Testimonials from workshop participants | SPACE - Producers of HAI and other Complementary Workshops

Testimonials from workshop participants

HAI was my saviour


I came to HAI in 1998 at the suggestion of my therapist, Jaqueline, who I was working with after my marriage had failed spectacularly. I went to an introduction evening feeling very sceptical and only being there to shut Jaqueline up.

I arrived, sat down and looked at the two people sitting on stools obviously the people who were to lead the night. What I saw, which is not to say what was really going on, was two ageing hippies smiling dopily at each other.

I whiled away the time making up titles of porno films based on disaster movies and chuckling to myself. The Towering Inferno and Deep Impact spring to mind. A woman sat down next to me and made a comment that I seemed very happy to be there, I just nodded. I was very, very sceptical.

The intro started and Denise and a guy whose name I forgot welcomed everybody, gave a brief description of what HAI was about and then got everybody up to do some exercises so on. At end of the night, Denise asked who would be willing to take a leap and go on the upcoming level 1. My hand shot up and I was off to L1

On the way down to Canberra with two women I knew, one of them asked me how I felt about the clothing optional thing. I was speechless as I had just not heard that at the intro even though it was mentioned several times. Literally in one ear and out the other with no comprehension on my part, I simply didn’t hear it. I hate walking about naked for reasons I’ll come to soon.

That weekend was transformative for me, when I arrived someone came up to me and offered to carry my bag to my bunk, I snarled and told him to fuck off. By Sunday afternoon I was in a state that I had never experienced before even in my retreats at Buddhist monasteries. Stan asked at the last of the weekend who wanted to go on L2 next weekend. I signed up and was to go to all the levels over the next 18 months or so. It brought so much understanding of what had been my life and how I had arrived at where I was then.

I was born in 1957 and from the beginning apparently I was very difficult. Prone to swinging between tantrums and glee, I was diagnosed with all sorts of things to the point of suggesting childhood Schizophrenia. My parents being Catholics tried putting me in a catholic school for a couple of weeks but that ended when one of the priests tried to stick his hand down my pants and I kicked him as hard as I could in his shin.

My parents were both alcoholics; mother the enabler, dad the drunk. I grew up thinking that getting pissed was normal although I found booze ugly so became a junky instead. I had my first hit of heroine at 15 and my last at 27. 12 years in a long sleeved shirt.

I got straight within the 12 step fellowships, mainly narcotics anonymous (NA) with a smattering of AA to hear the stories of long term sobriety. This taught me how I became an addict but not deep enough to know why.

Within the HAI framework ,I did learn why. I also learned how to have a real conversation and connection with another person. For most of my life I’d had projected someone who I thought was needed to fit in. HAI freed me from that.

I have always been in love with traveling, I fell in love with SE Asia and met my daughters mother in Thailand in 2002. I lived there for 3 years and we came back here for Thow (daughter) to go to school here as Thai schools are pretty crap. I didn’t have much to do with HAI as I was so involved with being a dad and providing for my new family.

In 2004 I was diagnosed with hepatitis c and was told that I would not last for much longer without treatment and a possible liver transplant. On the 25th of June 2010 I was called in by RPA hospital ASAP as they had found a compatible liver.
The operation lasted for about 18 hours and was very difficult. Two weeks after the transplant I suddenly crashed and had to be transferred to ICU into surgery to fix what had gone horribly wrong. By the time they got me down to ICU all my vital signs including brain activity had stopped and I was clinically dead for 6 minutes.

Obviously I survived but I was in a coma for two weeks with another few weeks in a single room in ICU where I drifted between reality and hallucinations. This was as close to hell as I can possibly put into words, no matter what there is no way I would ever go through that again. Again HAI had given me the strength and self-awareness to fight and survive to see my beautiful daughter graduate from high school and get into university studying nursing.

I am so very proud of my girl and proud of myself for being a good father and not subjecting her to the chaos of drug addiction. I have been blessed (as much as an atheist can) she really is the loveliest person I’ve ever known, even though my bias is obvious.

What I’m getting at is that without what I learned in HAI, I doubt I would have survived the trauma of the transplant and all the previous treatments that I had suffered through. My love for Thow kept me fighting for life against all probabilities that I would not. Through HAI I gained this.

During the workup for the transplant, part of the process is to be assessed by a psychiatrist. In that process the pshyc diagnosed me as being what is called a “high functioning Asperger person.“ It’s a kind of autism which has only been recognised as a thing in the last 20 years or so.

This explains a lot, I hate being touched by people who I’m not very close to, why I’m so terrible at getting people’s subtle messages like flirting and so forth. Being in HAI gave me a safe place where I could learn how to be with another person in honesty and trust.

The last workshop I attended was probably not a good idea as I had just finished a gruelling drug treatment and I was very sick. I slept through a lot but it was good because I absorbed the love around me and felt very safe to be sick and be there.

HAI has enabled me to survive the horrors of the transplant, chemotherapy, six serious operations and a total of 2 years in hospital over the first 4 years.

Denise is right, we need to bring HAI into the world as it is now, we mustn’t let the work that Stan Dale gave to us disappear. It has so much to give to a world that desperately needs healing. I don’t pretend to know how or what to do but please don’t let this wonderful community die.

Love, Michael


Beautiful beyond words

A Participant

I attended both Free Mini Workshops at Crows Nest recently - beautiful beyond words - lovely to see and feel the joy of newbies and graduates sharing love in the room of love .

I keep coming back, nearly 20 years later

Ed Love

When I first came across HAI, I knew immediately that this was my tribe. People were open to connecting easily and honestly with me, without trying to control me, or selilng me new beliefs.

Since then, via HAI I've met hundreds of folks seeking to open up more to love. It's added enormous depth to my life, and I am forever grateful for the lasting friendships I've found through this work.

Not to mention my own deepening experience of love, with both friends, lovers, and myself. I keep coming back, nearly 20 years later.

If this sounds interesting, try a free mini workshop, and see if it resonates with you also.

Breaking barriers

Philip Maxwell

Truly transformative! HAI is uniquely designed to be safe and honouring, while breaking the barriers that hold us back. My first weekend was only the beginning of an amazing journey.

Level 1


I had a fantastic Level 1 workshop, the Facilitators were amazing, honest, kind, very professional and they knew their subject very well. I felt lighter, the people in the course were also a great source of inspiration. I felt that I could shift more things within myself, even though I have done already a lot of personal growth work, this course has still been very beneficial for me.  

Loved it, couldn't praise all the people involved in it more, absolutely great job. I hoped it would be great, but it was so much better, exceeded my expectations by far. Thank you to all the people who were responsible for organizing and facilitating this course, you are amazing.

A Seismic Shift

Michael Brennan

I embarked on a new life journey 3 years ago when I started the difficult path of leaving a toxic marriage of 24 years. A counsellor I was working with suggested HAI and after some procrastination, fear and apprehension I attended Level 1. It was earlier this year (1.5 years had passed) before I got back to HAI and this year I have been a HAI junkie.

The HAI community has had and continues to have an amazing part in my life journey. They have given me the safety, honesty, friendship and support I needed to reach into me and to take on my demons, for me to learn to love me and  significantly that I have choice in life. I am living life with new eyes and an open heart. A seismic shift for me.

The facilitators Peter, Sarah, Jason and Felicia are such beautiful people and I especially acknowledge them in my journey.

Pathways to Intimacy Workshop

S. G.

The Pathways to Intimacy day workshop has proved a major accelerant to my progress and I feel distinct aspects of previous issues in me that have softened, eased or healed substantially.

This workshop proves that its possible to do human healing, together & lovingly.

I found the group so dedicated to their own progress and that created such a strong group energy, and it's this that I look for, to assist myself, more than doing my own healings by myself.

The hugs and touch were so lovely,…such a soft place to fall,…and soul food.

Denise Cook was masterful in her leading us, encouraging us to breathe through everything, which again felt so easily helpful to me.

Re-defined me closer, in my intimacy with my primary relationship, with me

Everything will resonate better, out from this…delightful.

Thank you. Thank you ALL…  

Delightful Shift

Rachael Brennan

What a delightful shift!  From a place of upset, something's missing, what's wrong with me, how can I fix it, or meet someone who will fix it for me, to peacefully, joyfully embracing the dance of discovery, intimacy, love and connection as it arises.

For many years now


For many years now I have had to be so strong. I have protected my heart with an armour breastplate. When I came to Level 1 I had no expectations and a little trepidation, but I discovered a place where I felt safe and loved and accepted as I was. I could share my fears and vulnerabilities without fear of ridicule. I laughed and shared and cried with my fellow angels and when I left on Sunday I felt safe enough to no longer need my armoured heart protector. Thank you to my wonderful buddy, my beautiful small group and to all the fabulous facilitators, team members and of course all my fellow angels.