School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: March 2010 Newsletter
About the Earth and the Sun

This month's winner of 100 School of Movement Medicine workshop voucher

By Roy Freeman

I recently participated in Susannah's "Fusion" dance workshop in Olten, Switzerland. There we danced our connection to the great grandmother and great grandfather, the Earth and the Sky/Sun and beyond. I found many connections new and old, and thank Susannah for a really great two days of movement that returned me to some deep places in myself.  I am a trained natural scientist (a geophysicist; that is, I study the physical processes of the Earth, things like Plate Tectonics, earthquakes, and mountain building.

I co-authored the book: "A Continent Revealed" published by the Cambridge University Press in 1992). Susannah encouraged me to share some of the thoughts and feelings that I rediscovered during that weekend dance with the readers of this Newsletter. Here is one real story:

We all know that we walk on this Earth, we are nourished by her and receive energy from the Sun that fuels our dance and life movements. As you dance your relationships to Nature, it perhaps might be inspirational to ask: where did all this Earth come from? Where does the calcium in my bones, the oxygen I breathe, the iron that makes my blood red, actually come from? From the Earth, of course. But where did it come from before that? All these atoms in the Earth, in the air we breathe, in our bodies, in our blood, all this comes from the stars! Only the incredible heat generated by the nuclear fusion (!) energy in the center of a star can "melt or infuse subatomic particles (neutrons, protons, electrons, quarks and whatever is there) into atoms. The nearest star is of course "our" Sun. Certainly much of the original material of the Earth (now in our bodies) came from our Sun, but not all. Since the time the proto-Earth was gathering together by gravitational attraction, she has been continually inundated by cosmic dust, tiny meteorites from other stars in all parts of the universe. This amounts to tons of cosmic material per day! (For my dissertation, I dissolved limestone from deep-sea sediments and uncovered these tiny meteorites and took photographs of them with the electron microscope, so I know they exist!) So when you are breathing, when you are dancing, you are moving stardust! Think of that. Bring that to your dancer and let it power your movements. Star medicine in moving human form!



Another story: The energy from the Sun is not the only reason life exists and is sustained on Earth. Warmth from the Sun only penetrates a few meters into the Earth's surface. But if you dig down, go into a cave or in a mine, you quickly notice that it gets warmer the deeper you go! If it were not for this warmth, the surface of the Earth would slowly freeze and enter a state of permafrost, the oceans would be iced over and life as we know it today would not be possible. But where does this heat come from? The rest of the heat from the fiery melt of the proto-Earth has been cooling down over the last 5 billion years and is not enough to heat up the surface of the Earth to the average annual temperature range 12-18C needed for life as we know it to survive. The answer is not simple, but fascinating. It needed a bit of Earth history, atomic physics, and plate tectonics to figure out and tells an amazing story of how everythings is interconnected and not only rhythmic but irreversible processes are necessary for life.  It is like this.... oops, I have got to get moving now and will let you know in later Newsletter!


(A bit about myself: I lead field trips to rivers and mountains to bring these amazing slow-moving natural processes into our everyday experience and open up Nature as one amazing teacher about who we are in the big - and small - sense. For instance, in southern Switzerland we go to where you can touch the rocks where the ancient continent of Europe touches (!) the rocks of the ancient continent of Africa; or to the Pilatus mountain near Lucerne where the limestones tell us the story of the great rhythmic climate changes (that continue today) and we can read directly from them how life in the ocean reacted to those changes 100 million years ago. For more information on the excursions, you can visit, they are open to everyone!  On you can read some personal thoughts on Paracelsus who wrote around 1540 about the stars in our blood.)




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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.