School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: January 2010
Ya'Acov's News

By Ya'Acov

Happy New Year to one and all. I am writing from the Earth Spirit Centre in
Glastonbury just as we are about to begin the second module of our apprenticeship programme. We spent the day yesterday doing the Be The Change symposium for those of our apprentices who wanted to experience the very powerful tool for awakening created by the Pachamama Alliance, a dynamic partnership brought into being by the Achuar people of Ecuadorian rainforest and their partners in North America.

Though I’ve been in and ran the symposium many times, each time, its message gets stronger for me. I recognised yesterday just what a powerful effect it has had in my life so far. It has really woken me up from the consumerist trance I was in and got me enquiring deeply on so many levels into the choices we make in our lives. I recognised yesterday just what a liberation that awakening has been so far for me. And as always, I feel as if I’m just at the beginning. If you’re interested in participating in a symposium that is grounded in Movement Medicine, the next Dancing with the Heart of the World workshop will take place in Hamburg (taught in English) February 5-7th.


In our post Copenhagen world, where after the frenzy of world’s media had died down and rushed off to cover the next bit of bad news, all has gone quiet on the western front. Is it back to business as usual then?


Not it seems for us and for the many people we have been speaking with and meeting on the road. There is this feeling for me that something momentous is happening mostly, as Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest puts it, under the radar. The fact that nearly 15 million people signed the AVAAZ petition in the last few hours of desperate negotiations in Copenhagen, is staggering. I wonder if there has ever been such a strong mass mobilisation of feeling and intention for awakening and change.


We felt compelled to let you all know about that petition, even though we knew that many of you would already have signed it. Thanks for those of you who got back to us to tell us what you felt about our communications. We recognised that this was an emergency and we have been thinking about what is the best way to be able to communicate fast with those who want to be part of this meta part of the Movement Medicine work. We’ve decided that sending out more e-mails into an already e-mail flooded environment is not the right thing to do. Instead, we will be using our School of Movement Medicine facebook page to put out these kinds of messages in the future so if you want to be connected to this part of our work, please sign up to our Facebook page.


(To join the Movement Medicine Facebook group you will need to sign up for Facebook if you are not a member already.  Once you are there put Movement Medicine into the search box and find the Movement Medicine group and then ask to be a member)


The most sensible review I have seen of what actually happened at Copenhagen, not surprisingly comes from Franny Armstrong, director of the magnificent Age of Stupid film and the team doing the Stupid Show. Also, check out the final Stupid Show featuring Tony Juniper, Mark Lynas, Ed Miliband, Kumi Naidoo and President Nasheed from The Maldives in various states of exhaustion after they’d all been awake since Friday and everyone else had gone home. 


During the conference, and whilst Susannah was getting people singing and dancing in Copenhagen, I was with a brave circle of souls doing The Alchemy of Stillness workshop and ceremony. Part of the work involves creating the Alchemist’s Garden, a physical manifestation of the mandala of the four chambers of the heart we work with. At the centre of that mandala is the domain of grace. It’s the place where the wise elder resides, witnessing our lives, loving us without condition, and waiting for us to become quiet enough to listen. Together, inspired by the four other magnificent temples in the mandala (the domains of Awakening, Integrity, Surrender and Gratitude), we found that alchemical place of embodied prayer and made our contribution to the massive wave of energy that was awakened at that time.


We were deeply in that zone and then, at 5.45, an hour earlier than we were expecting, the Saturday night Compton Dundon Bingo set-up crew arrived. Not surprisingly, they were astonished and more than a little upset to find their Bingo Hall transformed into a magical dreamscape. I went out to apologise and let them know that we had been told that they wouldn’t be there for at least another hour. After the initial fury passed, I managed to persuade them that we would help them to be ready on time for Bingo. I then went back into the hall, treading lightly as I went through the eye of the needle back into the alchemy of stillness to tell the dancers that we had to take a deep breath, and then get down to action, clearing away the beautiful temples and making way for Bingo. After the initial shockwave passed, everyone just got down to it and within half an hour, dreamland had become Bingoland, our Bingo friends were delighted and the Alchemy crew were on their way back to the Earth Spirit centre. Once we got there, I put on the same piece of music that had been playing when we had to change frequency so suddenly, and lo and behold, that same exquisite vibration of silence was still there, waiting for us, as if we had never left. What an amazing lesson that was. One of my earliest teachers, Arwyn Dreamwalker, used to say to us that the power of a ceremony could be measured by how we cleared the space at the end and brought everything back to its original state in the physical world. With a brief nod to an amazing team of alchemists, and the remembrance of a quote from the Dalai Lama that adorned the Temple of Integrity that said: ‘Never Give Up! it’s time to leave the Alchemist’s Garden for another year.


Susannah and I had a deeply nourishing time over Christmas (which we cancelled entirely this year) and New Year. Reuben, our son, is working and snowboarding in Austria, so for the first time, we had the house to ourselves with Tali, our dog. We dreamed, spent hours telling stories by the fire, walked in the woods, and prepared for the ceremony to celebrate the 3rd birthday of our school through the night of January 9th. This year’s ceremony was particularly strong. We danced through all 21 steps of the Movement Medicine mandala and offered our prayers to the fire for the year ahead. What a medicine that mandala is! We are learning so much from it. We are astonished by how complete it seems to be. It’s as if it’s always been there, just like the silence. At 5am, Roland and Susanne arrived for the birthday moment, at 5.26am. We offered up our work for the next cycle, sang a few songs, drank tea and finally got to bed at about 6.30. Well, if that ceremony is in any way a mirror of the year ahead, we’re in for quite a journey!


A few highlights for 2010 we’d like to share with you that we’re excited about:

The 48 hour Long Dance ceremony will be open to all dancers for the first time July 2-6. It’s a not-for-profit event hosted the apprentices of the School of Movement Medicine and us. It’s a powerful ceremony to dream your dreams and dance your prayers for the community of life on earth. There will be a lot of live music, a great team of healers, visiting shamans from different traditions, and, if you feel it in your heart to be there, you.

Awakening, our introduction to Movement Medicine work will once again be happening in South Devon. It’s a great place for beginners and those wanting to go deeper to immerse themselves in the basic practices of Movement Medicine for a few days.

I’m looking forward to teaching Source in London and Dublin and Amsterdam over the coming month as well as teaching Move! in South Africa for the first time in May.

For those wanting to work towards the next apprenticeship programme, we are again offering Initiation, the Phoenix Retreat, the Journey of Empowerment and Ritual this year.

Finally, look out for a new workshop in the autumn called Mending the Circle of Self which I will be teaching in the autumn.



We hope to meet you on a dance floor sometime in the near future. Until then, we wish you all power, harmony, peace and hope based in action for the year ahead. May 2010 be beyond our dreams.


Ya’Acov. January 2010.

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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.