School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: January 2009
Fire Balloons and Receiving Instuctions

By Ya'Acov 

Dear Dancing Friends,

Happy New Year and may blessings rain down on you and your family in 2009!

Itís been a bright and challenging start to the year for us. Itís been bright in the sense of our School of Movement Medicineís 2nd birthday celebrations which happened throughout the night on 9th January. At 05.26 am, after perhaps the deepest and most peaceful ceremony Iíve ever been involved in (and I hope and pray that that is an omen for the year ahead for us all), we set off two beautiful paper lantern fire balloons into the early morning sky.

Anyone watching, as they spiralled up and away on the wind and over towards Roland and Susanneís house, may well have mistaken them for either UFOís or biblical omens. Our friends Jake and Eva had given them to us and they were a fantastic celebration at the end of our ceremony.

And itís been bright too in terms of us closing in on the end of writing our book. What a sobering and focusing task that has been. I feel like Iíve had this book inside me for years and it has taken us years to get down to actually writing it. Many times, the pressure of it felt so intense that I felt like I was pregnant! But as usual, the timing of the Great Choreographer couldnít have been better. As we have been writing about the 9 Gateways of the Movement Medicine mandala, each gateway has been a profound investigation for us into the medicine that weíve been distilling all these years. Language is one of those double-edged swords. Itís a blessing to be able to communicate and make our offering on the one hand. And on the other, who knows whether those who read it will get what we mean or not. And the challenge of having things down in print is that people so easily mistake whatís written for the truth. Take the bible for instance. Some people cling onto an interpretation of someoneís story about what happened to someone else and call it the truth. Iíve been heartened by what someone once told me about the ancient Mayans. Seemingly, they only wrote things down so that they could remain open to Ďreceiving the next instructions.í Our book will be out in September and as well as the natural vulnerability I feel about sharing our creation, Iím essentially very excited about it and whatever it is that may follow. Now that weíve got into the writing dance, Iím sure that there is more to come.

The thing is with any medicine wheel or mandala, they are static representations of a living process and therefore, their meaning will evolve as the people working with it evolve too. For me, a living mandala is like an archetypal imprint. It speaks to things that normally lie behind our consciousness and it acts like a catalyst to awaken the knowledge that is inside us. Thatís why our Spring workshop is called Awakening. The workshop is an opportunity to listen to and bring into movement the dreams that have been being nourished in the roots of our psyche during the winter months. As well as that, it is a great opportunity to investigate and awaken the Movement Medicine mandala within you so that you can bring into awareness more knowledge of who you are, who you are becoming, and what you are here for.

Hereís an excerpt from the write-up:

Awakening: The Dancer and the Spirit of the Dance is an opportunity to work with Susannah & YaíAcov together and be guided on a deep initiation into the Movement Medicine journey.

In this workshop:

  • You will be introduced to the basics of Movement Medicine practice, including working with the 4 Elements, the 5 Dimensions of Awareness, and the 9 Gateways of the Movement Medicine mandala
  • You will learn how to align the body, heart and mind by bringing them into movement through working with the twin pillars of acceptance and intention
  • You will work with the relationship between the dancer within and the spirit of the dance that is a foundation of ecstatic dance practice
  • Through shamanic work, you will meet and dance with the guardians and allies of Movement Medicine practice and so be able to create your own dancing Ďmedicine wheel.í


We love this workshop. Last year it was such a profound experience for so many of us who were there, not least, Susannah and myself. Awakening will take place on the beautiful Dartington Estate, March 31st to April 4th. Dartington is a place which for decades has been a rich landscape of learning and creativity in many fields. All this began originally through the generosity of Lord and Lady Elmhurst and their connection to the Indian poet and mystic, Rabindranath Tagore. And it continues now through the efforts of a dedicated group of people who run the Dartington Estate Trust. We are hoping to bring more and more of our work to Dartington in the years to come.

We were at Dartington for a meeting this last week to talk about our dreams for a school on the estate. Like many other organisations, we were delighted to discover that Dartington is working on the interface between the arts, environmental responsibility and sustainability, and social justice.

And itís the social justice part of the menu that has provided us with the challenges so far this year. Like many of you who have been in touch, I have been so upset by what is going on in Israel and Palestine. I know how deep the arguments run in this conflict. As a Jew, I recognise the importance of a homeland for my people. And no matter what the arguments are, Israel isnít going anywhere. I and we have many friends in Israel and a growing number of friends in Palestine too. I recognise that I am not living in either situation. I am blessed to live in the peaceful green hills of Devon. And, I have struggled with the feeling of the need to be both loyal to my people, and share my truth as I see it. I am truly saddened by the brutality of the Israeli Defence Forces and I feel certain that, despite Israelís need to defend herself, this is no way to peace. I am also certain that Hamas as an organisation are very far from being in an innocent victim in this crisis. We are sending prayers for all those innocents who have been killed and wounded and praying for peace daily for all our brothers and sisters in all areas of conflict in this world. We will continue to dance our hearts out and our socks off in 2009 for the happiness, liberation and peace of all. May it be so.

YaíAcov. January 2009.

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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.