School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: May 2012

The Red Fridge
By Roland

I have recently taken down from my book shelves a copy of a much treasured copy of a book written in 1986 called ‘Spilling the Beans – A Style Guide to the New Age’ by Martin Scott.

In the book the author talks of The place to live as being in a triangle formed by the towns of Totnes, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh.  The house where I live is in the exact epicentre of that triangle.   

But it was his description of the typical kitchen for Alternative Types  – his name for the New age people of the 1980s  (“ATs fall in love with themselves – and have relationships with other people”) – that made me suspect that he might be a secret inhabitant of this house.  He lists various items that were essential for the New Age kitchen – A Rayburn or Aga (yes our kitchen has an old cream coloured Rayburn Royal), plentiful jars of lentils and beans (again a ‘yes’ – although gone now are the old large sweet jars with black plastic screw lids that used to line the shelves and in their place are the Ikea modern alternatives), strings of onions (yes) and a hand knitted tea cosy (a definite yes).  OK all these items could be found in many kitchens in 1986 and for that matter the present day.  But what convinced me that he intimately knew the house was when he advised would be ATs to paint their fridge red. How did he know – how could he possibly know -  that the fridge in our house was painted bright red?  I knew of no other house with a fridge painted red not even within the mystic South Devon triangle.  It was then that I realised that it was not the house that formed the epicentre of that triangle, it was the red fridge.

Twenty five years later I am still here in the house and although the red fridge has gone and been replaced by a more environmentally friendly model, and right in the centre of the house, between the kitchen and the living room, there now sits the Movement Medicine office (wooden desk, large computer, small filing cabinet, telephone and a printer on top of which there is normally a large ginger cat called Hitchcock). There are though many other aspects of the house that still capture the essence of the descriptions of The Spilling the Beans book – the occasional smell of wood smoke, plentiful dry wood neatly stacked next to my tall antique Danish stove (not one of your modern glass-doored wonders here) and most tellingly and importantly  NO microwave in the kitchen.  Us ATs are very wary indeed of new technology. As Martin Scott said we like our electricity to power our lights and hi fi and not much more.  Although I think if he were doing a re-write he would include our computers and recharging our mobile phones – but as I am a really dedicated AT  I don’t even have a mobile phone. 

And this leads me onto the next subject I wish to write about:  Recently my attention was drawn to story posted on the Movement Medicine Facebook Group page about an experiment that a teenage girl did in a science class at a school in Sussex to find out what effect using water that had been microwaved would be on plant growth.  In the experiment “filtered water was divided into two parts. One part would be microwaved and allowed to cool before being given to the plant, while the second part would be heated on a conventional stove top and given to an identical plant. Results were observed over a nine day period. By the third day it was already clear that the plant given the microwaved water was not faring as well as its counterpart.
By the ninth day the microwaved plant was virtually non-existent in its pot, having literally shrunk in size to just a few inches above the soil. The second plant was growing beautifully
.”    This was the proof I had been waiting for. My instinctive dislike of microwaves was finally vindicated.  “Yes!” I cried. “These machines are dangerous.  They should be banned.” 

I don’t think that I would be alone in wanting this experiment to be true and to revel in the poetic justice that the dangers of modern technology should be proved by a teenage girl in a school science experiment. 

However, there was something that was worrying me.  Who was the girl?  Were there any plans for further studies?  I did an internet search and found lots of results.  Strangely the girl who did the experiment seemed to live in several different places in different countries and have a bewildering number of grandparents with different names and had conducted exactly the same experiment on numerous different occasions dating back to at least 2003.  I knew it must be the same girl because the pictures illustrating the story were exactly the same.   Not only that, but a lot of the stories referred to the fact the Russian Government had been so concerned about microwave ovens that they had banned them until very recently. 

Surely this was enough to show that microwaves were dangerous? 

Sadly not.  Both the Russian ban on microwaves and the experiment with different types of water are just urban myths.   They are just great stories that I not only wanted to believe in, but actually had placed great personal investment in their veracity.  Such disappointment!

In conclusion, I realise how much more my beliefs and tastes are a reflection of the time and place I live in and are much less a reflection of my own core essential being than I feel comfortable with.  But then I look around me at the books on the shelves, the large brown horseshoe shaped leather sofa, plants trained across the ceiling and I reach out and stroke Hitchcock on the printer and reflect on the fact that I dearly love my life, my house, my garden and my work with my dear friends Susannah and Ya’Acov.  Yes, I surmise, my life is really pretty good.  Much better to continue to cultivate a sense of humour, tolerance and acceptance of my personality than to worry about it or fight against it.  Like my body it’s the only one I’ve got.

For those of you who are wondering what steps you should next take on your life journey you might be tempted by the Movement Medicine Vision Quest 8th – 15th June led by Ya’Acov.  The residential aspect of this workshop will take place at the  Rill Estate in South Devon and there will also be two days out in nature in Dartmoor National Park.  One of our practical assistants has recently had to cancel this workshop and so we now have one place available at a slightly reduced price in exchange for some practical work during the workshop.  Any queries and to book contact: Roland at roland@rwevents.co.uk. 00 44 1803 762255

And don’t forget that there is a Movement Medicine webinar coming up on Tuesday June 15th.  You can sign up for 10 webinars at any time by going to http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/webinars.php

Katriona, our Swiss Movement Medicine organiser tells us that there are places available on the following workshops:

Ascension-Himmelfahrt
with Ya’Acov Darling Khan in Thun,  17th May 2012 (evening)
Move! “A Taste of Movement Medicine”
with Ya’Acov Darling Khan in Luzern, 18th May 2012 (evening)
The Way of the Dancing Warrior
with Ya’Acov Darling Khan in Luzern, 18th - 20th May 2012 (weekend) 

To book and for more details on these Swiss workshops please contact Katriona +41 33 676 2708  kat@kf-events.ch   www.kf-events.ch

Susannah will be in Denmark on the weekend of the 18th – 20th May teaching E-Motion: Heart of the World in Copenhagen..  To book and for more details please contact Bina +45 22 84 88 22 burningbina@gmail.com  

The weekend of  25th – 27th May will see Ya’Acov in London teaching E-Motion: Fire in the Heart.  Contact:  Alex + 44 7868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com

Susannah will be going to Israel and teaching Poetry of Presence 31st May – June 2nd.  Contact:  Aviya +972-9-7418203 aviyareches@gmail.com

The busy spring schedule will continue with Ya’Acov teaching Poetry of Presence in Holland 1st – 3rd of June Contact: Frank +31 71 8893253 info@karuna-events.nl www.karuna-events.nl

Finally the Summer Long Dance July 5th – 9th.  We have unfortunately lost our site on Dartmoor but thanks to the generosity of David at the EarthSpirit Centre we are able to return there for this year’s event.  We still have places available if you would like to book.  Any queries concerning this event should be addressed to Roland at roland@rwevents.co.uk.  Application forms are available at http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/app-forms/LongDanceApplication%20Form%202012.doc

Wishing you all courage in the dance

Roland

Coming Back Together
By Susannah

What an amazing time to be alive. After 400 years of separation, its time to re-connect the parts! I realise the meaning of that sentence may not be self-evident, so I’ll explain!

An Achuar leader talks about the prophecy of the eagle and the condor. In this prophecy it is said that for thousands of years the way of the condor dominated. The condor is said to represent the ways of indigenous people who leave close to, and in harmony with, the natural world. Then, about 400 years ago (about the time of Colombus) the people of the eagle came and the way of the eagle dominated.  The eagle represents the western way of rationally understanding of the world as full of separate parts. The Achuar leader tells us that the prophecy says that “now is to be the time when the eagle and the condor fly together in the same sky. It’s the time of integration, where the best of the way of the condor can come together with the best of the way of the eagle.” He spreads the fingers on both hands and interweaves them. This image and these words always resonate deeply for me.  It’s not about either/or. We don’t have to abandon the gifts and power of the western model. In fact they are needed. We simply need to harness them (as the Bishop of London startlingly said at the Royal marriage last year, amongst the forest which temporarily graced Westminster Cathedral ) for the care of the earth and for the future and well being of everyone and everything. In other words, link the power of the modern technological age with indigenous wisdom. 

In the west, we have spent four centuries pulling things apart and learning about the individual and apparently separate parts. As a strategy, this atomised thinking has been very effective for gaining power over the natural world, but not very good for learning how to live within and as part of it. We are living within the crisis (and also the possibilities) that this model and its success has precipitated, as an increasing global population increases its per capita consumption on a finite earth.

Another aspect of this separation has been the way we have separated out human attributes into specialisms which, though this has resulted in huge gains of knowledge and ability, has also disinherited many of us from our natural full spectrum of curiosity and enquiry, creative possibility and full participation in life.

Imagine a ceremony in ancient times when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. Or imagine a ceremony of the San Bush people of the Kalahari. In your mind’s eye you will probably see a ceremony which involves everyone singing, dancing, possibly painted or in costume, possibly with a dramatic aspect, in which the people are participating in a healing or re-balancing that links the human, the natural and the spirit world. Though there may be shamans or healers with particular roles, the force of the ritual is carried by the whole people, singing, dancing, praying, focusing, enacting the journey of the ceremony together. I think this was why my earliest ambition was to be a “cave (wo)man”. I yearned for a life lived in deep participation with the natural world, the earth, plants, animals and seasons, and where creativity, healing, community, and interaction with the spirit world was a normal, natural part of being human. Not so strange that I find myself immersed in Movement Medicine then!

We people of the modern world tend to think in either/ors: this or that. We go to see a theatre show or a music performance and it is clear we are separate: audience or performers. We vote (or not) and think our role in the body politic is over: political person or the rest of us. At 16 years old we choose (most of us in the UK who stay at school after 16) ‘A’ levels in the arts or sciences: arts or science. We tend to think there are some creative people, and then the rest of us: creative or ordinary. We tend to think of ourselves as powerless to change the big picture, rather than of ourselves as intimate parts of the big picture: micro or macro. We’ve tended to divide into people whose focus is on the world “out there” and people whose focus is on the inner world of the personal: spiritual and human potential orientated or political, economic, scientific orientated. And many of us often think of ourselves and others as either “alternative” or “mainstream.”

Specialisation has sub-divided knowledge and the quest for knowledge. Not only has it divided science from arts, politics from spirituality, but it has divided each area into smaller sub-divisions. Within science it has divided specialists in different fields so fully that to quote one example, it is possible to be a specialist studying the blood of a particular crab without ever knowing what that crab looks like or how it lives. Another everyday example of separation which we are all familiar with, even if we are not aware of it, is how disconnected we are as consumers from the provenance of what we buy. We buy things and often have no idea where they come from or what processes, either benevolent or destructive, were involved in the acquirement, processing and transporting of them. Even someone involved in one part of the chain of production will often have no idea of what happens in the other parts of the supply chain.

All this differentiation, specialistion and separation has, despite its costs, given amazing results. Across so many different disciplines individuals have achieved extra-ordinary levels of knowledge and skill which never could have been achieved if everyone had remained as “all rounders”.

We have between us learnt a vast amount in an extra-ordinarily wide range of different fields. Think about it! Between us we know how to make gardens bloom in the desert, we have digital wizards and horse whisperers and sub atomic specialists. People who know about the effect of music on the brains of slugs, people who can make an artificial eye, create ever more effective materials for doing what we want to do, build more efficient vehicles, opera singers and cob house builders, raw food cooks and Derren Brown (how to classify him!), expert mediators, meditators, machine makers, violinists, taxi drivers, farmers, osteopaths, hip replacement surgeons, psychotherapists, people who know how to train guide dogs for the blind, people who synthesise the sound effects for films, and mathematical geniuses. When I think about it, and all the thousands of examples I didn’t write down (and I’m sure you have your own scintillating list) and realise this is just a part of the knowledge base of one species, I’m rather overwhelmed. This is US! WOW! What an amazing power.

What would happen if we all got together to make it work? I feel that today we already have everything we need now to bring about the changes in consciousness and ways of living that can lead to a truly sustainable world for all. What we need to do is connect; put it all together, find out how the pieces of the jigsaw fit. We need to discover how to collaborate, co-operate, inspire, learn and co-create across and between specialisms. And it’s happening. A friend recently was at a TED talk, and heard the guy who started TED speak. He said just that people at the cutting edge in every area are making integrative connections, reaching beyond their field of expertise to “cross-fertilise” with other disciplines and approaches, and that’s where the great creative breakthroughs are being made.

In the context of scientific research, as I heard quoted recently on the radio (Radio 4, Start the Week with Andrew Marr on Creativity- details on my face book posting) people are realising that today’s complexity of problems means that one person and one knowledge set alone cannot possibly understand or solve things, so there is an increasing amount of collaborative research going on. As the scientific commentator said it’s commonly acknowledged that “we can succeed together or fail alone”.

How do we do this? It’s not necessarily easy. If all the parts of a bicycle were lying on the floor in front of you a bicycle is a possibility but not yet present. It would be quite a process to work out for yourself how everything fits together. If you have a manual of how to put the parts together a functioning bicycle as end result becomes much more likely. If it is true that one of the main things we need to do now is find the link between all our different parts, how do we do this? As far as I know, we don’t have a manual. But unlike the bicycle parts, each of us is sentient, aware (at least to some extent) of what she or he is trying to achieve (in my case, I’d say a healthy, healed, sustainable world where all life has the possibility to flourish) and able to act. I trust that, given the motivation to collaborate, the willingness to make mistakes, to explore and experiment, we can work it out.

I was told recently of a Bavarian farmer’s wife who is channelling Mother Mary. Apparently Mother Mary has a very funny voice as it comes through her. But besides that, she says some very interesting things. She was asked why so many people have such great ideas but fail to act on them. She said, “If you have an idea, an inspiration, act! Go on! Take the first step! The spirit world is waiting to help, but it cannot until you go first. Even if it turns out to be the wrong direction, it doesn’t matter. Take the risk. Make your move!” 

So, I better finish this article, because, as usual, it’s becoming a long essay! I love Movement Medicine because there is space for all of this inside it. The micro and the macro, the inner world in relationship with the big picture, accepting all that we are, becoming all that we may become, and giving all that we can give.  Exploring on the dance floor how to co-create and collaborate, developing the creative, healing force of being an engaged part of the whole, through dance, voicing, percussion, ceremony, journeying, community, and offering. The Long Dance is a dream come true in that respect. A place for modern “cave men and women” to gather together in thanks, praise and healing for all of life. This year the central charity which we are collectively raising funds for is the Pachamama fund for supporting the Achuar people of the Amazon rainforest. If you feel this dream resonating in you, do come and join us. Summer Long Dance

Also, do get to a Pachamama Symposium as soon as you can! If you want to do one with us with Movement Medicine integrated with the Symposium there are several opportunities this year. For more information about the Symposium (and a good introductory mini video) see http://www.pachamama.org/workshops/awakening-the-dreamer-symposium

Details below of our dates.

So! That’s all for now! I’ll leave you with a few suggestions from that creativity radio programme. To increase your creativity: 1) focus and work at something, put in the effort (they called it “grit”) and have time out from it.  2) Day dream. Let go. Do what Y and I call “letting the mind go sideways.” There ‘s your yin and yang. 3) Put yourself in new situations with new challenges, new perspectives. Learn new things. 4) Communicate, dialogue, share about your dilemma/creative challenge/opportunity with people who you might not normally, with people who have other skill sets or backgrounds and let the dialogue spark new answers, perspectives, ideas and ways of looking at it.

 

So, I wish you happy re-connecting your parts, inner and outer, and let love and freedom reign!

 

Blessings on us all, and I wish you every joy with the vibrant new leaves of spring, or the vibrant colours of autumn if you are down south! Hope to see you at the Long Dance if not before!

 

With love,

 

Susannah

 

Movement Medicine Pachamama Symposium possibilities:

 

Dublin: May 10th  “Pachamama Symposium” Dublin, Ireland, with Ya’Acov         

Kate + 353 83 370 3601
consciousfeet@gmail.com

Copenhagen: May 18th (eve)- May 20th  “E-Motion: Dancing with the Heart of the World” Copenhagen with Susannah

Contact Bina +45 22 84 88 22   burningbina@gmail.com

http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/workshoppdfs/Heart-of-world-Copenhagen-12.pdf

Warsaw: 18th October

And there will be a Pachamama Symposium in Warsaw in October, probably on the 18th October.

Contact Olga; +48 509 774 884         info@movementmedicine.pl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Body
By Ya'Acov

I know it sounds obvious, and I know I've been teaching this stuff for the past quarter of a century and I really ought to know by now. But after a particularly splendid evening spent playing music with Susannah and some of the other members of Tripitaka (the band we did the Shamantics night with), my dreams were full of the simplest of instructions: “Ya’Acov,” the teacher in my dream said to me, “it's all about the body.” Yes, I know, it’s an amazing revelation! Perhaps I should go into a little more detail.

Movement Medicine, though a relatively new practice, is rooted in a fusion of ancient techniques and earth based wisdom with cutting-edge modern discoveries in neuroscience and the understanding of human consciousness. Susannah and I love spending time together discussing our latest discoveries in our work. The mandala we work with is such a deep and all-encompassing koan and the more we work with it, the deeper the rabbit hole seems to go. We've just taken a week off to celebrate my birthday, and to check-in with how we, and our year, are progressing. We like to take time in ceremony for regular check-ins to make sure that we are as on track as we can be. In the busyness of day-to-day life, when decisions often have to be made under some pressure, we find it extremely necessary and useful to support each other in making sure that our actions and our choices remain in line with our deepest intentions. The way we do that is to set up a ceremonial space and to dance through the 21 stations of the Movement Medicine mandala. We hold this space often throughout the year for others, especially through the Summer Long Dance, so it’s a very good thing for us to do this simply for our selves from time to time.

During the ceremony, we will often ask each other questions to help us to deepen our enquiry. It feels very important to me to take this time to be held by the energetic field that is the heart and the core of our work. You will often hear us describing this energetic field as the Movement Medicine mesa. I love the word mesa. It translates simply as ‘table’ and it comes from the shamanic traditions of Southern America. What it means in the shamanic sense is the energetic space that a shaman or shamans have worked to create in which other people may be held and supported on their journey. As those of you who've worked with us intensively will know, we spend a lot of time in workshops supporting participants to get a sense of what it means to dance at the centre of their own circle. In essence, this is the groundwork of creating your own personal mesa. And what is at the very centre of the experience of dancing at the centre of your own circle? Yes, you guessed it. It's the body, the extraordinary vehicle that has taken millennia to evolve. The body is a gift from the Earth that we have been loaned for a short time in order to experience what it is to be a human being.

I would say that the most important contribution that teachers such as Anna Halprin and Gabrielle Roth have made over the past 50 years, is this call to reconnect with the wisdom of the body. There is absolutely no way that Movement Medicine would have come into being without the years and years of micro detailed embodiment work that Susannah and I both did (and continue to do) with Helen Poyner, our movement mentor for the past 20 years. Helen spent many years training with Anna Halprin as well as Suprapto Suryodarmo. She has helped me in so many ways. For instance, in my younger days as a fledgling movement practitioner, when I was one of those young men who preferred to travel far and wide in the land of spirit and as far away from the body as possible, Helen would often spend a whole session encouraging me to simply connect with my body. I say simply, but of course as you will know, if the body has not been a place of security or safety, then coming back to it means the willingness to clear the emotional debris of the past. In my mid-20s, it has to be said that I wasn't very willing. But life has a way so often of bringing us to the lessons we need. And so my classroom became the body. My syllabus became the material world. How to live? How to earn a living? How to not separate my spiritual dreams and visions with the everyday reality of paying the bills? In the end, I was too frightened not to face the stories and emotions that made my body feel like it belonged to the past. It became clear to me that the things that matter most to me would never see the light of day if I didn't engage fully with my own healing process. Fear it seems, sometimes has its uses.

One of the challenges of building bridges between the spirit world and the physical world is that in this material world, things take time to come into form. In the dream world, visions remain pristine. They are untouched by the limitations of this earthly realm. They are safe but ultimately useless. Worse than that, they can become an excuse to not engage with the realities of living in this world. And yet, within every dream is the blueprint for the fully realised version of itself. In the dream of the seed we plant in the earth is the reality of a healthy, mature, fruit-bearing tree. This is the language of nature and this too is the language of the body. So, paradoxically, the very road I was avoiding was the very road I needed to dance down in order to manifest my dreams. Knowing where we come from and making peace with that is a crucial Initiation for those who wish to bring their visions to earth.

The body knows about rhythms and cycles. The body feels the seasons turning. The body knows how to heal, how to resource itself as it sleeps, how to dream. The body is the temple and the playground for the spirit. I was listening to the radio the other day. There was a report about physical education in schools. Many distressed people of my generation phoned in to talk about the dreadful experiences they had in school gymnasiums across Europe. And many young people too called in to talk about how physical exertion and sweat just ruin make-up and hair and are simply not cool. In the past, the religious and political idea of overcoming the body and of dominating nature were indeed a pair of terrible twins. Losing contact with the wisdom of the body has had a quite devastating impact on us as individuals, on us as a species, and on the whole natural world.

There is a momentum in the way we live and the stories we tell. When we come into the dance studio, and we start to listen and tune in to the dancer inside us, it is not surprising that we often meet resistance. Nor is it surprising that it is difficult to maintain the inspiration that soon awakens as we engage with the dance and surrender to the creativity of the body, heart, and mind working in unison. This is a challenge for us all. How do we dare to look reality in the eye? How not to flinch as we recognise the intense suffering that exists in our world? Where does the strength come from that enables us to dare to dream? What gives us the stability and the faith to turn against the dominant tide that has us marching blindly towards our own destruction? Well in our experience, and what else do we have, it is the intelligence of the dancer that has the capacity to remind us who we are. One of the greatest sources of inspiration in my own life is that I get to see very often how quickly somebody, anybody, can transform. I am happy to report that breaking out of the trance, the sleepwalk of endless consumption is not so very difficult. I see it every week in people of all shapes and sizes, of all ages and backgrounds; I see it in you. I know it in myself.

And so as I grow older, a space to practice, and a space to remember become increasingly more important for me. To invoke and then be held by the very mesa that we have given birth to, was a profoundly moving experience this past week. As we went through the first few gateways, I found myself moving little and thinking much. The mandala was in my head. As I breathed more deeply and began to let the dance find me, the dancer inside me woke up once again. And as the body moved, I heard that ‘teacher’ voice speaking to me as clear as a bell: “you are inside the mesa now. Relax. Let it hold you.” What a different reality! The tiny world of disembodied mind popped like a bubble as my bones and muscles warmed to the invitation of the dance. All of a sudden I was connected from the inside to the space around me. I was connected to the energy of our work as an enormous and safe space in which to let go and dream.

And why am I telling you this? Well, in truth this is all a rather elaborate invitation to this year's Summer Long Dance. And specifically, it's an invitation to the dancer inside you. It's an invitation to that part of you that has never forgotten that it is already and always connected. It's an invitation to that part of you that remembers who you truly are. It's an invitation to remember what our ancestors knew. To create what we want as individuals and as a society, we need to take time out. We need to step off the treadmill. We need to dream, to remember, to give thanks, and to dance our socks off for the things that matter most to us. And the Summer Long Dance is an extraordinary community event. It raises a whole heap of money and energy for a host our beautiful and worthwhile projects. This year, our collective fundraising will be for the Pachamama Alliance’s Achuar Fund. The Summer Long Dance is a place to remember that your whole life is one long creative project made up of many seasons and many cycles. It is a place to stretch beyond your normal ideas about what you are capable of individually and collectively. It is a place to join the past with the present and to connect to the many hundreds of thousands of people around this world who care and act for future generations. It is a place to meet and work with a circle of equally committed dancing lunatics and freedom freaks and together, to weave a blanket of prayer that will warm the hearts of all that we care for. The circle is already more than half full. If you feel that one of the remaining places has your name on it, please get in touch with Roland fast and we will see you on 5th July in the middle of a field in Somerset.

Before then, I have a very full program and I'm looking forward to meeting many of you on the road. I hope you have a moment to receive the sweet, virgin greens of the spring or the riotous colours of the autumn.

Finally, we are delighted to announce that we now have the dates for the next round of Apprenticeship and Teacher Training which will begin in August 2014. Please check the website for details and prerequisites.

With love to you whatever your state and whatever your condition. As the world turns and we dance through the unpredictable landscape of the shift of the ages, please join me in taking a moment to thank this magnificent set of conditions that has given rise to the body you’re living in.

From in here to out there and back again.

Ya’Acov. May 2012.

 

Ya’Acov’s Spring/Summer Programme

May 

11-13  For All Our Relations   Dublin Kate  + 353 83 370 3601
                                                                                                         consciousfeet@gmail.com

15      Bringing the Dance Back Home   Webinar     Roland +44 1803 762 255                                                                                         roland@RWevents.co.uk

17      Ascension    Thun Kat +41 33 676 2708 kat@kf-events.ch 

18-20  The Way of the Dancing Warrior  Luzern  Kat +41 33 676 2708 kat@kf-events.ch

25-27  Fire in the Heart   London  Alex + 44 7868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com

June

1-3    Poetry of Presence   Amsterdam   Frank +31 71 8893253 info@karuna-events.nl 

5    Bringing the Dance Back Home   Webinar  Roland +44 1803 762 255                                                                                         roland@RWevents.co.uk

8-15   Movement Medicine Vision Quest Devon, UK    Roland +44 1803 762 255                                                                                          roland@RWevents.co.uk

July

1-4     Apprenticeship Community Gathering     Rill, Devon    Closed Group

5-9     Summer Long Dance  Somerset, UK  Roland +44 1803 762 255                                                                                          roland@RWevents.co.uk

The Great Mother
By Ann Cleary

Once upon a time in the farthest galaxy the Great Mother sat surrounded by her dreams and creations. Stars and suns hovered in the background and the stuff of future beings and planets lay scattered at her feet.

The Great Mother was alive. She glowed with love and
grace and was surrounded by a haze of luminous green
light. She herself was abundant, neither fat nor thin, with
enough weight to survive many winters of neglect and
forgetfulness. The Great Mother laughed a lot and in
between smiles she sang, and danced and dreamed. In her
dozing she imagined places, beings, and all the life that
might be created.
 
One warm afternoon she dozed. In her dreams she saw all
kinds of new and amazing creatures and because she was
the Great Mother as she dreamed her dreams came too. A
tiny drool of spit fell from her lips and from that cricket was
formed and he click-clacked in her love. Out of her armpit
rolled a tiny drop of sweet sweat and from it salmon was
made. She loved this sense of creation and so she spent a
lot of time dreaming and in this way all of creation, including
humankind, came into being.
 
Once created in dream all kinds of beings and places
manifested themselves and lay scattered about the vast feet
of the Great Mother. Soon there were so many beings that
the Great Mother felt her dance restricted as she had to tip
toe to avoid squashing them. She could barely move. That
night again as she slept and snored, she dreamed of a
home for all of new creatures she had made. She saw deep
cold rivers where salmon and the other fish could live,
flowers for bees that could make honey to feed bear, trees
as homes for birds and clay that could nurture food. Once
dreamed, a tiny planet started to form, and every dream
added layer and shape to this new home.
 
In her dreams she plotted out all the threads and intricate
sewings to create a joyous life where all of the creatures
lived to support each other. They understood that their
essential nature was to love, and that it was this love which
created the land, the sea, the wind, the rivers and oceans.
Each form was to have many manifestations, a generation
as a robin, a generation as a lamb, a generation as human
so that their souls got to revisit the wondrous place where
they lived in different ways and to support its life over the
long span of a souls’ being.
 
A beating heart created the life pulse of the planet and lay
hidden and cushioned by luminous beds of cloud, leaves,
waterfalls and fires. It changed color moment by moment
responding to all the big and subtle changes on the planet.
This heart was imbued with a special task to keep the life of
the planet in place for as long as the creatures on it were
living with love. Its’ fate, the fate of planet, and of the
creatures were united.
 
When the Great Mother stopped dreaming, she spend a
long time with each of the creatures she had formed. She
sang to them, and with her voice she filled them with love for
each other, and told them of her dreams for them. They
danced and sang with her. They listened to her stories and
in these ways came to feel themselves as one with each
other, with their new home and with the Great Mother
herself.
 
Much as the creatures loved the Great Mother they knew
that her dreams for them meant that they had to leave her
and make a life on the new planet. They were sad but also
excited. They longed to see what their new home would be
like. Cricket clacked so much that he went alone to a corner
so that others could sleep. The butterflies flurried about
tickling elephants with their joy. All of the creatures saw
themselves in each other, mouse looked at deer and saw
her shared soul and spider saw her heart in cat.
The day came when it was time for the new planet to find its
home in another galaxy. The Great Mother held the planet
and its creatures close to her heart. A tear fell from her big
shining eye. The tear enveloped the planet and held
everyone safe as she hurled it with all her might into a new
universe.
 
The planet spun and spun past many other planets of red,
coral and green. The creatures slept and dreamed about
their new home, safely held by the Great Mothers tear until
finally after many, many days the spinning slowed and the
planet found its own slower groove.
 
Cautiously the creatures roused themselves from their
slumber, stretched and yawned until they were alert to their
new home. They were curious. Slowly they opened their
eyes.
 
They were home and their hearts filled with awe and
pleasure when they saw the wonders available to them.
Their home was beautiful. They admired each other, the
green trees, the yellow fields of food, the many coloured
clouds and the breeze that kept them alert. They saw other
planets too, a big white moon, stars and a sun which
warmed and helped feed them.
 
Such was their pleasure that they spent time being with the
planet and all its creatures - lying in the sun, arching their
backs, sleeping beside rivers, running on two legs or four
through long green grass.
 
Their wonder and pleasure in the earth dulled the deep and
piecing pain they felt at leaving the Great Mother. Every day
they were filled with amazement and gratitude as some new
experience kindled their love and respect.
 
Time passed as the planet passed years, and years, and
years in this harmony. Then a great haze descended on the
planet and for months the creatures felt that they could n’t
see properly. Their senses dulled. They still felt the Great
Mother in their bones, and in their heart. Yet each day a
forgetfulness seemed to separate their memories from their
new life.
 
Days turned into years and after many, many, many, years
the heart of the planet started to feel subtle changes. The
creatures had started to forget who they were. They started
to believe they really were how they looked. This affected
humans in particular as their forgetfulness left them feeling
like they were the most superior, the most intelligent, and
most powerful beings on the planet. They started to see
themselves as separate from everyone else and as in
charge of the planet itself. They felt that all of the planet was
for their use and pleasure alone. The human creatures even
started to harm the planet by cutting it, soiling it and
poisoning it.
 
Over many, many, many, turns of the sun more and more of
the living creatures fell into dissonance, fear, and distrust.
Competition replaced love and they forgot the Great Mother,
the heart that held them and the love that had united all
creatures. Slowly, ugliness replaced beauty, instead of
abundance scarcity of food and water meant many beings
died too soon. The creatures doubted their nature and set
up elaborate systems to control thought, action and feeling.
The heart at the centre of the planet felt itself weaken. It still
gave all its attention to holding the planet in place but it felt
so sick so often that its power was diminished.
 
Far, far away, the Great Mother watched it all. Her heart
filled with sorrow as she saw all the wonderful beings she
had created diminished. She saw their fear, and pain, and
hunger. As tears fell from her face crystals were formed.
These took on all and every color and they were charged
with the pure love of the Great Mother. These trillions of
crystals knew their purpose was to bring healing. They too
took to the air and travelled the long, long way to Earth
where no one saw them because most of the beings had
lost the knowledge of the heart.
 
Yet in some of the creatures there was a lingering knowing,
a sense of loss and a seeking that rendered them restless.
The crystals found these beings and sank into their bodies.
Slowly the medicine of love they brought started to flow in
the creatures. It took many forms. Some started to speak a
truth they had felt deeply and secretly in themselves. Some
danced freely again. Some found the courage to balance
their fears with actions of love. The deeper the medicine of
love went into their beings the more uncomfortable their old
lives became. They no longer wanted the same things.
What had passed as love become now became deeper in
them, as they felt more gratitude for every moment. While
this brought them pleasure, there was also pain. The
creatures lived with fear as all they knew fell away. Money,
homes, families, the stuff of their lives. At the same time the
creatures became aware of the possibility of another life and
more and more of them choose love. It was as if they had
outgrown their shoes, and their old lives caused them pains
and pinched their toes. Until after a time they kicked off their
shoes and stepped into a new way of walking.
 
At first they were clumsy because they had all forgotten
what a life of love could be like. Their challenges were many
- belief in love, trust in what they called spirit, courage to
constantly be aware and the determination to find their way.
For many it was like breaking through ice to reach the sky. It
was so long since love had been the purpose of living that it
took some time to redesign all the infrastructure of the
planet. No one knew what an economy based on love
looked like or what children needed to learn in school.
Love drove people forward until it was today, and it became
clear that every thought, every decision, every action fed or
killed the love within. With this knowledge it became easier
to make love the core of living. When they did this, when
they fully committed to living from love their world changed .
There was always enough, the birds sang in praise.
Abundance was everywhere.
 
Far away the Great Mother sat and wept again. This time
her tears were from a joyful heart and these tears flew off
into all parts of the galaxy reminding all of us of the power of
love.
 
AC 2011

Symposium
By Susannah
Dear dancer, I’m writing to alert you to an extra-ordinary Movement Medicine event about to happen in Copenhagen- 18-20 May at the beautiful Gotvedskolen studio. The event is called “Dancing with the Heart of the World” and is our integration of the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” Symposium with Movement Medicine.

Maybe you don’t know about the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” Symposium. It is a far-reaching, exciting, challenging, awakening and profound wake up call. It is by far the most meaningful and intelligent approach to the challenges and opportunities of our times that I have come across. By intelligent, I mean spiritually, emotionally, scientifically and philosophically. http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/workshoppdfs/Heart-of-world-Copenhagen-12.pdf 

The Symposium is presented through powerful cinema footage interwoven with participatory work. Ya’Acov and I have developed a way of working with this material, combining it with deep Movement Medicine dance practice which we find to be truly potent, empowering and unique. This is the “Dancing with the Heart of the World” workshop.

For us the Symposium has catalysed a new level of “waking up” to the joyous possibilities and responsibility of being alive at this time. Many of the profound and beautiful insights of the Symposium have become an integral part of Movement Medicine (its an integral part of our Apprenticeship Programme) and of our lives.

These “Dancing with the Heart of the World” events do not happen often, and they are a special moment in our calendar. I encourage you with all my heart to come you and join us.  If you’re already signed up, congratulations and warmly welcome! If you have not yet decided, a warm welcome to you too!

To book or with any questions, contact Bina on +45 22 84 88 22    burningbina@yahoo.com

With love and best wishes for wherever you are in the dance of your life,

Susannah Darling Khan

Shop News
Thanks to all of you who have been downloading the great music from the Musical Mosaic. There are now more new songs up, including clips; some great choral wonders from Helen Yeomans and her Glorious Chorus. Thank you Helen! Christian de Sousa says about Musical Mosaic: "Loving the music, it got me discovering Matthew and Volker's music, both of which been meaning to check out and are fantastic."

And we now have Susie and Ayla’s wonderful “She and I” CD in stock, as well as Helen’s CDs, and the quirky, wonderful Wan Allin Runa by Jeff Delachez. If you need help finding anything or simply prefer to speak on the phone, you can always call Frazer on 004 (0) 1803 731003 or see the website:

http://www.movementmedicineshop.com/home.php

Here’s Ailsa Lucas talking about She and I: The album is full of beautiful, tender, heartfelt, passionate, songs ... full of wisdom ... coming from a place of real love and care for all in this world ... and a desire to engage fully with life ... I soar when I dance to it ... “

Enjoy!

Susannah and Frazer

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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com