School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: July2010
Lollover Hill

About half a mile from the EarthSpirit Centre there is an absolutely charming hill called Lollover Hill.  David, who runs the centre, insists this name is pronounced as Loll-Lover which gives an impression of a pair of lazy lovers reclined together in dappled English summer sunshine, forever gently caressing each other but never actually getting round to the act of love itself.

It was on top of this hill about 2 weeks ago that, in the presence of 100 people who I was leading in a silent ceremonial procession to the Movement Medicine Summer Long Dance,  I found myself overwhelmed by an intense, almost physical emotion.  As we waited at the top of the hill for the whole procession to arrive I tried to go through in my mind the short talk I planned to make about the importance of making a connection with the land where we were about to hold the ceremony and to draw peopleís attention how for millennia different groups of very different people would have walked this land either as an act of pilgrimage, celebration or ritual.   But instead of gathering my thoughts together, my attention was fully absorbed by the sight of Glastonbury Tor lit up by the early evening sunlight a few miles away and in my chest I felt a powerful pull and I knew that I would have to walk there soon. 


When I did walk to Glastonbury Tor and climbed the concrete steps up to St. Michaelís Tower at the top the experience was a disappointment.  I found myself asking what I was doing there as I picked my way between the groups of Ďspiritualí tourists who either seemed to occupy themselves sitting in circles mediating while drinking from coke cans or using the two kissing gates very literally indeed and so holding up the queue of people wanting to pass. 


It was only on my return journey back to the EarthSpirit Centre, when I caught some magnificent views of the Tor from the Somerset Levels, that I realised the importance of a this kind of experience is never in the arrival but is always in the journey.  The destination is vital in that is defines the journey but is in fact almost incidental beyond that.  The destination is just one point among a multitude of other points.  Yes those lovers up there on Lollover Hill may one day finish their journey and actually consummate their love but what is that compared to the years of gentle relaxed foreplay?


Earlier this week, as we putting the finishing touches to the leaflets which are due to be printed and sent out in our postal mailing at the end of August, I was visited by a friend who was complaining about an assignment she had to write for a course she had been obliged to do just so that she could teach yoga in a Local Authority establishment.  She had no interest in the course itself as it had nothing to do with Yoga but if she didnít do it she would lose her livelihood.


This made me think about the difference in the course my friend was doing and the courses we offer, especially the Apprenticeship course, for which not only is there considerable pre-requisite work before being accepted on it but even once one has completed the course there is a further year of study before one can teach and even then there is absolute no guarantee of having a reasonable income from the work.  Yet the present apprenticeship programme was fully booked and when the teacher training programme is completed next year and the new teachers begin teaching their success or failure will be very much up to them as they will be pioneers in taking this work out into the world.


The course my friend is following is very much like buying a ticket to travel to certain destination.  We judge the success or failure or such transactions on whether we arrive at our destination on time and whether our baggage is still with us.  The journey itself is almost an irrelevant inconvenience and is usually sold to us on how convenient and quick it will be.  Our courses are not like this at all.  The emphasis is not on the destination at all.  Rather it is on the fact that when you do arrive that not only will you be different but also the way that you view the world will be different and you will be equipped to make a difference in that world.


The next Apprenticeship Programme starts in March 2012.  It is already possible to download the application form from the website at or email me at if you would like me to send you one

The first batch of applications should be submitted by January 1st 2011 but there will but there will another chance to apply later in the year and the second batch of applications is due by August 31st 2011.


The essential pre-requisites for this work are the Journey of Empowerment, Initiation and The Phoenix Retreat.  There are still a few places on Initiation this year.  It starts on the afternoon of Friday 3rd September through till lunchtime on Sunday 12th.   Please either download an application form from the website or email me on and Iíll send you one.  Application forms for Journey of Empowerment and The Phoenix Retreat will be available very soon.

By the way the 165 participants on this year's  Long Dance raised about £30,000 for charity of which about £8000 went to Survival International.


Wishing you a relaxing summer




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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.