School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April Newsletter
The I Became us

By Jen Coffey
In March this year, in Israel, Ya’Acov Darling Khan taught an exploration of the chambers of the heart in his workshop The Alchemists Garden. The workshop took place in a remote desert location a few hours south of Tel Aviv. Over 80 participants from all over Israel made the journey to dive deep into this work. Ben Yeger led an international team of assistants, of which I was honoured to be a part of.

Prior to this, all of my experience assisting Ya’Acov had been in the United States, where I can relate to the feeling of being a new country of immigrants, impossible to simply explain, easy for outsiders to stereotype. One of the participants gave me some advice about taking in the Israeli experience, which I will carry with me when I think of life in my home country: “It’s not a package deal.”

So much gratitude to all of the dancers that made the journey to the desert for this work. Deep bow to my teacher Ya’Acov Darling Khan, my sister assistants, Petra van Wickeren, Veronica Amazonica, Efrat Balelty, Dana Kutin, brother Rob, and my mentor, Ben Yeger. Thank you Michal Israelstam and the Simply Peace crew, for producing this event, my hat’s off to you.

A lot of words and poetry flow through me when I dance, and this gem of a poem came to me on the final integration day. Enjoy and please share.



We went to the edge of a crater and we danced.

We danced fear.

We danced arrogance.

We danced pain.

We danced truth.

We danced power.

We danced love.

We dipped into grace.

We invited our ancestors.

We invited our descendants.

We danced and we danced and danced and

We danced until it became

A prayer for peace, unity, and understanding.

We danced.

We stepped into the mystery and

It danced us. We became us.

The many eyes became one us,

And we danced.

The glory of God poured through you

And me and we became us.

I saw you in me.

Our skirts twirled in the light.

The old and the new.

We spun new webs.

We wove new stories.

The brides of Shabbat battled

Between fire and earth.

The husbands roaring and

Linking elbows, spinning new stories

Out of the old, into the new.

The sand and the grit.

The lead and the gold.

An alchemist sat in the center, on the outside,

On the inside, silently roaring.

Asking for peace and quiet,

Shalom ve sheket.

And the brides and the grooms

Spun at elbows.

The I’s became us.

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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.