School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
Issue: March 2011

Deferred Gratification
By Roland

I sometimes imagine that, as a child, I was chosen to participate in the famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment designed to test a person’s ability to defer gratification. In this experiment a group of four-year-old children were each give one marshmallow, but were promised that they could have two marshmallows on condition that he or she wait twenty minutes, before eating the first marshmallow. Some children were able to wait the twenty minutes, and some were unable to wait.

After the twenty minutes were up I would not only be one of those children who still was there with a marshmallow in front of them and so entitled to another one, I would be fervently hoping that those running the experiment were going to double the offer and offer 4 marshmallows for those who would wait another twenty minutes.

I was a child who never spent all his pocket money, and who as a teenager went for a long weekend to Cornwall with just £1 in my pocket and when I hitchhiked home on the Monday still had enough money in my pocket for half a pint of beer in the pub. I was a student who managed to save money rather than run into debt (admittedly this was in the days of student grants – yes the government actually gave us money to study - rather than student loans). And today I receive immense satisfaction every time that I put a piece of wood on the fire which two or three years earlier I had collected, cut, split and then stacked in the wood shed.

Today I have been to Rill to book participants onto the Phoenix Retreat and experienced one of the ultimate moments of deferred gratification – the building work on a new 165 square metre studio has at last begun.

In 2005 we started working at Rill Farm in South Devon. The venue was perfect in many ways but the main hall was too small for some of the courses we wanted to run. We talked to the owners about the possibility of building a new studio but they were reluctant to spend any more money having already spent vast amounts lovingly converting the derelict farm buildings into a beautiful residential centre – yes Rill Farm had now become The Rill Centre.

Sadly, two years later they made a sudden decision to sell and we found ourselves having to search in a hurry for a new venue in which to run our major courses.

Meanwhile, for nearly two years the Rill centre was empty until it was bought by Richard and Louise Holman.We immediately began talking to them about running courses there again. And in the spring of 2010 we were back. Now The Rill Centre had become The Rill Estate and it took a year before we began serious negotiations about a new studio and a further six months before we had a satisfactory arrangement for everyone concerned and still more delays while planning permission was obtained, but finally the diggers are busy clearing the ground where the new studio will be.

I also would like to share with you another piece of very delayed gratification that I have recently experienced. Regular readers of this newsletter will probably remember that I undertook a very long walk from the Lizard which is the most southerly tip in Cornwall in S.W. England to the island of Iona off the West Coast of Scotland where my father’s ashes are scattered. I made the journey for a variety of reasons but chief among them was a desire to somehow settle some deep rooted negative feeling about him which somehow I couldn’t shake even after his death. When I did the last leg of my journey I was consumed by dark feelings of pessimism and slept very badly. I told myself “This should not be so! I should be elated. Why isn’t the medicine working?”

So it was with some satisfaction that about two weeks ago I should have a dream about my father in which he appeared wearing some rather odd clothes. “Hello, my old friend!” I exclaimed, throwing my arms around him. “I haven’t seen you in ages. It is so good to see you again!”

Now for those of you who might share some of these personality traits with me, here’s a thought. The next Apprenticeship Programme will begin in Sept 2014 and will be held in the wonderful new studio at Rill. Now is just the time to be considering taking part in this as you will need to complete the following pre-requisite workshops – SEER Process, Journey of Empowerment, Initiation and the Phoenix Retreat. My point being that is never too early to start planning such an undertaking. Many of the best things in life are those which we have both worked hard for and waited for.

The next SEER Process will take place 19th – 24th March at Waldhaus in Switzerland. There are still some places left for this workshop. For queries and to book please contact Roland at 00 44 1803 762255 . To download the application form please go to

The next Journey of Empowerment Ongoing Group is also due to take place at Waldhaus and first session will be in May 6th – 11th 2012. For queries and to book please contact Roland at 00 44 1803 762255 . To download the application form please go to

Initiation will take place 31st Aug – 9th Sept and will be in the new studio at Rill Estate. For queries and to book please contact Roland at 00 44 1803 762255 . To download the application form please go to

Also happening soon:

Webinar 13th March. Our webinar series continues. For more details, follow the link.

Shamantics. 16th March. Both a live fundraising event in Totnes but also a global event via the internet. In aid of the Achuar People of the Amazon Rainforest. Again follow the link for more information.

On the 24th and 25th March Susannah will be teaching the Arc of Time workshop in Berlin. For more details and to book please contact Kathrin at 00 49 30 28458820 or

And a few days later 24th -25th March she will run her residential workshop for women Sanctuary which will take place on the Isle of Sylt in Germany.  There are just a few places left.  Contact Petra +49 4651 87 12 76 for more details and to book.

Ya’Acov will be in Paris teaching The Way of the Dancing Warrior on March 30th – April 1st. For more details and to book please contact Pierre-Henri + 33 615 325 816

And do have a look at the new MP3s to down load at the Musical Mosaic of the Movement Medicine shop,

Best wishes from me to you in whatever long term endeavours you are involved in,


For more information about the Marshmallow experiment go to

Movement Medicine Book out in Germany

Hooray! The German version of our book "Movement Medicine" by Susannah and Ya'Acov Darling Khan will be available from German and Swiss Bookshops from 20th March. Its published by Innenwelt Verlag. If you live in Switzerland or Germany and you want to read it, please go and ask your local bookshop for it. Go to Amazon if this does work.

We are very grateful to Martina Jivana Werner our german publisher, Kristin Glenwinkel who worked so well with the translator Inge Engelhardt to ensure that the German translation carries the spirit of our work. Thank you to all involved. Enjoy!

Return to Africa
By Susannah

Returning to Africa was huge for me. I lived with my family in Kenya as a child- we went out there when I was 4 and came back when I was 7. Not long, but I got the wild, fierce energy, the hot red earth in me, the smells of the bush, gloriously fresh after the rain, the laughter of the people, the dance, the animals who were in every story I wrote at school. I was so heartbroken when my parents (for good reasons I can now understand and respect) brought us back to England.

They wanted to bring us up as we were, English in England, with a solid root, and they were not happy with the neo-colonial aspects of being in Kenya. My Dad realised that his job could (and should) have been done by a Kenyan architect, not an English one brought in because they did not yet have confidence in their own people. And I was SO angry and upset. I vowed I would not go back as a tourist, but when I had something of meaning to offer and to share.

That time has come. Through Ya’Acov’s work there in the last years, we were able to offer many workshops, and also work with people from all over Africa at the Drama for Life department at WITs University in Johannesburg, and people from a range of community theatre groups in Cape Town. A huge thank you to all the many people involved. We were taken to the bush, and stayed at a gorgeous eco-lodge whose mantra is to take care of the land, the wildlife and the people (both guests, staff and locals), which they do with admirable oomph, joy and effectiveness. Our ranger (Derrick) and tracker (Norman) were local men who had learned to track at their grandfather’s knees, and then had learnt the more western components of being rangers through the lodge’s training system. What a pleasure and privilege to be out in the bush with this level of sensitivity, knowledge and humour. Lion, leopard (up close- AMAZING. The picture above is it!), giraffe, rhino, hippos, wildebeest, and impala. God the earth and her creatures are beautiful!  I’ve come away with renewed wildness in the blood,  renewed reverence for creation in its amazing multiplicity and gratitude for those who protect and care for it.

On the last night, we were playing “All the Earth is Sacred” in our room, and there was a knock on the door. One of the staff was there saying, “I heard you playing guitars, I love the guitar, can I come in and listen?” He turned out to be Biko, the brother of Derrick, and in the end he played us one of his songs, a searingly beautiful tender love song- what a voice. Another magic moment.

My heart opening “returning home” moment came as we hugged goodbye with all the staff we had connected with. A sense of genuine human connection alongside the roles of guest and staff, and that heart openness had me weeping and laughing all the way along the track out of there. Then we turned the corner and met elephants! Amazing Grace.

We made many, many connections on this journey, and also saw our work, and the relevance of Movement Medicine afresh from the perspective of African eyes:

1) That it has been born from the space between a man and a woman, it comes from the synergy and relationship between us two.

2) That the bigger picture of how we contribute and are part of the bigger picture of life on earth is intrinsically woven into the work, along with the relationships between sustainability, creativity, healing, individuality, co-creation and “inter-being” (to quote Thich Nat Hahn).

3) That MM is an integration of ancient and modern wisdom, weaving together shamanic, psychotherapeutic, scientific, artistic and ecstatic approaches to growing the human being.

4) That inclusivity and diversity are key to our work everywhere, and there is lots more we can do in terms of supporting this. Thank you Sponsorship Fund!

Do come and visit with us on our Webinars, and especially come and party and pray with us for the Achuar of the Amazon rainforest on the 16th March. Shamantics

And I’ll leave you with this wonderful poem, which dancer Simric Yarrow wowed us all with at the end of the workshop in Jo’berg. Here performed by the poet himself:

If you want more, (and its worth it!) go to

and have a shop of Sim’s poem (Take Off 2012) and other delectable rare MP3s, all towards a good cause, supporting the One World Mosaic to empower our voices of love for the earth to reach, support and inspire each other. You can make your love visible in this way too, if you haven’t already!

Love to all and each of us humans, doing our best to show up and find what is true, and beautiful, and to find the courage to follow it,

Happy being and becoming, and hope to see you soon somewhere!


By Ya'Acov

So after another very full month, this time in South Africa, we are now back at home. And the day we arrived home, it seemed as if the promise of spring arrived with us. To travel in Africa with Susannah was truly an unforgettable experience. Susannah spent some of the formative years of her childhood living in Kenya and she had made a promise only to return to Africa once she had felt she had something to offer. Well, I'm here to report that she kept her promise!

Knowing about Susannah's promise, I wanted to make sure that our first journey to South Africa together consisted of a variety of different working opportunities. Sian and Leslie, two very strong South African women, who both trained in London at the Sesame School for drama therapy, provided the bridge for us to bring Movement Medicine to a wider and more diverse group of people, most of whom would be unlikely to make it through the doors of a regular workshop. Both Lesley and Sian had danced with me before in my previous trips to teach in South Africa and I am truly grateful to them for this.

Any of you who follow us on Twitter on our Facebook page, will know that we got straight off the plane and went straight to work at the University of Johannesburg. We spent a day and a half working with students from all over Africa who were beginning a course in the excellent Drama for Life Department. For quite a while now, we have been thinking how good it would be to be able to offer movement medicine within already existing educational establishments. We had particularly been thinking how good it would be for students beginning their courses to have some Movement Medicine time in order to meet, share where they have come from, create a strong circle, and know each other's intentions for the journey ahead. Our work at the University of Johannesburg provided just that opportunity and we were delighted with the outcome. The students, many of whom had dance very deeply woven into their backgrounds, and some of whom absolutely didn't, used the opportunity to the full.

10 days later, after a beautiful early-morning drive from Knysna, we had another opportunity to offer Movement Medicine in a new context. We had an eight-hour workshop with participants from local theatre groups, all of whom were working on the front line and dealing with some of the more difficult situations of post-apartheid South Africa. We had an excellent day with them and though the day was short, we felt that the seeds of our offering were planted in fertile ground. We are already in discussions about continuing our work in these areas in our next trips to South Africa. We are also happy to tell you that the Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund played a big role in enabling this work to happen. Although we didn't charge a fee, there are associated costs involved with putting on such events. We feel very strongly that the fund has a very important role to play as Movement Medicine finds its way out into the world through many different channels. We have decided to give a percentage of our income from each workshop to support the sponsorship fund and we hope that the fund will enable Movement Medicine to reach into communities and situations which are well out of the range of normal workshop activity. There are now over 40 Movement Medicine teachers and facilitators, so the sponsorship fund has many resources through which to reach out into the wider community. The sponsorship fund exists to support anyone from difficult or conflictual situations to be able to attend Movement Medicine events and even to train to bring Movement Medicine to their respective communities. We hope that you will feel moved to contribute to the fund so that it can maximise its usefulness and effectiveness. We are hopeful that the fund will be one of the main recipients of this year's Summer Long Dance.

They say that Africa gets into your blood. And whoever they are, they are right. It may be more accurate to say that Africa is in all of our blood. It is indeed where we all come from. It is the original Motherland, and I want to thank Jayne Bullen and her fantastic team for all the work they have done to bring us and our work to Africa.

Apart from the work which included a weekend Circle and The Sword workshop in Johannesburg, a day-long Move! Workshop in Knysna, and a five-day intensive Re-Creation workshop in Cape Town, we were blessed to be given the opportunity to spend 3 extraordinary days in the African bush very close to the Kruger National Park. Even as I write the words, my senses sharpen, and the smells and the sites that filled my senses come flooding back. I will never forget the grace, poise and wild majesty of the leopard our trackers found hunting in the late afternoon sun. To be set within five metres of this extraordinary animal, to feel her calm, certain intent, has left its mark in a very visceral sense within me. When I move, when I stretch, I feel her, her strength and fluidity, the sharp senses, and the pure and wild river of life that runs through her veins. This is a memory that I will add to my little sack full of pearl moments. I have a little dream. It goes like this. In the moments before I breathe my last breath in this body, I will take out this little bag of pearl memories from the place where they are hidden deep inside. I will pull them out one by one and offer them back in gratitude for the life I have lived. Who knows, but I sure hope it works out like this.

And talking of pearl moments, we are hoping to create a few more on March 16th and we hope that you will be able to join us in creating them. In our visit to Ecuador in January, we heard the request of the Achuar people of the Amazon rainforest to support them in their current plight. After a brief period of security when it seemed that their lands and customs had been protected through their partnership with the Pachamama Alliance, it now seems that the Ecuadorian government have sold the rights to what is hidden underneath their lands. Black gold is at a premium and it seems that our collective inheritance of the biodiversity and magnificence of the pristine rainforest means little in the quest for profit at any price. The Achuar are a fierce and proud people. Their courage in reaching out is inspiring. They are working with the Pachamama Alliance to stop this destruction on behalf of us all.

So we have got together with Tripitaka, a band we have played with once before, to create a night of dancing ceremony to raise a mountain of energy, support, and cash to help the Achuar in their cause. Joining us in the band will be Shiuli (voice) and old friends Pete Scott on saxaphone and Ben Burrow on drums. The event will happen at The Ariel Centre in Totnes. It will also go out live over the internet so wherever you are in the world, you can join us from your living room, or you can get together with a group of friends and join us in the dance. It's easy to book and to pay online and we will use the same technology as we use for our monthly webinars. Even if you can't make it on the night, if you pay (and all profit will go towards supporting the Achuar), then you will be able to watch the recording at your leisure. The live event will run from 7.30 until midnight and the internet version will run from 7.30 until 10. For more information and to book, please go to:

There is also a pdf file at the bottom of the page which has more information. Please feel free to pass on this information to all of your networks.

We’ve called the event Shamantics, and who knows, it may be the first of many such global get-togethers. We will dance, pray our socks off, and visualise the success of the Achuar’s campaign. With our collective love for life on Earth and the strength of our collective imagination, and the power of the dance itself, let's make what offering we can to support our brothers and sisters in the forest.

As the spring knocks on Winter’s door, this is the time for all that has been growing in the dark winter months to become visible. It is a time for a new season of growth. Wherever you are and however you are, please remember that the dancer inside you is already connected, empowered to create, and a great resource in times of need. We hope to see you on a dance floor in the near future and wish you good health, happiness, harmony and sweet contentment as the dance of life rolls on.

Ya’Acov. March 2012.

For an up to date report on the Achuar people please go to

Coaching for Dance and Change
By Caroline Carey

As an ecstatic dancer I've spent my last 17 years visiting workshops, classes and events delving deeper and deeper into this mysterious dance practice that is thousands of years old and spent my time re-connecting to that part of my history and ancestry. As well as it being fascinating and exciting, there were times when I was hurtled into unknown places and challenged with many new changes in both my body, heart, psyche and mind.

Things in my life would change dramatically and I would sometimes be unsure how to handle them. And then most of the time I would be happily dancing away, always ready for a new adventure and time to meet with the colleagues, friends and fellow dancers that I met on those many dance floors.

I always returned afterwards to the 'grounding' of family life, with my six children and found myself having to 'get on with it all' often alone again without the community I had just had this extraordinary experience with. I could even find myself hurriedly making plans for the next one, eager to relive that experience and get my next fix!

Wonderful, but I often found that after a workshop I could experience a sense of loss. Something was missing maybe, others did not really understand what had happened to me and yet there I was changed, different, relating in other ways that some people where not used to.

Maybe I even spoke a new 'language' at times that was not understood. I wanted to be with the people I loved but I wasn't sure how to be. Even my own counselor could not help me hugely at times because he did not know what I had just experienced. He was not an ecstatic dancer.

The dance does change us, for the better we always hope, but it has its journey and unraveling to do, changing our cellular structure and sometimes leaving others unsure around us, about what this new change really is.

How do we deal with this, as well as look after ourselves and the decisions we may need to make.

Have you ever experienced any of this yourself?

If you have, or you feel you may be on this kind of journey, would it help to share some of this with some one who has experienced this work on a deep-core and life changing level?

Who knows the ups and downs as well as the absolute delight.

I work closely with the School of Movement Medicine as a coach for its dancers. I also teach Movement Medicine and trained as a 5 Rhythms teacher in year 2000. The coaching was set up a few years ago when we realized that there was a need for people to be able to share, ask for advice or generally get some support after the workshops. Particularly the intense ones.

So I am here doing just that. I offer one to one Skype or telephone calls, at the times that suit you. You can be in any country around the world although I am limited to English.

Please let me know if you are interested and we can set up a preliminary half hour chat free of charge to begin with and to see if this is something you would like to do.

Email me at or call +44 (0) 770 251 3679.

Warm wishes to you all and happy dancing, Caroline

Movement Medicine Shop
By Susannah

The Movement Medicine Shop takes off into new realms, loads of stunning new music available as MP3s,  listen to these by Laor Oman-Naharin and Simric Yarrow  and get inspired! (click on the name)

To hear the rest go to:

all the Musical Mosaic Collection is sold to support the One World Mosaic

And there are the Cape Town dancers singing "All the Earth is Sacred", which we will sing at Shamantics….

Happy listening, singing and dancing!

Oh, and if you are on the Movement Medicine Facebook page, then you’ll get notifications every time we add a new track or product.If you want to join go look up Movement Medicine when you are in Facebook and put in an application to become a member.

Be well and happy!

Love! Susannah, Frazer and David K!

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.