands that you be trusting. It is a process of learning to trust.

So that is enough of a taste.

Harmony Niles: Yeah. Because then you get the real one taste.

Marlies Mariniere: What the title of your organizations it, that is the true one.

Harmony Niles: Once you get there, how do you know you have gotten there?

Marlies Mariniere: You know. You know when you meet life. There comes in your body a sense of openness. It is the sense of being really naked and really receiving. Something starts- I call it- vibrating in the body. It is not so much going after this big bliss thing. That comes and goes. There is just- I call it- a steady beingness, this isness, hereness, sweetness, that is here in the lovemaking and that you take with you where ever you go.

So when you go to the store and see the cashier you kind of splash your beauty over him or her. It doesn’t really stop or just start in the bedroom. You take it everywhere in  your life. I

It is a sense or quality of beingness and contentment, but most of all of really deep relaxation that there is nothing that needs to be changed. It is not that there is not space for change. There is always space for change and betterment. But there is a quality of immense goodness.

Harmony Niles: You are listening to “A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews”.

We are going to go to a short break. And we will be right back with Marlies.

[Sponsor Break]

Harmony Niles: Welcome back. You are listening to “A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews”.

We are here with Marlies a Hakomi practitioner. She is talking about how stillness makes love.

Marlies, can you tell me about Hakomi? What is that?

Marlies Mariniere: Hakomi is a body centered psychotherapy method. So it is just a method. It is a wonderful method. It is a method of self discovery and it includes the body. In a lot of therapies you can just talk forever and nothing changes, like moving furniture from left to right. With Hakomi we endeavor, by doing little experiments in mindfulness, having the people to come, really go inside in their own laboratory, and help them in that process.

The word is originated by Ron Kurtz, who is the founder of Hakomi. The word Hakomi means how do I stand to all these wrongs. Who am I? So it has already a Buddhist ground, Buddhist connection, so it brings Buddhist therapy. It is a little tricky when you say it. But it is ground in Buddhism. And by bringing you in mindfulness you really go into your experience and when you go into your experience into what is really here then you will find also what are the beliefs that are fueling your life, what are you living your life for.

A lot of us live their life, for instance, with the belief that it is not safe here. So they start creating their life so that they don’t have to do anything to really come free of that, but have a form of control. So in Hakomi we help them to become aware of that belief- if that is a problem for that person- so that they can let it go and truly sink more deeply into themselves and be themselves and feel safe no matter what.

That is kind of it in a nut shell.

So it is not a talk therapy. It is really letting people go into themselves and be very curious and find out what truly wants to happen for them.

It is not really good for everyone. Some people are not able to be present with themselves. For those people it is not good to do that. It is for those people who are able to be present or to teach them Hakomi therapy this will show them how to be mindful and come into themselves.

So by doing little experiments we help people to become more aware of themselves and become more aware of their core being so they don’t need to live there lives from that place.

Harmony Niles: What would be an example of a little experiment?

Marlies Mariniere: A little experiment?

Well, for instance, if I talk with somebody and I have a sense that that core belief is what I said before. They don’t feel safe or it is not safe to come into your body. The experiment would be what we call a prome. I ask them to just take a moment. Go inside. Let me know when you are ready. Then I say just a very short sentence, such as, “ You are safe now.” Of course, that evokes the places that don’t feel safe. So I say, “You are safe.” “No I am not safe.”

Then I work with them. I say those words. I say, again, “You’re safe.” Again, “No, I am not safe.” “You’re safe.” And “I am not safe.” Then I kind of take over all the stuff that is in the way of them really experiencing their true self and go slowly inside.

Some people will go inside just a little bit and with other people you can just dive in all the way through. It really depends where they are.

So that could be an experiment.

Or an experiment could be, we really look at habits. So, for instance, I put my hand on my chin, that could be a habit. So I get curious about what that could be. So I would go in mindfulness and let myself do that movement a few times and really feel into what is that. Perhaps there are some feelings or images or ideas that come along that way. Then you start exploring that.

So in a way we look for indicators we call them. They are basically habits that you see happen. It can be in a way somebody speaks, the way somebody moves, and you can get clues.

Harmony Niles: This must have taught you to be very observant, to really pay attention and put attention on people.

Marlies Mariniere: Yeah.

Harmony Niles: You study dances. Wow! Is that right?

Marlies Mariniere: Yes.

Harmony Niles: Tell me about that.

Marlies Mariniere: I never really studied dance to teach it but more for myself. I do a lot of African dance and I just totally love it. I think it is a wonderful combination doing sitting practice and then moving with the body. The dance I perform mostly is the African dance and it is just wonderful. At the center the African dance teachers come from Africa and they teach. They are so down to earth. It is really a spiritual teaching because they really show you just to relax, just relax in the moves.

Another form of dance is from the Tantric tradition that Daniel taught me. It is called Tu de va [sp]. It is basically the dance with the cosmos in that tradition. It is really said that it is like their tantra tradition. It is very different than western tantra. Most western tantra is only about sex which is also good because it gives a lot of education to people but it misses out on that teaching  of stillness.

In the gushmere[ sp] and tantric tradition they have; how can we bring this wakefulness into life. They developed this dance.  So I do that by myself and sometimes, actually, I do teach that in class.

Harmony Niles: What do you think of communal living environments like the one here at One Taste?

Marlies Mariniere: It reminds me of my time when I was living in the commune. I lived in two different communes in Holland where I grew up. One is Amsterdam and one somewhere else in Holland.

I think it is great because it is hard to hide. It is good to have some good organization, some good structure. I think, that is very helpful because you can easily get convoluted in this stuff.

What I find important in living the communal life is that there is a sense of openness with each other and learning to be really tolerant to each other and also to be really tolerant to the outside world because it is very easy when you live in a commune to think, we are a commune, we are the best. Then you have an inside world and an outside world. I think, that is one thing to be really aware of.

And communal life, when there is really rest and truth, I think, that it is a wonderful place to explore and play and find out and share. I think it is great.

Harmony Niles: Part of the reason that I lived in was because I like to hide. And I had to cure myself of that one.

Marlies Mariniere: I think, in general, just that everybody wakes up and that everybody is able to live the truth of who they really are and it really saddens me that so many people are not able to live that. People are starving to death and that is not really necessary because there is enough for everyone.

So I think that starts in a community, to really love everyone where they are, honor everyone where they are, and that everyone can be their unique self. So that is really my wish for everyone that everyone can be their unique selves and can bring that out in whatever way that wants to come out, being in a commune working as a gardener, being a teacher, it doesn’t really matter. But there is enough safety where that can happen for everyone.

Harmony Niles: That is beautiful. Thank you.

Marlies Mariniere: You are welcome.

Harmony Niles: You have been listening to “A Taste of Sex: Guest Speakers”.

Thank you for joining us. And thank you to Marlies.

If you would like to visit her website it is

If you would like transcripts of this show, go to, where you will also find our other podcasts. We do a reality audio show of One Taste members sharing their life experience and you will find live recordings from our hot erotic of the mic nights.

If you have comments or questions about the material in this show, please post to our online chat board at  We invite you to join the conversation.

Thanks for listening. This is Harmony Niles.

[End of Audio]