Studying Being through Gurdjieff Movements

The Practice of Presence: Studying Being in Motion
 with Nella Liska, Walter Goodwin, Jerry Toporovsky
September 6-10, 2017, from Wednesday evening through Sunday lunch.
in Warwick, NY

This retreat is an opportunity to work with two of the more experienced Gurdjieff Movements teachers; Nella Liska, one of the most mature and experienced movements teacher from the Gurdjieff Foundation line, and Walter Goodwin the same from the JG Bennett line of the work.

This event will take place at the Warwick Conference Center, Warwick NY. (One Hour and 15 minutes from New York City)

There will be three classes of movements a day. The first day and a half of the retreat will be in complete silence with sittings led by Jerry Toporovsky. There will be a daily morning exercise, an evening program of work and much more. This will be an intensive seminar for those who wish to go deeper in their work. The seminar is intended for experienced students. New students will be considered on a case by case basis.

Enrollment is strictly limited, please sign up soon if you wish to attend.

Accommodations are being provided in comfortable dorm like rooms with shared baths, but no air conditioning. A limited number double rooms with private bath and air conditioning are available at an increased cost. Please write to inquire, if you are interested.

Please see the bios of Nella and Walter below. Nella has been the weekly movement instructor for Jerry’s New York and Baltimore groups and Walter has been the overseer of the groups movements.

If you are interested in registering or in additional information, please contact Bonnie Kutch, the registrar at or visit our website:

This seminar is sponsored by the Institute for Creative Studies (ICS).


Walter Goodwin joined a Gurdjieff group in 1972 while studying at university. In 1975 he was selected to teach movement and has been teaching movements in Europe and North America for the past 40+ years. Walter has been blessed with relationships to great mentors, many of whom were direct students of Mr. Gurdjieff. He has traveled extensively to both attend meetings and movements classes as a student and to sit in front of meetings and movements classes as an instructor.

Walter lived in a large residential work community for more than a decade. It was a special place where residents and part time students were able to work together day and night. Walter was one of a small group of people responsible for teaching up to 15 movements classes a week. There is an intensity of work that can only take place when enough time is given, in seclusion, for students to escape their habitual forms of living.


Nella is a 67 year old teacher of Gurdjieff Movements. She began her Inner Search at P.D. Ouspensky’s House in Franklin Farms, New Jersey at the age of 13 under the watchful eye of Jeanne de Salzmann.

During her life, she worked intensively with Mme De Salzmann until her death, and under her tutelage and that of Jessmin Howarth, worked with all the different forms of the Work, specializing in Movements. She was chosen to be a Movements Instructor by Alfred Etievant, Mr. Gurdjieff’s choice for carrying on the movements, and was examined as an instructor by Marthe Gaigneron, the Head of Movements and one of the original students from Mr. Gurdjieff’s first row. At the age of 21 she began her duties as a Movements instructor, working with three classes a week in New York for nearly 45 years. During this time she also travelled extensively, asked to pass on her experience to classes in Philadelphia, Toronto, Austin, Maine and other North American venues as well as Conducting Movements “Intensives” and training other instructors.

Nella has groups in Austin, New Jersey and Massachussets. She has an Honors BA in Achaeology, is a mother of three and a grandmother of two.

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