School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: June 2012
Are you Ready For Initiation?

By Susannah and Ya'Acov

The circle for this yearís Initiation Odyssey is taking shape and we wanted to invite you to join us if itís your year. If you are thinking about applying for our next Apprenticeship Programme beginning in August 2014, itís time to sit down and look at the minimum prerequisites and make your plan for making the most of the journey.

Initiation is one of the main prerequisites because of the ground it gives us in relationship to our past, our present and our futures, including the reality that we are mortal beings. Part of the workshop involves an encounter with benevolent death, an archetypal energy that is one of the greatest teachers we have ever met. Shamans around the world have always supported their communities to embrace the reality of mortality. A good relationship with death brings us a calm urgency and an ever-deepening appreciation of the breath we breathe, the lives we are living, and the people we are living them with. Like any other relationship, our full attention is required. Unlike any other relationship, this is not one we can walk away from. Death is coming whether we are ready or not.

"I sit in the celestial court, still in the ethereal light, the wings of the angel of benevolent death and re-birth shining above me, and I can sense unseen beings of great strength and compassion hovering all around. In the mortal world, a friend reads my epitaph and blesses the life I have lived. Here in the space between life and death, I have been invited to contemplate the effect my choices have had on those around me in my life. With the presences of my Wise Elder close by, I see all this without judgement. The truth, I have been told, is ultimately what sets us free.

Then the angel of death and re-birth tells me it is not my time to die. I am being given another chance to return and to continue this life. Before I return, I am given the opportunity to renew, revise or reconsider the compass of my life. Having spent the past week travelling through the many landscapes of my life, I have a clarity I have not had before. The puzzle of my life has a sense to it. I don’t have all the answers but for certain, my compass is more finely tuned."

Each year in the Initiation workshop we make a grand imaginal journey, travelling each night on our ‘dream boat’ to visit the different ‘islands’ of the different life cycles (stages of life). We visit them to strengthen our resources here in the present by changing our relationship to the stories that live in the past. We have discovered time and time again that no matter what the story, it can become a source of inspiration and energy now once the necessary healing has taken place. We travel from conception right through to the present, and then we look ahead to our deaths, before returning to our lives, with a new sense of clarity and purpose. On each island we give space to acknowledging the truth of how things were and with the help of spirit, imagination, creativity, the solidarity of the group, and ceremony, we call in healing and a more choiceful, life sustaining relationship with each stage.

And you know what is amazing to us? It’s the power of this journey, the power of the symbolism and the ceremony and the shared intention. It reminds us again and again of how we humans seem to be naturally resonant with and nourished by the symbolic language of ceremony. And it reminds us of the depths that people can arrive in with themselves and each other relatively easily given the right conditions and balance of safety and the excitement of possibility and change.

Initiation is an odyssey, a ‘waking, shared dream.’ In this dream, we set sail and as ‘crew,’ we go through an initiatory journey with our companions from all over the world. For 10 days we become a crucial network of support for each other. In this deep “wolay” (work-play) of the spirit, things come to consciousness and are acknowledged, things come to resolution, and often, things may be enabled to come to rest which may have been ricocheting around the family closets for generations.

This is not a casual workshop (as you may have guessed!). It is a deep investigation that repays commitment with a harvest of rich dreams. It is an experience which many people over the years have found has nourished their lives, and their relationships for years to come. We hear stories all year long from people putting into practice things that they discovered in their Initiation.

This year, for the first time for a long time, Initiation is residential. It will take place at the beautiful Rill Centre in Devon, in the awesome new studio which Rill are building for our work. We are so excited to be bringing this workshop back to the residential setting and we are certain that the support of being at Rill will take our work deeper.

Please take this as your personal invitation to join us and the fine company which is gathering for the voyage.

Susannah and Ya’Acov

June 2012

Initiation will be held 31st August – 9th September in the large new studio at the Rill Estate in South Devon.  There is an application procedure for this workshop.  Please contact Roland if you would like a form.  You can either phone me on 00 44 (0) 1803 762255 or by email


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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.