School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: January 2009
AWAKENING 31 March – 4 April 2009

by Susanne Fehr
Susannah and Ya’Acov’s Spring Workshop ‘Awakening’ will again take place here in South Devon, on the beautiful Dartington Estate, not far from my home. When I embarked on this workshop last year it was the first time we had used this venue and I was a bit tense arriving, aware that if there were problems I needed to be available to deal with them - swapping the participant’s hat for the organiser’s hat without being attached to either.  But I needn’t have worried – the new venue was a real success – with its medieval architecture and beautiful gardens.

‘Awakening’for me conjures up images of Spring, clean crisp air, a promise of sweetness, a sense of renewal, the excitement of new, unexplored territory. And right there, next to this promise of new beginnings is the memory of winter, the bare, sparse directness of the cold. Somehow this sums up perfectly the issues that this workshop helped me explore: the dialogue between the edge, the line, the withholding on the one hand and the circular, yielding, flexible on the other. One could call it the masculine and the feminine, form and emptiness. But I found the reality of this relationship as I explored it in my dance to be much more dynamic than I expected, each having at its core some of the other. I realised that it’s the communication between the two which is the important point. It is through this dialogue that healing happens. And this is the goal of the Awakening journey, it takes us to the healing mandala. By entering the healing mandala, dancing my way through it, I was able to connect the threads, the mother and father lines, the male and female ancestors, the light and dark. I found myself dancing a prayer for my father, it was a prayer of forgiveness, forgiveness not from me to him, I loved him dearly, but forgiveness for himself – as a 17 year old he was forced to join the German army right at the end of the Second World War, he deserted after a few months and hid until the war ended. But he had never told me this, always giving the impression that he had escaped, being too young to join. It was only a year ago when my mother told me that I realised. So this prayer of forgiveness was for him. Since then I have had plenty of opportunity to practice this dance of forgiveness, for myself, for my friends and for the wider circle. When I first did this workshop (it was then called ‘Movement Medicine’) I ended with the line ‘forgiveness for the sins of the fathers’ and this journey was completed at Awakening. My words at the closing circle were ‘My body is a wide church and it is a place for everything’.


If you would like to join the ‘Awakening’ circle this year, there are still places available. Bookings received by January 31st are eligible for the early payment discount, which reduces the workshop cost to £260 (this includes delicious organic, vegetarian lunches). To book please contact me on 0044 1803 762 999 or



Susanne Fehr

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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.