School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: May Newsletter
Arcs of Time, Space and Connection

By Ben Clark
It was for me a very special experience to be assisting on the Arc of Time workshop at Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe in March 2017. I had already been there for ten days before the workshop as I was teaching at the Kufunda village Waldorf-inspired school.

This was my first time as an assistant and I was very aware that assisting at Kufunda was a particularly unique setting: close to the earth, surrounded by huge, powerful, rocks – the sacred resting place of the human ancestors of this place, and in the midst of a thriving intentional community.

As an assistant I felt that I was a world bridger; taking part in the collective process as well as holding space and being aware of the needs of the group, the space, and Susannah our teacher.

When we journeyed to the past I felt a sense of stillness, presence and fullness in my body, as well as a sense of holding a gateway between past and present. In my heart I touched the grief of thousands of years of trauma and also the relief of the time where we lived in a more simple and earth-connected way.

As I witnessed the group walking backwards in a circle at different speeds, but with the mindfulness not to bump into each other, it was like a huge cauldron being stirred with a large spoon, mixing in ingredients for a potent and transformative potion for the world. The candle in the middle of the circle struggled to stay alight and went out once and nearly a second time. For me this reflected the feelings I was experiencing of how close we have possibly been, and possibly are, to extinction in our journey as a species.

The workshop touched something deep inside of me around race, community and belonging, as well as our past and our possible futures. For a long time I’ve been erring more on the side of the possibility that we will not make it through this time of transition and that the main work now is preparing to die well individually and collectively. However during and after the workshop, especially when witnessing people fly into the future, a sense of hope and potential was restored in me and more power given to my heart-soul to play my part in the possibility of not just our survival but a thriving life for us and the generations to come.

I had the sense that a big piece of work was done; certainly in my own psyche, and from what we heard from participating dancers, for them too, and perhaps even in the wider world. For me there was particular potency in journeying with this deep-time work in the land of Africa where it is said our species began, bringing healing to our past and planting seeds of possibility for our future.

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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.