School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: January 2011
Movement Medicine: becoming an 'All day artist'

Dear Travellers!

The Teacher Training application form included the question: ‘What is   Movement Medicine?’ The answers naturally included familiar  descriptions of Movement Medicine (as embodied ecstatic dance practice  and movement meditation) and reflections on the bones of the practice,  such as the elements, yin and yang, acceptance and intention, aligning   body, heart, mind and soul, and the 5 dimensions of awareness.

Beyond  that the words have wings of originality that touch the heart and move  to laughter and tears…  Some of the answers read like a description of  foreign lands, including many symbols and archetypes of a fairy tale.  Encountering magic, finding hidden treasures and golden gifts,  following a map through unknown territory, and filling a tool bag with  helpful and necessary things for the journey, nurturing a connection  to the Great Mysteries… Many were filled with poetry and it’s possible to glimpse the mystery behind the words. 

Ya'Acov and Susannah chose quotes from these applications (quoted   anonymously, with permission) which were then edited by Roland and   Eline. What follows now are mostly literal quotations of applicants,   with only some editorial changes and connections.

Movement Medicine is “a path towards wholeness connecting body, heart,   mind, soul and the divine dimension”, which “has a cylindrical and   evolutionary view of life and encourages you to go with the seasons as   nature does. That way you can live a natural life guided by the   natural unfolding of who you are becoming out the acceptance of who   you are here and now.” It “views the whole of life, including your   thoughts, feelings and actions as a  dance.” “By caring for the land   of our bodies we rediscover the beauty and power of nature, inside us   and in our relationships with others and with the planet and we begin   to take more responsibility for all of our relationships and for the   future of life on earth.” “All this combined with the pleasure and   energy that comes from the age old tradition of having a good bop.”

In (near) one-liners:

Movement Medicine is …

-       giving voice to the forgotten language of speaking from the  heart, through the body, and the mind, and expressing all of that in   the world in smaller and bigger circles inside and around us

-       passion, truth, joy, awareness, connection, stillness and   meditation

-       magical, sacred, pure joy and love

-       a simple prayer of gratitude for the gift of life

-       a shamanic practice (…) based in ancient wisdom that is non-  linear and non-rational and faith based: faith in our own bodies;   faith in the earth and the elements; and faith in the spirit of the  dance

-       a practical spiritual / self-development practice and a   philosophical system that helps one interpret, better understand and   integrate with ourselves, the people we love, the world around us,   with the spirit world and with (…) ‘the Divine’

-       a hand held out to give you some support

-       ‘magic’ as dance ritual

-       allowing lost treasures to be reclaimed and provides a safe   space for the more challenging material that we carry to be digested   and transformed through embodied awareness

-       a guide to the individual’s journey of exploration with   questions – and may even lead to a glimpse of an answer

-       an ongoing unwinding of the mystery called human being


And yet all this, doesn’t define Movement Medicine: “Movement Medicine   weaves the practices into a robust whole by clear generous intent to   create a space where each dancer has the space to transform their own   suffering into a deeper understanding and compassion for themselves   and the world around them.”

Movement Medicine enables you to

-       create personal medicine

-       catch and ride the current to always be in relationship on some level

-       restore the past, be fully present to the moment, and dream   the greatest possibility for the future

-       dance for the dignity of each being

-       move emptiness, to accept and surrender to what is, giving   this shape through movement

-       allowing and encouraging movement as it arises to foster   emotional and spiritual fluidity

-       build the resource of ground beneath the feet, while also   opening to receiving stability and nourishment

-       listen to what the heart whispers and how the mind works to   bridge this learning to everyday life

-       recognize the truth of our interconnectedness with all beings

-       being held sweetly in the hands of the spirit of the dance,   visiting places of traumas, deep grief, anger and frustration as well  as joy, love

-       work at different levels of the inner and outer

-       realising that we are human beings who are embodying the  Divine Source within

-       reveal parts of ourselves that have been hidden away

-       move beyond habitual emotional patterns

-       release things that no longer serve us

-       open up to the wisdom that is available to us

 The Effects: This practice….

-       gave me the opportunity to awake from a form of  unconsciousness and numbness, from an attitude that life is happening  to me

-       reminds me to be grateful for little and big wonders of life

-       teaches me how to hold myself in an encouraging and nurturing   way and to unravel the divine blueprint of my soul so that I can   embody my true being more and more

-       is helping me getting to know in what way I am meant to serve  life

-       opens the door to a deep form of trust and self-love

Community and a safe space

-   a space of meeting, ‘showing up’, seeing and being seen, for   self and others

-       a chance to challenge and stretch oneself

-       a committed community of wonderful people, soul mates and   friends, which celebrates life

-       a sacred space for initiations, collective healing, a   sanctuary, a place of hope, and a portal to other dimensions

Medicine & Healing

-       healing takes place by welcoming back and unifying all aspects   of oneself

-       by unraveling all the layers that we carry with us, we learn   to grow into our true essential selves

-       since any healing of the self is also a healing for our   communities, movement medicine assists us in becoming more fully   present in our relationships with all our communities, including with   our non-human companions

-       the concept of healing may be strange when we see health only   as the absence of illness. Yet if we see it as growing more aligned,   inside ourselves and with all the creatures and beings around us, then   it is an ever-ongoing journey for each of us.

-       it is our individual and communal commitment to creative   action that becomes healing and the meaning of ‘Medicine’


Change, Action & Responsibility

-       Movement Medicine is a commitment to action as well as   reflection (realising that action is enabled by inner work)

-       A movement impulse in a body part that has been forgotten is a   golden gift, because it’s a spark of “YES! I can move forward, I can   change something.”

-       contribute to sustaining life on earth

-       act in the world in a dynamic, resourceful and loving way

-       bring forth, fully live and manifest dreams

-       embrace new positive change in our lives


-       know and be and become who you are and give what you have to   give and are capable of

-       take responsibility for all actions and realise that  everything matters

-       the embodied potential within the dancer [which] awakens the   desire to channel this unique treasure [of the human essence] to give   back to the world




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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.