School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: May 2011

I Don't Believe in Astology

By Roland

I don’t believe in Astrology, but I recognise my fellow Scorpios when I meet them and have very animated conversations with them about what it is to be a Scorpio – jealous, resentful, compulsive, obsessive, secretive and obstinate (Oh and there are some positive attributes too!  But they are not such fun for us Scorpios to talk about!).

I don’t believe in Astrology, but I regularly read a rather successful blog about Astrology and world events written by a good friend of mine.

I don’t believe in Astrology, but perhaps if I had read any astrological predictions for a particular day a few weeks ago I might have decided to stay in bed.

I had planned to drive to Exeter to pick up my first pair of varifocal glasses from Specsavers. Just the word ‘varifocal’ conjures up in me fearsome overtones of old age and infirmity and consequently I have resisted trying them for several years. But the promise of glasses specially designed for computer work had persuaded me to give them a go.

I had tried to arrange for the opticians to send me the glasses through the mail but they had insisted that I needed to have an appointment so that they could check that the glasses were going to work for me. I had also arranged to drop some items of mail at Susannah and Ya’Acov’s. I was running slightly late but just as I was about to leave the house I caught sight of myself in the mirror and immediately decided it really was essential that I had a shave before going out.

Shaving in a hurry is not something I am going to try again. When I came to dry my face I was disconcerted to see that there were splatters of blood on the towel. An examination of my face revealed I had nicked my ear with the razor. There was blood on my shirt as well. 10 minutes later, the blood had stopped and I had changed my shirt and was ready to go.

While I was at Susannah and Ya’Acovs’ house, Ya’Acov noticed that I had some dried blood on my ear. Foolishly, rather than ignore this, I attempted to wash it off only to cause my ear to start bleeding again - this time not just a few drops but a proper flow of blood. Nothing I could do seemed to stop the flow. As I stood in their kitchen holding a piece of tissue to my ear, I started to worry about being late for my appointment in Exeter. I should add so that you can properly understand my state of mind that I absolutely hate being late for anything and have something of a reputation for insisting on being at railway stations and airports well before I need to. Fortunately, at this point Susannah returned home and within a few minutes had expertly helped me sort out my ear and also calmed my nerves. She explained that she had once gone to medical school for 3 weeks and it seems the staunching of blood from ears was one of the subjects that was covered during that time. Calming anxious people is, I think, one of her natural talents and not acquired at medical school.

I arrived very late at the collection desk at SpecSavers at 12.30, very hot and sweaty from jogging through the streets from the car park, and acutely aware of the piece of sticking plaster, now slightly detached from my right ear. The young woman on the other side of the counter looked at me impassively as I apologised profusely for being late for my 12.15 appointment.

“Mr. Wilkinson?” she asked. I nodded. “I’m afraid your glasses were broken when they were being glazed. We tried to phone you, but you weren’t in.”

I stood at the desk dumbfounded. She had made it sound as if it was somehow my fault. Then asked “When did you phone?”

“12.15.” she replied.

The ensuing discussion, in which I tried to impress on her that phoning me at the time of my appointment to tell me it was cancelled was not a reasonable course of action did not go very well. It did, however, result in the offer of sending my glasses to me by post for free.

“But I was told I needed to have an appointment.” I protested.

“In that case you will need to come in again. Once the replacement glasses are here we will phone you and we will make an appointment. Alright?” She turned her attention to the next person in the queue.

I left to wander aimlessly through the streets of Exeter nursing the injustice I felt that had been done to me and then drove home. At some point on the journey home I became irritated by the hanging plaster on my ear and pulled it off. I let the blood drip very slowly onto my shirt, as, in my head, I started to compose my letter of complaint to Specsavers. Somehow it made me feel better.

In fact this story has a happy ending. Specsavers finally agreed to a large reduction in the cost of the glasses and also we agreed that it was not strictly necessary for me to return to pick them up as I could talk to someone over the phone if I had any problem with them. A few days later they arrived and I tried them on. I was truly amazed. I had grown used to a situation where I needed to wear my normal glasses for looking at my computer screen and then had to take my glasses off in order to read printed documents. Often I then forgot to put the glasses back on and would lean very close to the screen in order to read. Now, with the new glasses, the writing on the screen leapt into unimaginably sharp focus. I tried reading a letter – again perfect focus! Truly Magic Glasses! Although wearing them walking outside in the garden is not recommended as it made me feel slightly sick so I had to sit down. They are strictly for computer use and will no doubt lead to improvement in efficiency and accuracy in the School of Movement Medicine office.

Susannah and Ya’Acov have several sacrosanct weeks off work in the summer. However, in June they are still busy teaching and will travel to several different locations offering a variety of Movement Medicine workshops.

They will both be taking part in London’s Mind Body Spirit Festival on Bank Holiday Monday, May 30th. They will be leading a Tree of Life meditation at 3pm, and will be performing on the Festival’s free stage at 4.30pm. They will be holding their 'Way of The Dancing Warrior' workshop, 6-8pm. Tickets for the workshop are £16, and for those purchased in advance we are currently running a special 'Bring a Friend For Free' offer. For full details of the event, and to purchase tickets, please see www.mindbodyspirit.co.uk/london or call 020 7371 9191

The following weekend (evening of June 3 to Sunday June 5th) Susannah will be teaching in London and is offering her Circle and the Sword workshop. She writes "I love this workshop! The theme is so simple and so central to how we live and dance our lives. My experience is that dancing yin and yang is healing and transformative in a deep and beautiful way, and supports us wherever we are in our human journey to find new resources and take our next steps. Connecting with the support and strength of the great mother and great father aspects of spirit and of ourselves enables us to find a ground of inner support, both courageous and gentle, with which to embrace our full humanity and our full potential.” You can book for this workshop online at http://www.alexhanly.com/movement-medicine/circle-and-the-sword.  Any queries to Alex alexhanly@hotmail.com or call her on 07868842219

On the same weekend of June 3rd -  5th Ya’Acov will be teaching Fusion  in Hamburg. Contact Jens: 00 49 40 729 100 61 or mm@spirit-in-movement.de for more details or to book.

The following weekend Ya’Acov was due to teach the Alchemy of Stillness  in Sweden. Regrettably we had to cancel this workshop.

Susannah will travel to Poland to teach E-Motion: Wild Life on the weekend of 10th- 12th June. For more details and to book please contact Olga on 00 48 509 774 774 info@movementmedicine.pl. On Monday 13th June Susannah will be holding a Pachamama "Awakening the Dreamer" Symposium also in Warsaw. See article in this newsletter, and contact Olga to book.

The following weekend of 17th-–19th June Susannah will again be teaching her Circle and Sword  workshop. This time she will be in Berlin. Contact: Katrin 00 49 30 28458820 kellerkathrin@yahoo.de

The long days of mid-summer are a perfect time for doing a Vision Quest. Why not come and join those who will be venturing out into the beautiful and wild Dartmoor National Park to do this ceremony? Ya'’Acov will be running the Vision Quest workshop from 19th-– 26thJune. Contact: Roland on 00 44 1803762255 roland@rwevents.co.uk for further details and to book.

The last event of the summer will be the  Summer Long Dance  which is taking place from 8th–12thJuly in Somerset. I strongly recommend reading feedback about this event from last year’s participants. I’'ve put these into an article for this newsletter and they are available by clicking here. There are still some places available. Contact: Roland on 00 44 1803762255 roland@rwevents.co.uk  for further details and to book. The CD of the music recorded at last years Long Dance, called 21 Gratitudes is available now from the shop.

And finally a quick reminder – the Movement Medicine Webinars (online evening seminars that you can participate in from the comfort of your own living room and designed to support you in your practice and integrate the workshop experience into your everyday life)  will be starting in the Autumn. We will give more details in the next edition of this newsletter.

Wishing you a great Summer!

Roland


Mind the Gap
By Ya'Acov

I love these times when I sit down on the train to write to you. Today, we’re zooming past a field full of wind turbines in the warm springtime sun, Beltane has just passed and the garden is growing as if there’s no tomorrow. And having just visited the graveyard where my papa and grandparents are buried, my old friend death has been tapping on my shoulder reminding me that indeed, there may not be!

Today, Osama Bin Laden’s face is once again on the front page. Apparently, the latest in a long line of ‘enemies of peace and democracy,’ is now dead and so the cycle of revenge upon revenge is set to continue in the human drama.

It’s been a challenging few weeks since last I wrote. I’ve had the opportunity to study in some depth the passions of tribal get togethers in a variety of settings other than workshops. And what a fascinating cauldron the whole tribal dance is. This past weekend, we were at my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah in Manchester. The weekend before that, we were holding the ritual part of a beautiful wedding between two people from different tribes. And the weekend before that, Reuben and I, along with 89,998 others, went to Wembley to support the football team I’ve supported since I was four year’s old, compete in their first FA Cup semi-final since 1981.

All three weekends were full of the kind of juicy lessons and experiences that make this life such a rich dance both on and off the dance floor. The integration of my personal practice of and teaching of Movement Medicine have continued in a way that I could hardly have dreamt about when this journey began. I remember very well the day in 1990 when I wept all the way home from the second module of our 5Rhythms teacher training. I was so devastated because it had just dawned on me that the gap between the freedom and creativity I experienced on the dance floor and my restricted awareness and sense of possibility off it, had become so clearly and painfully untenable. I knew that I had to change that but I had no idea how. Well 21 years later, about to commence our first teacher training ourselves, I am discovering more and more how that gap has become what my beloved Susannah might call a ‘fallacious dichotomy.’ What’s one of those? Well, according to the Chambers English dictionary, fallacious means ‘an apparently genuine but really illogical argument.’ And dichotomy, according to the same dictionary, means ‘a division into two strongly contrasted groups, classes or opinions.’ Aha! that tribal thing again! It’s everywhere!

So, let’s begin with the football dance. I’m not sure that Wembley Way, the magnificent and imposing route between Wembley Park tube station and Wembley Stadium, has ever been described as a dance floor before, but, what the hell, here goes! We’d gathered at Willesden Working Man’s Club a few hours before kick off with hundreds of Manchester City fans dressed in blue and white, drinking more than a flagon or two (though to be truthful, my flagon contained water only) and singing a host of songs that I daren’t repeat in the hallowed pages of our newsletter! For days beforehand, I had been nervous, dreaming of narrow, tense victories. Susannah remained amused and somewhat baffled by how such a massively unimportant thing as a football match could create such strong feelings in me. And even though I ‘know’ that it’s meaningless, my body shaking and my heart beating that touch faster than usual told me that as usual, there was more than one truth in the situation. On the morning of the match, getting dressed, it dawned on me. I felt like I was preparing for battle. Deep down in my human memory, and deep in my cellular structures there it is. I ‘know’ it’s a football match but this river of feeling runs deep into the past and I can feel it here in the present. Will we win or will we lose? Will I live or will I die? Such strong memories surface alongside the knowledge so many people are indeed going into battle today and do not know if they will ever return.

So, there we are, thousands of people in blue and white and red and white, two tribes dancing up the Wembley Way, many fuelled by alcohol, when suddenly, the four of us, (Reuben, my mate Lee and his son and I) are surrounded by red and white and these warriors are none too friendly. They’re already trying to tear the shirt of Lee’s son and kicking out wildly as Lee steps in to stop them and calm them down. It’s an ugly situation. Perhaps it’s the alcohol, perhaps it’s a whole host of other things but we are surrounded by a bunch of blokes who don’t wish us well! And then it kicks in, the calm and the quiet before the storm. Under my breath, I call in all the protection I have danced again and again in a thousand dances over the years. I know Lee is doing the same and in my perception, we are immediately surrounded by light and a whole bunch of protective energies. I feel safe and calm. We just continue walking and smile our way through. All this happens very quickly and within seconds, mounted police are filtering us to the right to rejoin the river of blue and white whilst the red and white river goes left. And it’s then, once the threat of danger has passed, that I feel the rush of adrenalin, and just like we do in the dance, I shake the tension of the moment free. The rest is history! A great victory that will go down as a diamond moment of father son testosterone fuelled ecstasy as Reuben lifted me to the sky at the final whistle and we sang our way back down the now totally blue and white Wembley Way!

From the ridiculous to the sublime, the next weekend we were at Tom and Dorrie’s wedding on a glorious hot spring day in Glastonbury. The wedding took place in Tom’s family home and the garden was awash with tulips shimmering in the light. A beautiful tipi with raised sides had been erected and the whole place was such a beautiful fusion of opposites. Tom’s family have Scottish links and there he was, in full attire, kilted up and sword at the ready. Dorrie has some Native American blood and was a stunning bride in her Avalon green dress made by her mum. The guests were a marvellous mixture of the best Glastonbury has to offer, the kilted clans, and a wide variety of family and friends. What brought us all together was our love for this beautiful couple about to begin the adventure of married life. So there we were, dancing the elements in a very mixed crowd. We explained to those there that the ritual we were about to do was a reflection of what Tom & Dorrie felt would support them through the years ahead. We told them how our own marriage ceremony had been such a source of support when the times were hard. It was a beautiful ‘dance’ as many people from so many backgrounds happily took part in a simple elemental ceremony to bless the new couple on their way.

And then there was the Bar Mitzvah of my elder sister’s youngest son. What a confident young man he is. At 13, he stood before his congregation and sang his piece brilliantly. I had such mixed emotions sitting in the synagogue. I clearly remembered my own Bar Mitzvah when I had all the guests laughing when instead of thanking my family for all they had done for me, I thanked them for all they had done to me! The whole thing about belonging and not belonging was particularly strong as the Rabbi chose to speak about the difference between loving (meaning there is something that unifies us and therefore we are one) and liking (you are different to me but your presence enriches my life). He was talking about Judaism as the thing that unifies us and though for sure, the great majority of the people in the synagogue were Jewish, not all were. Not surprisingly, since one of them was Susannah and another was Reuben’s lovely girl friend, I was aware of both the unifying force of belonging and the separating force of tribalism.

I have belonged to many tribes and received from all of them. And during that journey, I have recognised and experienced both the benefits of ‘belonging’ and the challenges of remaining an autonomous individual with access to my own free will. We do belong, whether we like it or not. We belong to the intricate and complex web of life in earth. And we belong to the line of ancestry from which we come. And we belong to the whole human story and story of evolution that makes up our physical body as earth, fire, water and wind. And it’s good to belong. And it’s good to be an individual. And it’s good to feel unity with all life and it’s good to feel unity with one’s tribe. And this whole dance of opposites is such a paradox. At its best, it produces the exquisite dance between yin and yang that is at the heart of all creation. At its worst, it produces holy wars between opposing ideologies that continue for thousands of years, with its blame upon blame and revenge upon revenge.

Each of us is unique AND we are one, both as individuals and as tribes. It’s good that everything in this grand garden is itself. After all, it’s only in being oneself that we really get to see and celebrate the diversity of another. As Movement Medicine evolves as a community, and 40+ new teachers are preparing to train and bring Movement Medicine into the world through their own work, we’ve been recapitulating our whole experience of the tribal dance and its potential for shadow and light. The Movement Medicine pathfinders are already out there teaching and finding out for themselves. And their sharings with us have helped us enormously as we have been crafting the curriculum for our first training. One of our teacher training apprentices asked me how I felt about the upcoming training. I know this. What matters most to me is that each one of them finds their way, their voice, their own style and their own predilections as teachers. It matters to me that they feel free to be part of shaping this community and that as a result of their efforts, there is one more place where people can come and dance, be who they are and take the journey towards giving all they’ve got. We’ve entered the ‘shift of the ages’ as our ancient ancestors called it. My mate Lee tells me we’ve been queuing up for centuries to be here on earth at this time. In my book, anything that brings more consciousness to help us to deal creatively with the challenges of the time, is a good thing.

So, as we begin a new term that will see us travelling and teaching, and training, and Long Dancing, I pray for all of us that we may find the courage to bring the life of the dance into the dance of our lives. I pray that we may find the courage to continue to dare to dream and I look forward to meeting you at some tribal gathering or other over the coming months. In the meantime, let’s be who we are and do a little evolving. We may as well whilst we still can.

Wishing you a beautiful growing season.

Ya’Acov. May 2011.

 

Ya’Acov’s Summer & Early Autumn Term programme:

There are still places on all workshops

 

JUNE 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 - 5

 

Hamburg, Germany

 

Ya'Acov

Fusion

 

Jens +49 40 729 100 61

5R@spirit-in-movement.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 - 15

 

Angsbaka, Sweden (R) (cancelled)

 

Ya'Acov

Alchemy of Stillness

 

John +46 8 663 41 50

john@carriercarrier.se

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 - 26

 

Rill Estate, Devon (R)

 

Ya'Acov

Vision Quest (Ritual)

 

Roland +44 1803 762255

roland@rwevents.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 - July 6

 

Earth Spirit Centre, Somerset (R)

 

Susannah

& Ya'Acov

Teacher Training Module 1

 

Roland +44 1803 762255

roland@rwevents.co.uk

JULY 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 - 12

 

Earth Spirit Centre, Somerset (R)

 

Susannah

& Ya'Acov

Summer Long Dance

 

Roland +44 1803 762255

roland@rwevents.co.uk

SEPTEMBER 2011

 

 

 

 

 


Israeli Adventures
By Susannah

I’ve just come back from Israel. I had a wonderful time and was privileged to be able to connect with many great people and projects. And it’s intense! No escape from the cross currents of history, pain, politics, power, fear and the tensions between different loyalties.

And so many brave, creative people doing amazing things that don’t get reported here, let alone there. I was so glad to be back on earth (I really don’t like flying) and back in the UK that when we got to the Heathrow Express I lay down on the (thankfully clean!) station platform and felt my body and soul reach out and relax with gratitude with the earth and the relative peace here.

I was in Israel to teach ‘Wild Life’ in Tel Aviv and to go with Ben Yeger (who is an SOMM apprentice and a member of ‘Combatants for Peace’) to the West Bank and share some movement medicine with a group of Palestinian women, and with a mixed (Israeli and Palestinian) group of ‘Combatants for Peace.’

I want to take my hat off to Aviya Reches, our organiser in Israel who has been hosting our work in Israel for nearly 10 years now. Many of the group she brought together have worked with us for many years. This time I felt that the group of veteran dancers and many new ones, found a new level of understanding, depth, focus and commitment to themselves and to each other, which allowed hearts to open, blossom and heal. I thank all the dancers and wish them good continuations. I bow to you all, and thank you for the warmth with which you sent us off to Shufa in the West Bank to dance with the members of “Combatants for Peace.”

We arrived in Shufa to be told that the castle we were meant to work in could not be accessed as the key holder had gone away, and for a while it seemed we might have to meet in the dusk in the olive groves (sounded cool to me, but would have been uncontained and very exposed for the participants), and then we were invited by a member of the group to meet on the roof of his house. They laid out a circle of chairs for us around a stand drying garlic, as the sky coloured into sunset over the rocky hills. I was told that we could not stand up and dance, as we were too visible to the village. There were 8 or so Jewish Israelis, and 8 or so Palestinians. So I drummed softly and invited us into our bodies. Heads and shoulders swayed, spines loosened, deep exhalations from us all. And then, one by one, each individual led the group in a repetition. One guy, a Palestinian football coach, led us in a beautiful movement, which stretched to the heavens, then to the earth, then to each other, then to the heart. As we fell into this the mezuzah sounded and prayers intertwined. It was wonderful to feel the work this group has done building shared vocabulary through theatre practice. Then in cross-cultural pairs we found movements from our hearts and shared them in dancing sign language dialogue, each taking the other’s. Deep focus in the silence as the drum beat with our hearts. I felt a rare level of meaning and depth as people revealed themselves to each other and received each other’s humanity. We ended with an echo name and gesture round, tea was served, chatting, hugs and thanks and off we all went. Very simple.

What I keep understanding from my (thankfully) relatively naive and innocent place, as someone not directly involved in this conflict, is the enormity and rareness of this occurrence. To meet members of “the other side” unmasked and open, in simple shared humanity. To be brave enough to enter territory where you have been told over and over that “they” all want to kill you. To welcome the “enemy” into your village, extending the naked hand of friendship. It is a true gift to be able to witness the courage, dignity and open heartedness of these people from both “sides” who are committed to a peaceful solution which is based on recognising each other as fellow human beings, and to finding non-violent ways to open real dialogue for a real change.

We are very happy to be able to add drops of our work here and feel the continuity with our own history (Y and I met in the UK Peace Movement of the 1980s.). So the beat goes on! Thank you Ben for all your work that makes this possible, and great respect to all members of the movement.

The other offering we made (and big thanks to Sylvana) was with a group of Palestinian women in the women’s centre of the refugee camp in Tul Karem. It was a totally chaotic situation, in a room without a door, with women and children coming and going, builders next door drilling away, but a strong core group who stayed with it. We had some very bright moments of celebrating each woman’s dance and then at the end, gathered into a miraculous silence, we were all moved as we felt our hearts, and then they asked poignant questions about sadness and anger. A deep moment of connection.

I’m grateful for all the teachers and the whole journey who’ve held me as I developed to a place where I feel I can offer something in these contexts.

Wishing us all the independence of mind, the strength and sensitivity of heart, to be active, joyous creators of the kind of world we want to live in,

Susannah Darling Khan


The Woman Who Stares at Sheep and Other True Stories from the Dartmoor
By CRR

Once upon a time there was a lady in her middle age who travelled to Dartmoor for a Vision Quest under the guidance of shaman, Ya’Acov, together with a lovely crew of other travellers seeking for the dream they came here to live.

 

Claudia was her name and although she loved and felt a strong connection to nature, she was not used to any big outdoor-adventures. So she had spent her two-days-vision-quest-retreat in a bit ambivalent style: Yes, she had had a very interesting conversation with a sheep, had seen beautiful flowers, had offered her shit as a feast for the flies, had enjoyed the company and ongoing talk of the brook nearby – but due to hungry mosquitoes and tics, headache from empty stomach, heat in the sunshine, shivering in the shade and unexpected chilly nights, she felt, that this vision quest had turned out more into an ordinary camping experience and she found that camping was certainly not hers.

She had written a bit, walked a bit, sung a bit, but she felt not for dancing or praying –as the shaman had recommended – she just felt tired and a bit sad, because she knew she was wasting a precious opportunity. She had the feeling that for her the whole vision-quest-thing had just been a process of finding comfort in discomfort. So while she was packing her luggage for returning to the meeting-point on one hand she was glad it was over, on the other she thought one or two more days out would be good, because now as she got more relaxed with the ‘camping-aspect’ maybe then the hole thing could finally turn out into the “real” vision quest?!?

Claudia had already packed her tent and backpack, had been sitting at a place nearby her circle, thinking about this and that. It was time to leave now, a bit earlier, because she intended to divide up her heavy luggage and to bring it down to the meeting place in two goes.

When she moved out of the shade of a huge maple she noticed some glittering not far away from her. She curiously approached a heap of stones and found out glittering came from a very big stone. She lifted it – it was really big and heavy, at least 2 kilograms – and she couldn’t almost trust her eyes: This ‘stone’ was a pure lump of crystal rock!

It was built by many, many crystals, most of them opaque-white, all of them baked together to form this amazing treasure-rock. Her first thought was: “Wow I’ll take that home”, second: “Am I allowed to?” as Ya’Akov had told them, to leave their place exactly as it had been before. And anyway, would she be able to carry even more weight on the way back to the coach?! But if she couldn’t bring it home, nobody would believe how beautiful was her find. She took the rock to her backpack and decided to ask Ya'Akov about; then started to bring the first part of her luggage down.

The shaman sat by the fire singing and praying. And she felt it was not a good moment to disturb him now, so maybe better instead to ask the crystal itself.

When she came back to the place and asked Crystal Rock what to do and whether it wanted to come with her, the answer was short and crystal-clear: No, this Rock belongs to here!

It was almost a relief to ‘hear’ that – so no more weight to carry. But at the same time it felt not so easy to leave it, because this was a real treasure. And suddenly her parents and grandparents came to Claudia’s mind, the family which once due to 2nd World War had to leave behind them all what was meaningful and precious to them. For a moment she could feel all that grief and pain of her ancestors: Being driven away from their beloved native country, being robbed by all their possessions, forced to leave and suddenly being homeless refugees.

Thoughtfully she held the rock. Although the big peaks of the crystal were gone, the little ones where still left and it was obvious to her, that under that a bit imperfect surface there was an absolutely perfect, unbroken crystal hidden within. And as she held this rock near by her heart and closed her eyes, Claudia could see: It had a chamber like a heart. And the crystal inside was strong and powerful and she immediately knew this could be a mirror and that she can always recall this image and it will remind her to her own essence and strength. She felt so blessed.

‘Listening’ to the powers of this precious rock she could hear an invitation to lick and taste it. And as she did, she tasted what she hardly can describe: It was like feeling compressed ages and ages - timelessness on her tongue. A holy moment.

It was time to leave then and Claudia had to bring precious Crystal back to his place. She is not sure she brought it exactly to the same place, but to a good place. And when she laid it back with all her grateful thanks, there was another moment of bliss: As she realised that she was giving back Crystal Rock with the heartfelt intention to be found in the future - for other generations to come - by someone else who needed a medicine.

Having travelled through past and future, touched by eternity, and a bit more familiar with the nature of nature, she went back to the fireplace to the circle. Good company and a feast, a comfortable bed - 21 Gratitudes for all the comforts of her life!

Dancing with the group the other morning she discovered: Crystal Rock had given her a magic ability – she can see the Crystal Essence in the heart of everybody dancing with her. She felt and still feels so immensely blessed by that, but she knows quite well, that this is not a special gift, given to her – everybody can do: yes, we all can! But this is another story to be told someday…

CCR, Vision Quest 2010


There are still places available on this years Vision Quest 19 - 26th June.  Contact Roland on 00 44 1803 762255 roland@rwevents.co.uk for more details and a booking form

Summer Long Dance - In Their Words
We were recently rereading the feeback from last Summer's Long Dance and were struck by how powerful they were and would like to share them with you here.

"You dance your life. It´s strong, powerful in very subtle ways, you experience and create your life in the same time, old wounds heal and new visions emerge and become real. You share the energy of others giving momentum to your own, reaching a higher level of energy, expanding, loosing and finding your Self, radiating and receiving love. And it´s lot of fun, you will meet a lot of nice, open people, you will have tired legs and peace of mind."
Margus Mägi, Sweden

"For me it was a wonderful, deep and strong experience, one of the most powerful and touching journeys in my life so far. … I got a greater picture of my life and was really able to see my behaviour patterns, my relationships and everything from a higher perspective. I felt such a big love for every being and such a healing. … I had the experience to deeply feel what my inner fire burns for."
Miriam Haberl, Switzerland

"A dance in meditation, a meditation in the dance... a cathartic journey of reconnection with your own essence, dreams and soul purpose and with the essence of "the big community of Earth", and beyond that with the unknown, the mysterious "the community of the all"."
Serena Tagliavia, Ireland

"Crazy fun! A 48 hour dance ceremony with the intent to pray and dance for yourself and all your relations. An opportunity to experience the magic of being human in a circle full of wonderful people full of heart and spirit."
Nicole Rohner, Switzerland

"It's a prayer that can bring you clear sight, visions, healing, awareness and courage to take further steps in your life toward the unseen beauty and dreams you have! … Raising money for charities was a great gift for me - it expanded my view of importance to care for others, to see what I can give - on a different level! Really moved by it."
Suzana Grau, Slovenia

"A cathartic experience. I could witness all my inner states and accept them. It was a place for offering, receiving, deep love and permission, manifestation. A place for prayers and hope for the future and next generations. A place where I felt..."Ok .. we can make it...we are a lot .. we can dream and change things""
Laura Valenti, UK

"A deep, profound, sacred experience; powerfully healing and transforming."
Aelaig Moison, Ireland

"The whole thing for me was heartfelt and soul nurturing. I have this deep sense/knowing that I can ask and I will receive - essentially that my prayers are heard. The whole experience from the ecstatic highs, to the emotional openness, I feel as the deepest of blessings. I am still integrating and with each passing day I am feeling/seeing teachings and blessings manifest. This was my first long dance which was both extremely special and yet so wonderfully "ordinary"."
Patricia Fernandes, UK

"A coming together of people who want to dance for Life, not just their own, but those of all our relatives, including the animal and plant kingdoms. A Ceremonial immersion into the world of music, dance, and prayer... an experiment at being communal and tribal for us western individualists."
Jan Lee, Greece

"I was delighted to make the bridge between the practical and the spiritual and to be raising money … A fantastic opportunity to put your body where your mouth might be....."
Ali Young, UK

"An amazing human experience which allows you to travel into different energy levels through music and movement, and connect with yourself, what is around you (human and not human), the present and the past. A rich experience that shows you that EVERYTHING is nearly possible. … But above all a meeting of incredible human beings and the contact with all our hearts!!! This experience is full of love."
Ceccherini Francesco, Switzerland

"A place in which you can meet your soul and put together your own freedom and your respect for yourself and other people, in order to stay in a powerful community."
Paola Consoli, Italy

"A vast field of strong and tender communion."
Ursula Anthropelos, Germany


It is still possible to book for this years
Summer Long Dance 8th - 12th July.  Please contact roland@rwevents.co.uk  01803762255 to book or make enquiries


The Hustle
By Alex Hanly

MASS ON PARTY

International dance to celebrate our inter-connectivity.

We are putting this vision into motion. And we want you to join us on the journey. To create an international dance were thousands of people will come to unity through the dance.  A MASS ON PARTY!

Let me explain this vision a little clearer.

Imagine: Multiple dancing communities gathering in many locations around the globe all at the same time to dance together.

Intention: To dance together to acknowledge our power as a hurd! As a shoal! As a flock of individual yet deeply interconnected beings.

To dance together for love, to move together for peace, to pray together for acceptance, to dream together for transformation.

To dance together in gratitude for this life that we share together, right now and right here!

Where: Not just anywhere! In public places all over our countries. For example I am the events organiser here in London and a few places I would love this to happen would be; kingscross station, or in canary wharf, or Southbank! Somewhere large, busy and public, somewhere unexpected. So that passers by are left a little confused yet smiling as to why 100 people randomly started dancing together when they where on the way to catch their train. Maybe we can even entice passers by to join in. the ‘Where’ will be left in the hands of the organisers and communities of dancers in the different locations.

When: thanks to our previous call out for suggestions on we now plan to do this on the 11.11.11. For many reasons this date is very potent and transformative.

What: Susannah and I discussed this aspect of the idea for sometime. What will we dance? We concluded that to acknowledge both our individuality and our interconnection we needed to do 2 things.

1) We would need to move like we’ve never moved before. Dancing in whatever shape and form we like YAY!

2) We can transform this free form movement into a united movement called The Hustle.

We have already began teaching the hustle in our workhsops. Maybe you already know it. If you don’t you can check it out on youtube and learn at home at your own pace.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SusannahDK#p/a/u/0/nZTIEFyRV1Y

It is a simple, repetitive and potent movement that acknowledges the four directions. The Hustle does not require a degree in contemporary Jazz so if you fear the word “choreography” like a plague you have nothing to worry about. It is fun and accessible to ALL!

How can you get involved?

Fill in the below questionnaire and send your ideas to Alex alexhanly@hotmail.com

You can be involved with this project on many levels. If this idea really excites you and you like organising and creating events for your community then Team leader may suit you, or if you have lots of friends and are good at throwing a party then helping spread the word, or by simply turning up and dancing on the day! It is totally up to you.

Thank you for reading this and let me know if you have any ideas towards the Mass on Party! We are open to all inspiration. Keep an eye out for more news

Love and light

Alex, Susannah, Ya’Acov and Roland.

Name:

Address:

Recommend a place for the dance to happen in your area (i.e town square, train station, etc)

Recommend a date for the dance:

How much involvement would you like to have on this project?

Co-ordinator (help promote and orchestrate this whole project along side the MM team, any one with web design, marketing or social networking skills are particularly welcomed)

Team leader (head a committee of dancers in your area to organise your communities time, place and participants for the dance)

Committee member (to aid the team leader in spreading the word, and helping other dancers)

Dancer (sign up to the mailing list of your committee and spread the word to friends and foe)

What skills can you offer your committee and this whole project?

i.e marketing, I.T, web design, social networking, events organisation, problem solving, creative thinking, local knowledge,


many thanks
Love, light and peace

Alex Hanly


www.alexhanly.com

Yoga teacher and Ecstatic dance events organiser.


Together We are a Genius
By Susannah

“Together we are a Genius.” These are the words of Lynn Twist, one of the founding members of the Pachamama Alliance. One aspect of their work to “change the dream of the North” has been to create the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” Symposium. This is a powerful and empowering wake up call at this time of challenge and opportunity on earth and for our species. The next one I am doing is being hosted by Olga Mieszczanek in Warsaw on the 13th June after the Wild Life weekend.

Olga says:

Dear Ones

 

I want to invite you for an amazing event in Warsaw which is the essence of why I love Movement Medicine so much. For expanding way beyond our own healing, to experience our connection with all life on earth, being part of that and using our practice to heal not only ourselves but also the world around us…and through that also ourselves. As we are One.Details below!

With love

Olga

Kochani

 

Serdeczne zapraszamy na wydarzenie, które będzie esencją tego, za co tak kocham Movement Medicine. Wyjściem daleko poza skupienie się tylko na sobie i doświadczeniu swojego połączenia z całą siecią życia na naszej planecie, bycia jej częścią i użyciu naszej praktyki do uzdrowienia świata poprzez uzdrowienie siebie… i uzdrowienia siebie, poprzez uzdrowienie świata. Bo jesteśmy Jednością.Szczegóły poniżej!

Z miłością

Olga

 

The Symposium has been a potent and beautiful wake up call in our (S and Y’s) lives. You could say it’s a deep dose of inter-connectedness medicine. You could say it’s a call to warriors of the heart everywhere, a call to each one of us to assume the joyful response-ability to play our role in creating a future for all our children and for all beings. This is a powerful time to be alive. As Lynn Twist says: “You don’t have a big role, you don’t have a small role, you have your role”.

A tribal healer intertwines interweaves the finger of both hands as he talks about this being the time for the best of indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge to connect and work together. In Westminster Cathedral the Bishop of London, giving the sermon at the marriage of William and Kate, talks about finding the loving wisdom to guide the power technology has given us. Chris Luettichau tells us about the indigenous elders who see the internet as a manifestation of the energetic world wide web which connects all of life. This non polarised way of seeing gives me hope and energy. How can we bring together the achievements of technology with the wisdom of acknowledging that we are part of the earth and that, in order to take of ourselves, we need to take of all life? The good news is that it’s already happening. The wake up call is that there is also enormous inertia in the old ways of thinking and acting which treat the earth as if it is an inexhaustible supply yard, and an ever expanding rubbish dump, rather than a sacred, beautiful eco-system of which we inextricably are a part, and which we have the power to destroy or protect, for our own sakes and for all of life. Choice.

Taking off the blinkers of our comfortable lives and looking at where we really are as a world: ecologically, socially, and in terms of human fulfilment takes real courage. The Symposium supports us to take this information into our hearts. To not shy away from the pain. Joanna Macey, one of the Symposium’s contributors speaks to the heart of this. And then it invites us to look at how we got here. We delve into the assumptions which are guiding these actions which are destroying our world. And then it opens the door to other ways of looking at the world and ourselves as human beings, drawing from indigenous wisdom and new scientific discoveries. When Ya’Acov and I first saw this part I felt as if I was being fed nectar that I had been longing for without knowing it. I wanted to watch it again and again. As if my whole system had longed for this “update” to a new story of connectedness. And then the Symposium invites the visionary in each of us to awaken, finding our way together. The whole process involves creating sacred space, watching extra-ordinarily powerful and well researched short films and then have time to digest, reflect and enquire in different creative ways. The Symposium doesn’t claim to have the answers, and it doesn’t impose solutions. It opens the space for each of us to be able to meet what is going on with open eyes and an open heart, and to discover and create possibility- to play our part in the “great turning”, to quote Joanna Macey.

If you can easily come to Warsaw do (and come and do the Wild Life weekend first!).

If not, there are many Symposiums happening in Europe and the UK (where it is called the “Be the Change” "Awakening the Dreamer Symposium")
 
The “Awakening the Dreamer Symposium”: Looking at where we are, how we got here, awakening to a new story of connectedness, stepping into our power as dreamers of the future.

Wild Life on the weekend of 10th – 12th June. “Awakening the Dreamer” Symposium is on the 13th June late afternoon and evening. For more details and to book please contact Olga on 00 48 509 774 774 info@movementmedicine.pl

 

The Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund

Have you ever wondered what workshops would be like if the dancers were more diverse socially and economically?

Have you ever wondered whether Movement Medicine could benefit people living on the margins of society, or in places of life or death conflicts?

 

Have you ever wished that Movement Medicine could be experienced by more people? Perhaps by those who couldn’t in their wildest dreams spend money on going to a dance workshop? Or by people who think they wouldn’t belong?

Movement Medicine is fundamentally about hearts, minds and bodies in motion. It encourages us to be active, manifesting the best of who we are and who we can become. And to offer what we are to life and the world we live in.

Many of us would love to make the gifts and benefits of Movement Medicine accessible to people who are disadvantaged economically and socially, and to bring the benefits of Movement Medicine to places where difficulty and conflict are prominent in people’s lives.

Inspired by these hopes and dreams, a few years ago, Susannah and Ya’Acov set up a Sponsorship Fund to enable people who couldn’t afford to attend workshops to apply for financial help to get there. Fellow dancer, Alan Sanday’s hard work and perseverance enabled the the Sponsorship Fund to be set up as a charity, so that it would have proper governance and benefit from tax based donations from the UK government.

The aims of the fund are:

To financially support the following activities, targeting people living in difficult situations, from resource poor settings, post-disaster or conflict zones

· Participation in Movement Medicine workshops, events, classes, or projects

· Supervision or support to develop and sustain Movement Medicine classes, events or projects

· Relevant research aiming at further investigating the benefits of Movement Medicine

The fund has a focus on assisting people who come from poorer communities or areas of conflict to access workshops. Also to support Movement Medicine teachers to deliver workshops in these kinds of communities which may not be able to raise enough income through workshop charges to cover costs. Susannah and Ya’Acov do not charge tuition fees to individuals who are supported by the Sponsorship Fund.

During the Apprenticeship Programme, Susannah and Ya’Acov invited a group of Apprentices to take over the running of the fund, to make a separation between the fund and their work and business interests, and to widen it’s ownership and management. The Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund now has trustees from the UK, Norway, and Denmark, and a circle of supporters from Iceland, Italy, Denmark and the UK.

We are now re-launching the Fund, and publicising it in order to attract more donations so that we can support more people to access Movement Medicine and take the benefits into their lives and communities.

Your support

At the moment, we have lots of ideas about how the Fund could help. But not so much money!

So, if you have ideas about strategies to raise money, your contribution would be very welcome and might make all the difference. In particular, you might want to share some good practices in fundraising. We already have a website where people can make donations here

http://www.justgiving.com/schoolofmmsponsorship

One way that people give money to the fund is by contributing the sponsorship money they raise as part of the Long Dance. The next Long Dance is in July. If you feel drawn to do this, please get in touch.

We would also welcome feedback about this article. We see the fund as being an integral part of the wider Movement Medicine Community and want to open it to your influence and contributions.


To make comments or to receive more information you can contact us on mmsf@phonecoop.coop

Workshop organisers will also be able to put you in touch with the Fund’s trustees.

Love, Respect and Thanks,

Margaret, Agnes, Catherine, Katharine, Guro, Espen, Silvana and Maria
April 29th 2011

Do you have a dream? You did once.
By Ya'Acov

I have spent the past 4 days in skype sessions with our teacher training apprentices in preparation for the first module of our inaugural teacher training which is due to begin at the end of June. I have been so deeply touched by the process in so many ways. It has left me more committed than ever to the dance and to Movement Medicine in particular.

Why?

For the past 23 years, I have travelled and met and danced with thousands of people from many, many walks of life. In the mirror of the groups I work with, I have seen again and again my own capacity for disconnection and separation from life. I have seen again and again how we are nearly all (there have been one or two exceptions) in recovery from the education we were subjected to, both through the schooling system and through the culture. We have been trained to conform. And we have been trained to be afraid of getting things wrong. Mass education came into being during the industrial revolution. Its aim was to produce good workers. And it succeeded. But for now, at a time when we are faced with the biggest challenges we have faced for a very long time, maybe the biggest challenges we have ever faced, education based on producing heroic workers and consumers well trained to conform to social norms that are clearly failing in so many respects is not only unhelpful, it’s verging on madness.

If we are so afraid of getting things wrong, how dare we try anything new? Getting things right is not a bad thing in itself. Of course not! But when we are trained that anything other than an accurate repetition and giving back of the ideas we have been asked to cram our brain cells with is ‘wrong,’ then our idea of success will not add up to much.

Where is the education that leads us to find out who we are, what we care about, what we are here for? Where is the education that draws out of us what we know? Where is the education (and this is the killer!) that teaches us how to be creative and to risk getting things ‘wrong’ in order to find a better ‘right.’

Ah yes, back to that commitment thing I was telling you about. The dance teaches us about our own resources. It reintroduces us to the capacity to be creative, to imagine. And as many people have said, one of the greatest crises we face today is a crisis of imagination. Learning means being willing to be a fool. It means being willing to question our assumptions about our selves, about life, about each other. Without imagination and creativity, we are, in the immortal words of the song by Katie Goodman that may well be being played on a dance floor near you, f**ked! Great song by the way – it ends with the marvellous and passionate call to action: “I want to be an Un-F**ker!’

I wish to bow to all the thousands of dancers who have dared to step on to dance floors and take the risk of looking like a fool. And that includes me. And I truly did look like a fool when I first took the risk but the truth is, that very soon, I learned not to care. And I want to bow to all those who are risking this evolution of education that is Movement Medicine (and the many other wonderful emergent practices in the field of creativity) through our apprenticeship and teacher training. If we can get the story out there to as many people as possible (and yes, I am on a mission!) that each one of us, each one of you, is an extraordinary and creative being who has access to the intelligence of the dancer inside them and the resources to create with life for the good of all, then let’s do it. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if this kind of dance, that invites creativity and the direct experience of interconnection, were available in every school across the land?

So, challenged as we are by failing economies and changing weather patterns and who knows what challenges that lie ahead, I invite you again, as I intend to again and again until there ain’t no more breath in these lungs and movement in these fingers, to come and find your movement medicine.

Come to the Long Dance (yes there are still places left) and pray your socks off through the dance and dream your dreams for yourself and for all of life whilst you still can.

Or come and dance and dig your grave for the burial ceremony happening in Belgium in September and leave behind some of those old and no longer useful skins that get in the way of you being who you are and giving what you’ve got.

Or come and take the Initiation journey and rewrite some of the chapters of your life with the help of the creative flair of the dancer inside you.

Or come to one of the weekends Susannah and I are teaching in the next few weeks and wake up that dancer again as the summer calls us into a new season of fruit!

A wise one told me that everything matters, that everything makes a difference, that you matter, and that you make a difference. Yes you. And yes me too. And that’s even more true when a group of people come together with a shared intention to make a difference. All over this planet, in ceremonies and rituals, people dance for life around the time of the summer solstice. The idea of giving our time and our energy back to life in gratitude for life and reconnecting with the bigger picture in which our individual story exists, is an ancient one and a timely one. Our ancestors used to do it. And for me, it’s time we dusted down our old dreaming skills, shook off a little of the nonsense we may have learned from the great education establishments that told us we shouldn’t-couldn’t-mustn’t, and re-find the medicine that each one of us carries in the cells that make up this great gift of the physical body. And who knows, those dreams you came here to dream may just shake themselves down too and come and join you for a good old wiggle. All it takes a little imagination.

Ya’Acov. May 2011.

So what has Movement Medicine got to do with peace making?
By Susannah

“So what has Movement Medicine got to do with peace making?” I was asked this question by a Palestinian guy who is a social worker and a policeman. His big hearted, curious and open presence made me feel I could delve deeper with him into the question. Here are my (still developing) answers:

1) Movement is a universal language
 
It is a sign language of the heart. It transcends our differences and helps us find the common humanity from which we can begin to look for a creative way forward together.

2) Internal Freedom

To make peace we need to be grounded in “what is” and to be awake, courageous, connected with our integrity, our independent intelligence, our creative capacity to imagine and create new possibilities. For this we need internal freedom. But when we have been in oppressive conditions, whether these conditions were in the past or are in the present, we often become our own censors, our own silencers. As if we have “swallowed the jailer”. We do not allow ourselves to go near a dangerous thought/feeling or action. By oppressive conditions I mean conditions in which it was not safe to be or express ourselves: our experience, our perceptions, our feelings, our actions.

A great way to approach this internal liberation is through movement, because it is live, direct, it goes straight to the visceral heart of the matter. We reclaim the freedom of our own bodies, hearts, minds and bodies when we dance in Movement Medicine. This is often a quicker route than through talking, though of course that has a very important place.

3) Empathy
 
To make peace I need to be able to empathise with you, the other. And how does this work? Recent scientific studies have found that the capacity to be aware of the physical sensations of your own body, called ‘interoception” (‘interior perception’) increase both your own emotional intelligence about your self (i.e. knowing what you are feeling) AND your empathy with others. It has been found that psychopaths and sociopaths tend to have very low capacities for interoception. So it seems that the capacity to harm others is linked to a deadening of the internal awareness of one’s own body, which deadens the possibility of empathy. So Movement Medicine, with its focus on both recovering internal listening and sensation, and on developing outer empathy and seeing of the other, in their full humanity, is a fine tool in this process. If we dance together we have a chance to feel each other’s humanity, strengthening our empathy so that we can deal with the conflicts and differences between us in a healthy way.

4) The peace movement

The peace movement is a movement! In order to make peace we need to be able to move from the fixed ground of what we think we know, who we think we are, who we think the ‘other’ is, what consensus reality defines as “the way it is”. Literal movement awakens this capacity to move on other levels too.

5) Personal well being!

Being an activist, a worker for peace, has all sorts of tensions. We are often accused by our own people. It is not always easy to keep the source of hope and joy and creativity clear and fresh. When we dance we can simply release, let go, be cleansed and renewed, find our spirits refreshed, and re-connect with the deep love of life and our deepest purpose.

That’s as far as I have got so far!

Love to all!

Susannah DK

Movement Medicine Shop
At last we have the beautiful Long Dance CD - 21 Gratitudes, featuring the musical highlights of last year’s Long Dance. All proceeds go to Survival International. Beautifully recorded and mixed by Volker Kaczinski. Lots of percussion, some wild moments, many sublime flutes and some beautiful songs.

If you weren’t there, get the vibe now! If you were there, this will take you back! And do come and join us for this year’s Summer Long Dance and be part of the next creation!  This year we have a great new band of musicians including Iwan Kushka, who plays on the Movement Medicine CD1, Lawrence Kelson of Madrum fame (the album Marrakech - also available from the shop - is one of our favourites). And we are thrilled that there will be a guest appearance from Nigel Shaw and Carolyn Hillyer.

Susannah’s ‘Elemental’ CD of guided Movement Medicine meditations is getting great feedback. Let us know how you find it for your practice!

And Aaron’s beautiful “Deep Flight” CD, is now available as MP3s, from the website!

And Natasha Hood has a new CD, a double album “Singing the Cycle of our Lives” with more beautiful songs to learn and sing from around the world.

www.movementmedicineshop.com

Plan-it Earth Eco Project

By Rachel Smart Knight

Do you dream of living with a Conscious Community of people, living in harmony with the Earth?

There is an exciting opportunity to join a successful Eco Project as it evolves into a Conscious, Sustainable Eco community!

Plan-it Earth Eco Project in Cornwall (www.plan-itearth.org.uk) is exploring the skills, techniques and tools necessary for a sustainable human presence on the earth, and to use this learning to provide inspiration, education and skills sharing for the local and wider community.

An Eco house and three and a half acres of land is coming up for sale next to the Plan-it Earth site, allowing for it’s development into a “Conscious Community” of people treading lightly on Mother Earth, with the commitment to live in harmony with one another and nature’s laws. It will support and nourish it’s members and be an example, inspiration and a learning educational resource for the wider community

The site

Plan-it Earth Eco Project near Penzance is set on a beautiful 7 acre Permaculutre designed smallholding, surrounded by beaches and ancient sites. The site comprises of orchard, market vegetable garden and polytunnel, coppice, herbal medicine garden, newly planted forest garden, composting toilets and woodburning showers for those camping, newly planted woodland, grazing pasture, ancient holy well supplying water to property,Wet system reedbed style "ponds" treating sewage and grey water.
Plan-it Earth has an excellent reputation locally and up-country for its education in sustainability, inspiration and courses in traditional rural sustainable skills and Permaculture Design.

The Community Vision

The conscious community will commit to a clear, living and growing vision, shared, developed and nourished by the community and Spirit in response to the bigger picture in these changing times.

We envisage a small group of people (about 5 dwellings) living in individual eco-dwellings within the Plan-it Earth site. Ideally with a mixture of ages including children, families, couple and singles. The community would connect with, and potentially incorporate others in the vicinity.

Interested community members, would ideally be following a Shamanic / Earth based spirituality path, and would commit to engaging in simple agreed upon communal practices designed to foster common ground and harmony between community members, and with the land….for example a “Wisdom Council” where issues and the future of the community are discussed, connecting to Sacred guidance. Or movement medicine practices. Or in Matutu (a community of people in Brazil) a bell rings twice a day and everyone stops what they are doing and takes 2 minutes silence and stillness- which is designed to connect people to themselves as individuals and with the land and surroundings...

Communication and support structures within the community

Community members would respect and commit to working from the heart, including a commitment to practises which keep the channels of communication open (such as “Non-violent communication NVC www.nvc.org, conflict resolution and “Wisdom Council”).

We would use structures and support for working out the realities of living and sharing together, such as using sacred movement and dance as a means of expression, connecting to and gaining insight and support from the sacred, as well as a means of working through issues.

Support structures could also include support and help from outside in a facilitation/supervision capacity.

Members would need to show an acceptance and recognition of the challenges to our egos, which will inevitably protest!

We will need to continue to develop the skills and healing necessary to make the shift from a ‘me’ to an ‘our’ consciousness. This will not necessarily be easy but ideally all community members will have already done work in this area and we will all have to open to learning as we go!

We envisage that through following the medicine teachings of the Shamanic path and tools such as the Wisdom council, that this would “hold” the community and it’s interactions in a positive, supported, nourishing and healthy way.

The community would be set up so that it provides respect and understanding for the needs of individuals, and couples, and families within the community, including time to retreat and time alone.

Members would commit to tread lightly on Mother Earth, and to work towards sustainability on all levels: emotionally, spiritually, financially, and practically... working towards sustainability and self-sufficiency in all areas of energy use and use of resources for food, housing, travelling and living.

Earning a living

Each adult would be responsible for earning their living, this would ideally be connected to, but could be independent of the Plan-it Earth project and Conscious Community. Members could use the facilities to support their individual work and pay a “tythe” to Plan-it Earth.

Members could also use the premises to set up businesses that are in line with the Conscious Communities ethos.

Ideally we would be supported in our “professions” by Plan-it Earth and the community, and develop new ventures relevant to and in harmony with the project and community.

It would be necessary to balance the need to earn a living with the needs of living together in community, as it wouldn’t work if members had to be absent most of the time to earn their living.

Sharing our skills with and inspiring the wider community

 

Ideally people living in the community would practice sustainable skills in their every day lives for a conscious, sustainable way of living and offer these skills for inspiration and skills sharing with others.

Amongst other ideas, potentially once a month the community living and working at Plan-it Earth could hold practical “Open Days” for the wider community to come and get involved with, be inspired by and learn new sustainable skills and ways of living. These days would be designed to involve minimal work preparation- we as a community would simply “open our doors” to what we are already doing.

These monthly practical Open Days could follow the seasons, thus there would be potential within this for an ongoing annual “conscious living in action” programme and inviting the wider community to get involved and help out with the workload at Plan-it Earth.

Depending on community member’s skills, examples could include:

o December- coppicing

o January- making green wood furniture and tools

o February-recycled clothes making

o March- blacksmithing- to create tools to shear sheep

o April- making herbal medicines

o May- shearing sheep

o June- carding, spinning

o July- making dyes and dyeing wool

o September- weaving using wool

o October- making preserves

o November- making charcoal with wood coppiced

o Throughout the year: organic and biodynamic growing, working with and listening to the land

Other potential less practical ideas of sharing and inspiring others include offering:

o Retreats, connection to the sacred and comtemplation space

o Movement medicine sacred dance

o Meditation

o Sacred singing

o Healing

o Shamanic teachings

o Plant spirit medicine

If you are interested in being part of this Conscious Community….!

The Eco house and three and half acres is about to go on the market for £360,000. If you're interested, act quickly as the property is about to go on the market!

 

For further details on the house and land for sale, email: rachel.planitearth@googlemail.com

For more information on Plan-it Earth Eco project www.plan-itearth.org.uk

 

 

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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com