School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: June Newsletter

Happy Summer Long Dance & Upcoming Workshops
By Hanna
Hello to all the readers of this newsletter edition, which will be the last one before our summer break. The next newsletter will find your inbox in September again. Many dancers of this community will soon go into a deep and long ceremony, the Summer Long Dance, which is an uplifting and humbling, an expansive and deeply connective experience with lots of fun, much dancing, some challenge, great company and very awesome music.

I will not be able to physically join this year, but I intend to support the group and the ceremony in spirit through my singing, my prayers and dances at home. Here is to connection, to prayer, to dance, to healing, to continuous awakening and to joy and respect for body and earth.

Despite the summer break there are workshops on offer, so have a look if you are inspired to dance, play and connect on the dance floor in July and August.

Wishing you all a wonderful Summer (or Winter, for the southern hemisphere) of celebration and expansion, of connection and beingness.
Love, Hanna

Upcoming Movement Medicine Events and Worshops:

10 July: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online.
The webinar is a wonderful way to get to know Movement Medicine or integrate workshop experiences and bridge the medicine of the dance into your every day life. It is also a way to connect with the wider Movement Medicine community around the world. The webinar offers you the music, space and guidance to discover and strengthen your personal dance practice at home (or wherever you are).
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255
roland@rwevents.co.uk

14–15 July: Balance with David Mooney. Ghent, Belgium.
With
Move! Evening on 13 July.
This workshop offers an embodied way to cultivate kindness and creativity and to find a balance between fully being the person you are today and growing into the person you are becoming. You will walk away with powerful but simple tools to shift negative patterns or self-talk and to establish more kindness and creativity into your everyday life and living, remaining in balance between being and becoming.
Contact Luc: +32 61 32 99 20: luc@owc.be

16 July: Move! Evening, with David Mooney. Bonn, Germany.
This introductory event provides the o
pportunity to fully get into that body and just dance, express and move for one evening. Letting the mind drop into the physical landscape, our inner dancer will lead the way to free and authentic movement, bringing your whole self into the dance.
Contact Katrin: +49 1633 152 714; katrin@movement-medicine-frankfurt.de

18–22 July: Roots – Dancing with the Ancestors with Christian de Sousa. Kientaler Hof, Switzerland.
In this workshop you can find out more deeply about the medicine of your inheritance, and how to connect with your roots. Through dance and play we find ways to trace that Arch of Time and to embody more of our bloodline and ancestry. In an all-night ceremony we create and find a space to honour all the ones who came before us and nurture the roots grounding our individual Tree of Life.
Contact Ursula Haas: +41 76 453 30 87

23 August: Move! Evening with David Mooney. Bonn, Germany.
This introductory event provides the opportunity to fully get into that body and just dance, express and move for one evening. Letting the mind drop into the physical landscape, our inner dancer will lead the way to free and authentic movement, bringing your whole self into the dance.
Contact
Katrin: +49 1633 152 714; katrin@movement-medicine-frankfurt.de

24–26 August: Gold of the Soul with David Mooney. Frankfurt, Germany.
With
Move! Evening on Aug 24.
Seeing your own life energy as the gold of your soul, this workshop offers the space to reclaim more of that energy, to release old and stuck patterns and unhelpful energy that are covering that 'gold' and will leave you with resources to integrate this into your daily life. This workshop includes the powerful and transformative practice of the SEER process for soul retrieval and a dance ceremony for deep healing and spirit connection.
Contact
Katrin Kohlbecher: +49 1633 152 714; katrin@movement-medicine-frankfurt.de

An Exquisite Day
By Susannah
This was written the day after supporting the ‘send-off’ for the Vision Questers as they left home base, to go on their Vision Quest under Ya’Acov’s guidance.
Yesterday was an exquisite day for me. In the morning, I was blessed to be there by the fire, to say a few words and offer my support to those Movement Medicine Apprentices about to go out on a three day Vision Quest led by Ya’Acov. Reuben (our son) is home for a while, having been on some seriously strong adventures and initiations and he also shared some of what he has learnt in his vision quests.

We drummed the people off together, the three of us, standing side by side. This was a new moment, and not one we had looked for, but one that felt full of joy and sweet steadiness. All blessings to those brave souls on the mountain and their individual quests. (They all came back and seem to have brought many gifts home with them).

Synchronously, I am about to lead a workshop in the Peak District in which each participant also goes into the wilds and brings their inner nature into dialogue with the rock and trees and spirit of the place. I’m really looking forward to sharing this wild at heart medicine and going back to one of the wild places I returned to again and again in my childhood. (We did some exquisite work which is going to be colouring my work for years to come. One of the gifts from this weekend is these two videos, made after the workshop, about why (these) men dance Why Men Dance 1 and Why Men Dance 2. Big thanks to Matt Booth and Bryn Davis for stepping up to encourage other men to take the plunge.

Then, in the afternoon, Clive Ponsford, the Barefoot Equine specialist (Blue Moon Equine), came to trim the hooves of my two wild born Exmoor ponies. This was a big day for me. I’d been aware of their hooves growing faster than their trust (at least with Ivor) and feeling the weight of my responsibility for this. And trying to surrender to how long things need to take.

My two ponies are brothers and are completely different. They lived the first year of their lives wild on Exmoor with their herd, and came to us when they were nearly one, unhandled and super shy of humans. They are mirror masters and keep showing me myself. At the same time they are themselves and are very different and need me to be very different with them.

One is steady, calm, brave and bold and he’s super-cool around me. With him it was about five months before I could put a halter on him and lead him. The other, Ivor, is sensitive and shy and spent the first year hiding behind his brother. Their hooves were getting embarrassingly long, so there had been some pressure in my pony taming efforts. That does not help!

Clive came six weeks ago (for their first ever much needed foot care). Ivor (aka Shy Boy) was still very nervous and Clive could only take a whisper off his hooves. Clive has the wisdom that I am learning with these guys (if you want to hurry up, SLOW DOWN) and was careful not to push for too much in that first session, and (in his words) “give them time to think about it before the next time”. The second time, on this big day, Ivor stood with his head in my chest, cuddling in, and peacefully lifted each foot and kept it still and mostly relaxed, trustingly letting Clive take everything off that he needed to. I was incredibly moved to receive again this mirror of his growing trust and connection and the feeling of our hearts together. When he and his brother cantered off afterwards, I could see their renewed freedom and joy in having their feet ‘right’.

And then, in the evening, Amy Behrens and I ran a Pachamama Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. She and I are part of an inter-generational women’s group called IGWIG (Inter-Generational Women’s Inspiration Group). We often facilitate sessions in a pair, with a ‘younger’ and an ‘older’ together and are finding this a rich way of sharing, learning together, and, as an older, ‘passing on’ what I have learnt. IGWIG was born through Fanny Behrens and I (we are ‘age mates’ born one day apart) recognizing how much we feel we have to give AND receive from and with younger and older generations of women. We’d both recognized that in our connections with her daughters (one of them is my god daughter Lua Maria, whose music many of you know and love, whose sister is Amy, with whom I was doing this) we have so much to give, AND so much to receive from them.

This evening event was a BIGWIG, which is when IGWIG hosts a bigger, open event. This was our first BIGWIG, and, of those who came, about half of us were IGWIGers and half were BIGWIG guests. This circle rocked.

The Symposium has recently been updated and its new form is clean, clear, inspiring, heart wrenching, beautiful, powerful. I find it profoundly integrative of micro and macro, of personal, political, spiritual and scientific, rational and mystical, indigenous and industrialised world wisdoms. As one of the women said in the last circle, it is such a call to ‘joyous service’. Thanks for naming that so succinctly for all of us. Huge respect to the commitment and willingness of those who were there to dive deep and open to the landscapes the symposium opens.

As Amy and I reflected afterwards, we recognize that we had both been able to rest into each other’s presence, as well as the depth, intelligence and integrity of the symposium. I have been facilitating transformative human process for over 30 years and Amy has been for a few years. This was transparent and complementary; our different levels of being ‘seasoned’ working together in a song of innocence and experience. As Amy said, a day of inter-generational and inter-being for me… My heart is happy and full of celebration.

Sending love to you and your inter-generational and inter-species weavings, and wishing you a wonderful summer. Please send you prayers to us and the many people gathering for this year’s Summer Long Dance. If you want to join in energetically with the commitment of the Long Dance to give back to life, you could, like many people who come to the Long Dance, become a donor, (or make a donation) or raise money for the Pachamama Alliance. Or do the same for any other charity of your choice, dance long and hard and deep and sweet with your love for life, and give it all, receive it all and say hello to us on the wind.

Thank you for all the co-creations of this year, we look forward to sharing the gifts and creations of the summer.

Much love,

Susannah Darling Khan

Susannah’s Autumn Workshops:

21–23 September: Life Lab with Susannah. Berlin, Germany
With Move! Evening on Sept 21st.
In this workshop the participants can discover new possibilities of showing up in every day life, and new ways of engaging and relating to body, heart and mind, inviting widened awareness and presence within self. The participants will walk (or dance) away with a wide knowledge of and new skills around embodiment, and a practical tool kit empowering each one to integrate this into every day life, bringing about real and tangible positive shifts in personal and professional life.
Contact Kathrin Keller: +49 30 28458820; info@kathrin-keller.com

13–21 October: Initiation with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
Initiation is a
n intensive 10-day retreat during which the dancers are invited and guided to embody and dance through the rich landscape of all nine life cycle from conception to death – including play, deep processes, and the support of the group and teachers. This workshop is an extraordinary, life-changing, colourful, profound and rewarding journey; and it is one of the prerequisites for the Apprenticeship Training.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

26 Oct–4 November: Apprenticeship Training Module I: Intention with Susannah and Ya'Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
This is the first of three main modules as part of the Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme starting in 2018. The roots and foundations are being bui
ld for an intense and deep journey of self discovery and expansion, of grounding and letting go. The group is being knitted together and the intentions are being set for each one's Apprenticeship journey.
Contact Roland:
+44 1803 762255; Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

Summer Solstice Greetings from the Vision Quest Fire
By Ya'Acov
Hello all. Summer solstice is approaching here in the Northern hemisphere and I’m writing to you from the Movement Medicine vision quest fire. This is our third and final night and the brave questers are out on Dartmoor entering the final stages of their quest. It’s a challenging moment to come back in to day-to-day life after 72 hours fasting, being alone in nature and crying for a vision. But it is also one of joy.

A bite to eat, a warm shower, and the company of friends all soften the edge of re-entering the everyday world. And of course, bringing back the gifts of our ceremonies for our families, friends and communities is the intention of going out there in the first place.

The vision quest has three stages. They are called Severance, Threshold and Incorporation. Severance is about cutting away from our day to day lives and entering into the unknown. Many times during a vision quest we ‘die’ as we move past our known limits and out into virgin territory. Acknowledging how things are and from that firm ground of acceptance, seeing what habits and stories no longer serve us, is very much part of our work in Movement Medicine.
Meeting death as a wise and benevolent teacher appears in several places on our calendar:
Initiation is one. Beyond Muscle and Bone is another. As also the following two electives as part of the Apprenticeship Programme: Burial Ceremony and In the Mirror of Thee – The Movement Medicine Vision Quest.

By the way, contrary to some rumours, there are still a few places left on this year’s apprenticeship programme beginning at the end of October and it is NOT too late to apply).

The Threshold is a gateway between one state and another. In the vision quest, it is a physical gateway made of hazel trees and hanging feathers through which questers walk as they begin their time out in nature. It marks the severance and the intention to call for vision, clarity, guidance, and self-knowledge. It is a powerful choice to fast, be out in the wild with only a simple shelter and let ourselves become empty enough to receive guidance. It is an active entrance into the medicine of the Phoenix and the life-death-rebirth cycle.

When the questers return, they walk back through that same gateway which signifies the beginning of the third stage of the quest known as Incorporation. Literally speaking, incorporation means bringing into the body and it represents the integration of new learning into our day-to-day lives. I’m writing a new book at the moment called Shaman – Opening the Door Between the Worlds. It’s an invocation of the Inner Shaman archetype, a figure I believe to be an important part of our awakening if we are to evolve as a human species beyond the never-ending bickering, suffering and damage caused by ‘Us and Them’ thinking. The Inner Shaman knows how we dream ourselves into being and how the story we tell is intrinsic to the perception of life we have. The book is based in the five dimensions of relationship (self, other, community, imaginal world of the spirits, and the relationship with the Source) which are the roots of the tree of life in the Movement Medicine mandala. The basic premise of the book, and the reason I am mentioning it here, is that ‘shamanism begins when the ritual ends.’ Another way of saying that is, if we want to make grounded change in our lives and in this world, bringing the experiences, learnings and treasures of powerful ceremonies like the vision quest into the nitty gritty of who we are and how we live our lives is in fact, the whole point. In other words, incorporation is the desired outcome.

I am looking forward to welcoming them all back tomorrow and sharing that joyous moment of recognising and honouring the change in them that 72 hours on Dartmoor is inevitably going to bring. In my experience, spirit celebrates when we go beyond our previously held ideas about our limitations through stretching our capacity in ceremonies like these. Human beings have always done that in one way or another and there is nothing in me that thinks we have any less reason to do it these days than in the past. In fact, there is a very compelling argument that says we may need it more than ever.

Before we leave the Vision Quest, I want to mention what a wonderful moment we had at the beginning of the ceremony when Susannah and our son Reuben joined us at the opening fire. Reuben has just returned from his fourth Vision Quest and first Sundance and it was special moment for us all for Reuben to share some of his vision quest and outdoor survival knowledge and then us all be drumming together as the Vision Questers went through that threshold. It is a moment which I will never forget. Appropriately, Roland and Susanne were around the fire too.

After a few days working at home doing skypes with our apprentices, two days doing the next round of graduations and four days with the fifth generation of apprentices and some others, we will be heading into our Summer Long Dance. I am so happy that Manari Ushigua, the leader of the Sapará nation of the Ecuadorian Amazon, will be joining us again. It is such an honour to have him as our guest and to repay him for the kindness and warmth of the welcome he and his family have always offered us when we visit them in the Amazon. We hope to raise a shed load of money to support him and his people through the Pachamama Alliance, which is once again this year’s central fundraising project. Dancers who come to the Long Dance are free to fundraise for any worthwhile project they wish to dance for. This is a central part of the Summer Long Dance ritual in which every dancer is asked to raise a minimum of £300 for the charity of their choice. If you cannot make it to this year’s Long Dance or it’s just not your thing to do these crazy shamanic rituals, please feel free to support our fundraising efforts. You can do this by clicking here and giving generously to those working to protect the lungs of the world (the Amazon rainforest) on behalf of us all and all future generations. Go on, it feels good to give.

I am also really happy to announce the launch of my new album, Shaman’s Song which will be released by Hay House on July 3rd. It is a powerful album made up of four guided shamanic journeys and one unguided long drumming track. Susannah’s drumming and Jem Friar’s didgeridoo accompany me on my drum. The tracks are also available for download without guidance. We call this the babble off version (as opposed to Babble On). Here’s what best-selling author of Raise Your Vibration and many other books, Kyle Gray very kindly has to say about it:

I'll never forget the first time I heard Ya’Acov Darling Khan lead a meditation with his shamanic drum. Instantly I was transported to another realm where I met my guides, received healing and was filled with inspiration. Ya’Acov is the real deal and is doing incredibly sacred work that the world needs more than ever. Let him guide you deep into the truth of who you are.

I am also happy to tell you that Susannah has also just produced an absolutely beautiful new online morning meditation called Wake Up which will be available to purchase from www.darlingkhanonline very soon. Susannah is shining brighter than I’ve ever seen her as she enters into a new phase of her life. I know how lucky I am to have her.

After the Long Dance, we begin our summer break so we’ll be offline for a few weeks at home as a family. I have my new book to write (with a deadline of August 31st for publication by Hay House in May 2019) so it will be three hours of writing a day, three hours of working on our land and a whole lot of hours to enjoy being at home with my loved ones.

I will look forward to reconnecting with y’all in the Autumn. So for now, may the warmth of this fire touch your heart and remind you of just what a magnificent and unlikely miracle your existence is. Mine too.

Ya’Acov DK. Summer Solstice 2018


Ya’Acov’s Autumn Calendar:

21–23 September: Power Stories with Ya’Acov. Zagreb, Croatia.
This workshop is an invitation to find out more about the power you hold inside and your relationship to that resource. We will explore how our relationship to power manifests through past stories, how we might deny our own power, or give it (consciously or unconsciously) over to another authority within or without. Through dance and embodied explorations we re-shape our connection with power and how to access it in a healthy and truthful way, giving space to even more of what we are.
Contact
Lucija: +385 915 325 587; info@ritmovi.net

29 & 30 September: The Wounded Healer and the Power of the Unbroken
– a talk by YaA’cov. London, UK.
Click here for more information.

9 October: Bringing the dance back home with Ya’Acov. Webinar, online.
The webinar is a wonderful way to get to know Movement Medicine or integrate workshop experiences and bridge the medicine of the dance into your every day life. It is also a way to connect with the wider Movement Medicine community around the world. The webinar offers you the music, space and guidance to discover and strengthen your personal dance practice at home (or wherever you are).
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255
roland@rwevents.co.uk 

13–21 October: Initiation with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
Initiation is a
n intensive 10-day retreat during which the dancers are invited and guided to embody and dance through the rich landscape of all nine life cycle from conception to death – including play, deep processes, and the support of the group and teachers. This workshop is an extraordinary, life-changing, colourful, profound and rewarding journey; and it is one of the prerequisites for the Apprenticeship Training.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

26 Oct–4 November: Apprenticeship Training Module I: Intention with Susannah and Ya'Acov. Rill Estate, UK.
This is the first of three main modules as part of the Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme starting in 2018. The roots and foundations are being build for an intense and deep journey of self discovery and expansion, of grounding and letting go. The group is being knitted together and the intentions are being set for each one's Apprenticeship journey.
Contact Roland:
+44 1803 762255; Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

This Could be a Good Time …
By Rosie Perks
As I get older I find myself more committed to making space for the flow and expression of the heart. I get clearer in my belief that this is vital for our well being and our ability to respond to what is being asked of us in the world right now. With every precious dance of love and life and loss I witness, I am also reminded just how much difference the support of our fellow humans makes here.

I am in the third year of teaching ‘Out of Ashes’ the workshop I have developed that explores the dance of grief with its many shapes and textures. To date, I have taught this in England, Ireland and Germany, in every country and town I visit I experience something of the bereft nature of the particular place in which we are dancing. It’s hard to clearly describe my experience but it is something like opening a door, and when I open that door all the stories of loss here, waiting to have love and expression come knocking. It feels akin to a throng of lost, lonely children waiting to be claimed and shown love and care, to be wept for, to be raged for to be acknowledged and to know they matter. As I write I find myself weeping for all the lost parts of us that get left out in the cold because we have been taught that grief is best ‘got over’. My heart says the time has come to open the doors and welcome the lost ones back to the home of our hearts and into human community.

Processwork refers to ‘time spirits’ themes or awarenesses that seem to ‘randomly’ keep cropping up in different places globally at the same time. From my world view, grief and its particular relationship with trauma is a current time spirit asking for our attention. I (and many others) believe the time has come for us to get together, share our stories, both personal and collective and let the tears flow and the grief dances rage, to make space for the grey lands so the flowering that is inside them can happen.
I recently read Tears of the Ancestors, Victims and Persecutors in the Tribal Soul by Daan Van Kampenhout (thank you Malena Medam for the recommendation). He works with the Tribal Soul, in the main, through his constellation work with the holocaust. At one point he mentions that in many places where truly horrendous, unspeakable things have happened, the land there, years later, is particularly beautiful and peaceful, nature thrives, it is often the ‘perfect spot for a picnic’. I believe it is possible for the lost and abandoned places inside us to also become places where natural beauty thrives, where we can sit with ourselves and enjoy a picnic! I’m not just referring to the experiences and tragedies from our own lives but also the ones we have inherited from those that have gone before us and the culture in which we have grown.

This brings me to the relationship between grief and conflict, two deeply interconnected parts of our humanity. I don’t think it would be considered overly radical to acknowledge that, for the purpose of protection, many of us have been taught not to allow the depth of our grief to be felt or seen. This means we have to separate from vital parts of ourselves and what we love. In this separation we experience conflict inside ourselves, which often gets reflected in our outer experiences and interactions. This in turn creates more loss, which when not attended to creates more separation and conflict. And so it goes on … Anyone who has studied the Phoenix process and the dance of the understudy with Susannah and Ya’Acov, will probably recognise what I’m referring to. Equally, if we start from the perspective of conflict and being separated within ourselves, we are likely to get this reflected in our relationships and what we see out in the world. When we don’t acknowledge and spend time to understand this separation we end up pointing the finger inwardly and/or outwardly. We experience hurt and loss within ourselves and often in relation to others or the world at large, this is when grief comes knocking. But if we are in this cycle of not allowing grief to breathe this will only create more separation and an experience of conflict. And so it goes on …

Ben Yeger and I have been exploring this relationship in our workshop Spirit of the Dancing Heart. We bring Ben’s work with conflict and my work with grief together to support us to unravel this dance a little more. Ben brings his understanding to the realm of grief and I bring mine to that of conflict, so there is a flow between them. This creates quite a cauldron in which to find the resource that lives in this relationship once we allow and include what lives here rather than fearing and rejecting it. What we have found, among many other things, in the weekend workshops is just how much life force, love of life and each other is available here.

So we are now offering Spirit of the Dancing Heart as a five day intensive which we both feel is a great development. It will give us more space to delve a little deeper under the skin of this, to reflect, digest, integrate and learn together in human community. A community in which we can support each other to find the wholeness that lives in the relationship between these often neglected landscapes. We will dance through the Chambers of the Heart, invoking the spirit of radical inclusion within us and between us, supported by our Wise Elders, Dancing Warriors and Fools. The five days will also include exercises from Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects and Processwork. We will also be supported by the amazing venue on the Dartington Hall Estate and good food and company. So if you feel called to unravel a little more of your own relationship with grief and conflict and the dance between them do come and join us this September we would be delighted to see you there!

Rosie Perks

1923 September: Spirit of the Dancing Heart with Rosie and Ben. Totnes, UK.
Contact Clare
: +44 7593 452882; clareephil@live.co.uk

Here you find a link to a short video about the Spirit of the Heart intensive.

And this is the link to the beautiful song that inspired the title of this article.
And maybe this could be a good time to explore the spirit of the dancing heart.

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