School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: September 2010
Ready to Rock and Roll

By Ya'Acov

So far, this was the sweetest, the simplest summer of them all for me. Having done a detox and cleanse mid way through our summer term which included a 12-day fast, I was delighted that when we stopped work, I was relaxed and full of energy. In the past, stopping has usually resulted in a few days of deep tiredness, a cold sometimes, an argument or two as we found our ground again. I’m sure you know the kind of thing.

I remember one summer that we went straight from our last workshop of the summer into a three-day party, followed by a half day of shopping at IKEA – an absolute recipe for disaster! I think it took us a week to recover from the party and the rest of the summer to recover from IKEA. As for this summer, I so enjoyed being at home with Susannah, with Reuben and his girlfriend, and with Tali our dog.

Simple blessings, the garden, the land where we live, dreams of what may come as we played the future game from time to time. Time to revel in the enjoyment and digestion of what has been. Arriving here. In movement, loving to dance and the practice of Movement Medicine, at home in our own mesa.

Arriving deeper in this quiet sense of self, witnessing the dramas, the ups and downs and ins and outs of the being called Ya’Acov. Time to go deeper into relationship with Susannah, with Reuben as he grows up and continues his own journey. And yes, the garden, the joy of too much food and handing it round the square where we live and fresh salads unwrapped! And relationships with family and friends and with spirit all having the space to breathe a little deeper. Here. Now. With the gift of this life streaming through and the heart touched by the wonders and tragedies of this world. There were many delightful moments of understanding and many others of simply being. Seeing, witnessing, feeling touched by and laughing at the tribe of understudies that try their best to create and recreate the dissatisfaction that is their mantra. For most of the time this summer, they had little to get hold of and the silence and peace that sings in their surrender echoes in the four chambers of the heart.

But not every day is a good one as well we all know! And sometimes, they fight back, believing in their positions, their stances and stories and the furore of the past takes over for a while. Thank goodness for the dance, the deepest meditation, the deepest ceremony, the deepest prayer that I have ever known.

I watched meteor storms and wood smoke from the fire as we sat through the night with our friends from Mexico who came to visit us from the distant mountains of their homes. They left the sweet smell of copal and an array of intricate colour in their wake. We watched and experienced in amazement as the old shaman removed ‘negative energy’ as physical matter from each of our bodies, one by one. I had never felt such space inside my belly after that! And running through this whole time, like the pulse in my blood, the spirit of the deer named Ré Ir Ré, like the wash and splash of the sea and the river forever moving.

This summer, as I had been instructed in my drum initiation time in the Arctic Circle with my friend Bikko Matthis, I hunted, shot, skinned, butchered and ate a deer. I put meat on our table, and we said thank you and life turned a corner.

Recognising and feeling the violence of killing such a beautiful being was devastating, as perhaps it should be. Recognising death in my finger as it pulled the trigger, holding the hot liver of my prey in my hands, holding what remained of a heart, hot, in pieces, I saw my own death. I felt it, smelt it, recognised it. My heart will one day stop. My liver, my lungs, so full of life now, will one day pass back to the earth from which they come. I became part of the cycle in a much more visceral way. When I wear leather shoes or if ever I eat meat or fish again, I will recognise so much more about the choice I am making. I saw my end, or at least the end of this physical form, and then, my, did I pray! I prayed like mad for time, time to live and taste and experience, time to be with Susannah, to watch Reuben’s journey unfold, to live a long and healthy life. I recognised how attached I am to this life, how much I love it, don’t want it to fade with the seasons and die. Time to live, time to dance, time to create, time to write, time to play, time to watch the sunset again and again out at sea. Time to love and to learn every day that this great mystery grants me the breath to breathe, the body to feel and to dance, the heart to love and to know this simple and extraordinary gift of life.

I’m growing older. I wear glasses sometimes at the computer, and even though I managed a little kite-surfing, I notice that the knocks I took take longer to heal. The one I am loves this life, yes, is attached, thoroughly to this life, to my family, friends, home, and land. And yet, the one I am knows the reality of death, the reality of change and the seasons, and the reality that this form, like all others, will pass away. And perhaps the acknowledgement of this is one of the many gifts that Ré Ir Ré has brought to me. Of course, a drum will come from his skin, rattles from his feet and perhaps his song will live much longer than I.

Today we began the Initiation journey. Appropriately, it honours death as one of the great teachers in life. And as the new term begins and my thoughts also turn to the last module of Ritual which includes the ‘burial of the warrior’ ceremony, and as the leaves begin their riotous dance from summer green to flaming red and earthy brown, I send out my love to all our friends and family on this magical mystery tour. To the vegans and the meat-eaters and all the rights and wrongs therein, to the Dancers in all forms, to the artists and the teachers, to the workers and the players, to the lost and the found and the broken and the sound, I hope and pray that life continues to remind us how precious this life is and how precious the dreams that we carry within us are. Each of us is a ray of the golden sun, a note in nature’s song, each a moonbeam and light dancing on the water, each living heart a piece of this magnificent mosaic of life on earth.

Finally, Susannah gave me a flute for my birthday. It was a black with beautiful turquoise stones. At the Long Dance, our good buddy Liam’s flute got broken. I knew immediately that I would have to give him mine. Shit! Those moments when we know what we know but we don’t want to know! During the summer, the flute called again and I answered and our friend Nigel fashioned a beautiful instrument from a local fallen yew tree several hundred years old. If you hear it calling you as it called me, back to the roots of who we are and what we are here for, then I’ll be seeing you somewhere in this great dance. Maybe we’ll Mend the Circle together in Sheffield or in Israel, or dig a grave in Devon on Ritual or just meet up in some wild dream where we drop everything, catch a falling leaf and remember. Go well. See you there.

Ya’Acov. September 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.