The Hakomi Name

What is the origin of the Hakomi name and what does it mean?

In 1980 a group of people inspired by Ron Kurtz’ work were collaborating to evolve his method of body-centered psychotherapy into a teachable format. After months of searching for a name for their newly forming educational institute, one of the group’s members, David Winter, had a dream in which he handed Ron a piece of stationery that said “Hakomi Institute.”

After seeking the meaning of hakomi in several Eastern languages, David found the word in a Hopi lexicon and discovered that it meant “Where do I stand in relation to the many realms?” The group was struck by how deeply and poetically this phrase captured their work – a healing method devoted to transforming core beliefs adversely affecting peoples’ relationships with themselves, others and the world at large.

In 1981, David consulted his Hopi teacher, Grandfather David Monongye, the last of four designated Hopi prophets, to seek counsel on the dream and the word hakomi. The Hopi elder confirmed its meaning and gave his blessing for the newly forming institute to use the name.

Get the full story from founding trainers who were there when we first connected with Grandfather David about the word hakomi.

In recent years, concerns have arisen within our community about Hakomi’s name. Some people feel it has been culturally appropriated from the Hopi people. Others feel it was a sacred transmission that was given to us rather than appropriated. What is clear to our community is that we as non-Hopi people need to honor the Hopi people’s authority over their language and its use.

Find out what actions Hakomi Institute is taking to address this concern.