School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: February Newsletter
Give Away in the Cathedral of Schleswig

By Christine
During my journey through the Professional Training, I jumped into surprising depths of the unknown and discovered amazing possibilities of teaching I want to share with you. Within a 4-week project called “Journey of Light“, organized by the Protestant church to celebrate 500 years of Reformation, I applied to offer an event as give away, dedicated to refugee work.

My intention was to open the doors of the Cathedral of Schleswig for people of all nationalities to create an open space for welcoming one another in movement. For one month the whole cathedral was cleared of all benches, and the stage was open to various contributions, speaking to and of the medieval background during which Martin Luther reformed the church. Every week another theme was presented, demonstrating the spirit of the particular age – now, and then.

In this special context I could see the original wooden floor literally called in the dancer; all of us, to release the old and current burden of guilt and cruel punishment in the name of religion.

Obviously, the priest in charge who answered my application, simply did not know what to do with my offering, full of doubt about the “freedom of believe“ he had discovered on the Movement Medicine Website. He questioned whether the Cathedral of Schleswig would be the right place for such a spiritual dance practice, asked me about my own believe, and seriously couldn’t imagine anyone taking part this. In fact, he seemed to reject my whole offering.
For a moment I felt challenged by my own inner doubter, reminding me of past inquisitorial proceedings. So I was proud to stand in my integrity and truth during his strict inquiry. I left full of self-trust, forgetting for a moment the inherent multi-challenge this offering presents.

It was months later when I was accepted. Tuning in to all of my great support, I looked forward to step fully into my teacher being. In a special way I felt called by this ancient ground on which my children have been singing and playing the organ for about 15 years. I invited my dance class, friends and clients of all ages and conditions to come and let our hearts speak through our bodies, and share our deepest longings and prayers for a better world in peace and freedom, dancing together.
As part of the
Journey of Light it was announced as an open space event, where also tourists were invited to join in spontaneously, and it therefore evolved into an unpredictable surprise for everyone taking part.

Calling in all my support in meditation (I had been unable to dance for two months due to an injury), I got a fantastic picture of my coming entry into the cathedral, where I was leading a carnival procession with all my power animals sitting in foolish costumes on an open wagon, celebrating me and this unique moment. Keeping this deep in my heart, I felt safe, strong and ready to create an open space for whoever would come, and I felt encouraged to bring what really matters to me, through Movement Medicine, into the church.

About 70 people (including the priest) followed my invitation without hesitating and turned the huge prayer room into a space of movement, showing empathy for all who are forced to leave their home countries with unknown destinations. Welcomed by music, inviting their bodies to warm up and discover the whole space, the Tree of Life Meditation prepared everyone for this unique personal and collective journey. Their visible willingness to show and share the whole spectrum of feelings (from fragility and fear to hope and relief), paved the way to create a safe and open space for meeting one another with compassion. They followed me in their own tempo with so much enthusiasm, everybody fully engaged. It was a great gift to witness the awakening of all dancers. I witnessed the opening of their hearts in a visible longing to unfold a unique being that is able to simply follow and trust the natural intelligence of the body. The deep message of a Reggae beat unified us in a wonderful way and widened our consciousness to the Bigger Picture. United in awareness of the our choice, that we wish to return a better world to our children, we celebrated our power and our connection in movement. At the end there was space to ask for spiritual support and guidance, to send a personal prayer to loved ones and the 'hot spots' all over the world, and to come to rest in gratitude and stillness. The walls of the cathedral continued to reflect all these vibrations long after the music stopped and the last participant left deeply touched thanking me.
The gratitude and joy from all sides almost overwhelmed me and everybody followed my request to donate money to support the refugee work. Only then I understood what give away really means. And afterwards I was asked to do it again one week later, instead of a regular service!

The subject then was identity, and the (same!) priest wanted to welcome and introduce everyone with a poem of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, written in prison after his contribution to the failed assault on Hitler. So I got the chance to bring all the people from their heaviness of mind through their heart into their body leading them through the Tree of Life again with the help of the Elements.
Full of trust they followed me to meet the life force of their Warrior nature, leant into the arms of their Wise Elder and freed their Fool, to create a full spectrum of “Who I am“, right here and there, in the dance.
Realizing that we have a choice to participate in our destiny and to contribute in creating a world in peace, unified all dancers and every movement became a visible offering. The first give away seemed to be a preparation for teaching pure Movement Medicine this time. More than 70 people joined in because I started the music half an hour before the beginning. About 15 men of all ages danced, and indeed some women in wheel-chairs moved their limbs showing fascination about being welcomed despite their physical condition. The mood changed into an infectious playfulness infusing the sacral space with laughter and joy.

Months ago I still receive ongoing gratitude for this great chance to overcome our growing helplessness and paralysing fear when facing the worldwide threat to peace.
I hope you feel inspired.

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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.