School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April 2010
Apprenticeship 2012

by Ya'Acov

An Invitation to Apply for the 2nd Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme beginning March 2012.

We are delighted to announce the dates for the second Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme which will begin in February 2012. We will be accepting the first batch of applications for the programme in January 2011. January may seem a way off in the distance, but as Spring seems to be finally arriving here in Devon, we are feeling that incessant turning of the wheel and a certain calling from the sun above, a deep urge deep down in the roots to begin a new cycle of growing. Wonder if you feel it too?

Over the Easter break, we were catching up with householder work at home. As we look out of the window this morning, we can see a new polytunnel in the garden and we are getting really excited about learning a little more about growing food in our very own garden. Frazer and Sunny, our wonderful gardening team, were hard at work in rain, hail and sun to get the polytunnel up. Susannah rounded up a whole group of willing hands from the green where we live to help us place the huge covering over the tunnel that will protect and warm a whole variety of plants in years to come. It was such a great feeling to be part of such a dedicated team effort! The power of a group of people coming together with a shared focus is for us, one of the main joys of life and of the Apprenticeship Programme in particular.


Yesterday would have been my fatherís birthday. He died 15 years ago but as I grow older, I feel more and more connected to him. Last night in my dreams, I found myself talking with him about how strange it is that we are all subject to the aging and dying process. I saw my uncle as an old man and I got a glimpse of Susannah and myself in our wrinkly state too! I awoke humbled again by the great mystery of this life and the poignant reminder of how precious these everyday life units are. So many people in this current climate of consumerism gone mad get lost in the quagmire of the never-ending stretch for more. Itís a brave soul who chooses like the salmon, to swim upriver against the current and take time out to remember what really matters. I have often found myself reflecting on my fatherís quick death from cancer. He had so little time to consider the journey of his life. He was so shocked that death had come so soon for him. The thought of him asking my mum why so many family members were coming to see him in hospital the day before he died touches a deep bass note in my heart. My mum tells me that he asked: ĎAm I leaving.í She replied that he wasnít going anywhere until heíd taken her on holiday one last time! By 9pm the next evening, his life was over. Even though Iíve been doing very helpful and empowering ceremonies to connect in good old-school shamanic fashion with death as an ally for many years, the fact that Iím now wearing glasses as I type on the laptop makes it all just a little more real. By the way, the burial ceremony will be part of the third module of Ritual this year (28th September to 5th October in Devon) and there are still a few places left on that module and the Vision Quest module (June 17th to 24th) for any of you who want to experience the life-giving power of those ceremonies.


Our current apprenticeship has already been such a rich learning ground for us and we now feel ready to commit to a second programme. We have been surprised by how much extra work and attention the programme has created for us and itís been a steep learning curve to find the way to integrate such a big change in our working lives. We have a great Staff Team (David Rose, Sue Kuhn and Jo Hardy) who we meet with between modules so that we can keep up-to-date with each other, share news from our monthly skype sessions with all the apprentices, and prepare as thoroughly as we can for the upcoming modules. We are also working with a team of three Pathfinders, Caroline, Mark and Christian, who are now our first Apprentice Movement Medicine teachers, and we meet with them regularly too. Our work with them has been invaluable in preparing for the first Movement Medicine Teacher Training that will take place in 2011. And then of course, there are our apprentices themselves who it an absolute honour to work with so deeply.


It has been our experience over the past 20 years of working in this field that the relationships and friendships that are catalysed in the dance go very deep and last long. Community is so important and travelling together in a learning community brings many extra perspectives. The apprenticeship programme is without doubt the deepest work we have ever been involved with. The level of commitment of everyone involved to being true to who they are and bringing this into the dance of relationship is remarkable, brave, and cutting edge stuff.


The stated intention on the programme is to support all apprentices to be who they are and become all that they can become, and to bring all the different areas of life into alignment with the highest purpose they can manifest in this lifetime. Our tools are the dance itself as it comes through Movement Medicine practice and a deep personal study and application of the insights contained within the Movement Medicine Mandala. Each apprentice travels at their own pace and each apprentice has their own unique intention and way of working within the apprenticeship. Some will go to be Movement Medicine Practitioners applying all they have learned and continue to learn to many different areas of life. Others will go on to take the Teacher Training and become Movement Medicine teachers. Others will take what they have learned and continue on their journey.


Each year, at around the time of the Long Dance, there will be a community retreat open to those who have completed the apprenticeship and ongoing study and specialist interest courses for those who wish to continue studying. After the Teacher Training is complete, we expect there to be an teachersí association run by the teachers themselves. Just as things always have, since the moment we discovered the dance in the East West Centre Dojo in Old Street London with Gabrielle in 1988, the journey evolves and so do we. We have no idea where itís all going but we intend to enjoy every minute of the ride with whoever wishes to journey with us.


So, if youíre thinking of taking the Apprenticeship Journey, now is the time to check out dates, and see which prerequisites you still need to complete. For those of you who havenít taken the Initiation voyage yet, the next ship leaves harbour in September 2010. And for those who havenít met the Phoenix and discovered the birth, death, rebirth thing in the Phoenix Retreat, the feathers will be ruffling again in April 2011. Susannahís Journey of Empowerment for this year in Switzerland is full with a waiting list. The next journey will happen here in the South West of the UK and begins in May 2011. A good place to get a deep experiential taste of the teachings of the mandala can be found at the Summer Long Dance (see YaíAcov and Susannahís article on Shamanism) in July.


So dear dancers on the eternal journey to who knows where, if you feel the tendrils of a new season of growth tapping the souls of your feet, if you feel the blessing of the great sun calling you to become and to dare to dream for yourself and for the community of life on earth, and if you just have to dance, then we will be meeting somewhere, some place on the great journey through time and space and we will be happy that the jiggery pokery continues, and that the spirit of the dance is alive and well reminding us of what truly matters whilst the heart still beats and the world still turns.


Wishing you the true joy of spring.


YaíAcov and Susannah. April 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.