School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: June 2010
Being Taught

By Susannah

Ya’Acov and I are sitting on the train coming home together (hooray!) after many adventures on our own over the last few weeks. I went up to London yesterday to support him in his London Move! evening. It was held in the beautiful church in Vauxhall that Christian de Sousa has made such an icon of the London ecstatic dance scene.

Working out how to assist was sweet. At first we went into normal co-teaching mode. I played the music for the first dance, and then Ya’Acov took over the music and I led the Awakening the Dancer meditation part of the evening and seriously awoke my own dancer. I realised Ya’Acov was on a roll, and that I wasn’t needed to teach, so I was free to join the throng and simply let the dance take me. What a profound pleasure to participate in a Movement Medicine class, and to feel what it is like to receive this medicine of guidance and music; so, so, good. Thank you Ya’Acov, and all the dancers, and the church vicar and community who allow dance to happen there, and Alex (and her team), our wonderful London organiser, and our lovely team of apprentices who were there to assist.

Similarly, we made a recording of the Phoenix Process recently for the Phoenix participants to support them to go on doing the work at home. Since then we’ve been using it ourselves and it’s been helping me get clear on some basic patterning I’m ready to shift. It’s wonderful to be able to take our own medicine. Of course, as it says in the old adage, ‘one teaches what one most needs to learn’ so!

One of my adventures in Switzerland was participating in a Taketina workshop with Esther Diethelm. And I was a complete beginner in a group of experienced Taketina people, and it was all in German. Luckily they were kind enough to me and a few others who came from other countries to speak in German not in Swiss German, otherwise I would have been completely lost! And Taketina is amazing. Poly rhythms, freedom and unity, song and movement and rhythm. My brain was working so much I could feel it whirring, expanding, stretching, computing, and for one long stretch completely into free fall where I just couldn’t find the most basic pattern in which to anchor my feet. I simply had to consent to being lost at sea.  Very good medicine for someone who sometimes teaches the Brooklyn Hussle!

It was very beautiful for me to be in another context where song and rhythm and dance are recognised as inextricably part of being human. I felt African roots and Sufi surrender reverberating in this beautiful group of ‘Swissies’ remembering this part of our shared humanity which I find so, so nourishing.

This was all wonderful preparation for the first module of the ‘Journey of Empowerment’ Ongoing Group at Waldhaus in Switzerland. With dancers from many different countries we had decided that basic English was a prerequisite and that we wouldn’t have translation. So I needed to go slow and clear. We dropped into such a deep space, thanks to grace, the mystery of timing and the strength and commitment of the group. I’m still integrating witnessing the effects in the group and in myself of allowing another level of gentleness, acceptance and quietness to open the space of freedom and expression. And it was also clear to me that it was the steady yang of the group’s clarity and discipline that allowed me to drop deep into the yin, which allowed the group to soften and open to themselves and one another allowing the masks to drop and the deeper dances to emerge.

And you know what kept coming up for me? Even as I witnessed the depth and beauty of what was happening for people, and the natural unforced strength and dynamism which emerged from the gentleness, and even as I felt the beauty of that space for and in me, I kept seeing flashed up on my inner screen the insistent warning; “Isn’t this boring?” Amazing (and not amazing) how the action orientated “DO, DO, DO!!!” of our culture as well as of my personal “spasm” (self’s protective adaptive survival mechanism) is so strong and specific even when faced with clear evidence that it is not accurate. So, I’m doing what we counsel our participants to do, as I update, letting myself be held by the ground, la mama terra, my awareness of my feet, the breath, and my full and present body as I see if my psyche is ready to drop into another level, and tolerating the yo yo as I sail in the sea of the unknown and let my practice, and the grace of great mystery hold me.

Blessings to you and us all in these turbulent times, and with the prayer that we may have the courage to listen to “that which guides us”,



Next Move! evening in London is Monday June 21st.  Contact Alex on 07868842219 or for venue details.



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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.