School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 

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Issue: April Newsletter
Moving Conflicts - Where the heart is in contact with itself

By Katrin Kohlbecher and Ben Yeger
A conversation between Katrin Kohlbecher (Movement Medicine Apprentice and Organizer) and Ben Yeger (Movement Medicine Facilitator and Teacher), reflecting on a series of events they co-created together with Sabine Michel, Nina Nisar, Karin Radtke and Eleonore Bueschges.

Background

In January 2015 Ben and Katrin intiated a combined set of Movement Medicine and Combatants for Peace events, which Katrin and her amazing team engineered and supported. The combination included inviting Ben's Palestinian colleague Raed AlHaddar of Combatants for Peace to join him for a series of public awareness and fund-raising events and workshops in Germany before and after ‘Elements of Conflict’, the first ever Movement Medicine Weekend Workshop in Frankfurt. Through speaking and acting from their hearts, Raed and Ben evoked deep listening, community-feeling, movement and love among the more than 450 interested humans joining the different gatherings across Germany and 1,400 EUR were raised for the peace work in Israel/Palestine. Elements of Conflict was attended by 38 brave dancers.

Ben: What was your initial vision and dream for our work in Frankfurt?

Katrin: I was moved by the personal story of your life and the clear intention of bringing your work with conflicts to Germany. I felt touched and felt a resonance with my own history, of being German. And it spoke to my dream of bringing more Movement Medicine to Frankfurt, my home-community. That was the initial spark for me, to say YES and make myself available for what wanted to emerge.

Ben: And when you imagined it, what were your dreams and hopes about it?

Katrin: I imagined a room full of lively dancers and a space strongly held for change, healing and transformation to happen, both on an individual and on a collective level.

Ben: For me it particularly resonated to come to Germany for the first time, having an opportunity to continue to transform the conflict inside of me. In terms of my own ancestral line, what happened in the Holocaust, I suddenly got that doing conflict transformation work in Germany is fundamental. And then I got the vision and dream: How would it be to be there as Combatants for Peace as well as with Movement Medicine work? How would it be to ask very directly, if we could have a very intensive dance workshop for transformation AND invite a brother from Palestine to lead other work together with me, around it. I was excited by the potential of trying out this model of combining a dance workshop with other events and seeing what impact that would have in Germany.

Katrin: What have you learned from these different fields of your offering coming together? What made it special?

Ben: First of all, what made it potent was the process that you, Katrin, created in response to me putting forward my intention. I suddenly found myself speaking to four people in Frankfurt and I got that they were all contributing different bits. I got how clear their roles were but also how collectively owned everything was. So I thought: Wow this is amazingly held. So the process of realisation and manifestation was just great.

Ben: And how was that for you, Katrin?

Katrin: For me, the beginning of this process was marked by a very clear decision that I don’t want to work alone, that I wanted a team to create a strong platform and container to hold your coming to Germany. And that developed in a beautiful way. There were other committed people with me that felt that strong call inside of them that what you bring would help us and respond to a need that we felt in us. It was the joy of working together and observing how it then all fell into place.

Ben: So let’s look at how the different events happened.

Ben: Starting from that first evening in the Meditation Centre, I arrived and thought: Wow this is not where Combatants for Peace normally does events. And is anybody going to come to here? And in the beginning there were not many people and suddenly it was packed out with 50 or 60 people there and really engaged and deeply listening, asking great questions. And similarly with the Workshop at the Frankfurt Social Impact Lab, just the kind of atmosphere of interest and engagement, which was clearly generated through the team, which you initiated. There was a really really clean platform for doing the work. And then onwards into 56 people turning up for the MOVE on Friday such a strong community of dancers, who really wanted to go and look at conflict and how to transform it, really wanting to dive deeply into this work.

It’s like when you throw a stone into the water and the actual ripples do connect onwards. It was just like that: an extraordinary ripple. And there was a strong sense in me of not doing it just for us. There is really a big piece of work going on that we were just in service of, all of us. That we were tapping into some energy that needed support at this moment in time.

Katrin: That’s true. There is something very specific that I learned through working with you: I realised the importance of a clear intention and purpose, and from there, of how to create the structures that we need, to be held in this creation. But then, there was a lot of trust and that we just needed to make ourselves available for it to happen. The different events we had lined up were kind of empowering each other. It needed effort and it became a great synergy and symphony of things falling into place.

Ben: Absolutely. I, more than ever, understood the power of the collective and of collaboration. And it’s not that I haven’t looked at it before. It just made my job so easy. Really just like: Pay Attention. Listen. Get out of the way, constantly. That was really profound and I learned a lot about that and I also learned to say this I feel quite moved  there was a real desire to transform the stories that we have around the past. We can do some stuff here. We are active participants in this; we are not going to be just bystanders.

Katrin: So what is the special medicine that is created when Israelis, Palestinians and Germans come together?

It’s a sort of saying ‘No, I’m not living by this story anymore'. And next to it is a deep caring about the ancestors and their pain and their anguish and their starvation on the Jewish side and the oppression on the Palestinian side and the horrors of the ancestors of the German people, the wounds that these narratives leave in the generations after, of guilt. So a real compassion saying: ‘Yes I really feel the ancestral wound. It’s in my body, my heart, in my mind; I get it, really deeply. I am here for you, for us AND I don’t want to live by it anymore. I want to stand on my own two feet. I want to be my dancing warrior now, in this body, today, so that I can transform that.' The Medicine is that we can say: We can participate in healing this wound  not throwing it away, not forgiving, just healing it.

Katrin: And we do it by being in contact, by the heart being in contact with itself and the body being in contact with itself. And that’s what I witnessed both in the dance-space and the other events  how people were engaged with their own hearts, with their own bodies and their own imagination. And I witnessed it in the way people listened from their hearts to your story, to Raed’s’ story, and how much they allowed it to enter them and how much it met a readiness for transforming their own story. And the readiness of the German people that I observed to engage in a different, more healing way with their past and the burden of it.

Ben: I saw that too. I definitely felt that in all the events, the readiness to go there.

Katrin: What are your dreams for the future, Ben?

Ben: Well, I want to come back to Frankfurt for sure. I want to continue working in Germany. I feel there is a lot of work for me to contribute to. I dream of coming and finding a way to step into the ancestral realm in a very direct way, through going to the Holocaust-site, going there together consciously, us as a group with Palestinians, Germans and meditating, addressing that, within the work. Making it publicly known and making it a thing not just for us.

I want to keep on helping the growth of the collective in Frankfurt. I am really honored to be part of that evolution that you are dreaming. I want to be part of your dreaming and I want you to be part of my dreaming. That’s really what I want. Your commitment to the collective is really exciting.

Ben: What about your dreams for the future, Katrin?

Katrin: I feel the dream that brought us together in the first place, as we dreamt it during the Movement Medicine Summer Long Dance or maybe even before that, when our dreams met. It is a dream of Israelis, Palestinians and Germans dancing together, healing together at the very places where the pain is still stored. And that is in the body, in the hearts as well as in the physical space. So I strongly resonate with that dream of dancing at Holocaust-sites, dancing in Auschwitz, and being in ceremony and in a healing process together that involves the individual level, the collective level as well as the sheer soil and land of where it is stored. Let’s do it for our ancestors, on behalf of our ancestors and for the future generations.

Ben: Mmm. Wow. That will be something. Won’t it? Let’s dream on that one. Let’s make it happen. I’ll be there. Wherever you say, I’ll be there.

Both laughing. 

***

For questions and comments, please write to us at:
katrin@movement-medicine-frankfurt.de and ben@movingconflicts.org

 

Upcoming workshops in Frankfurt/Main, Germany

May 22-24: Circles of Connection with David Mooney. Frankfurt, Germany

 

Ben’s upcoming workshops:

May 22-24: Wisdom of Conflict. Bologna, Italy 

 

November 13-15: Wisdom of Conflict. Frankfurt, Germany 

 

November 20-22: Wisdom of Conflict. Warsaw, Poland

 

To find out more visit:

Moving Conflictshttp://movingconflicts.org/

Combatants for Peacehttp://cfpeace.org/

The Summer Long Dance Devon, UK. July 3-9.

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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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com