School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: January 2013 Newsletter

Dancer in Residence
By Jan Rosa Lee - Writer in Residence

I arrived on New Years’ Day at Nappers Crossing: Roland and Susanne’s home (which is also the School of Movement Medicine office); a familiar and re-assuring haven, that I have been welcomed to over many years of travelling the world and frequenting dance workshops. I’ve lugged many a ridiculously sized suitcase over the threshold at Nappers Crossing (or rather Roland has).

Having travelled this festive season from Crete to Switzerland for ‘Dancing with the Heart of the World’ and then on to the UK and participating on a 4-day 5 Rhythms New Year dance  ceremony held in Bristol… I was ready for a little  rest, warmth and stillness before I travel back to Greece.

Roland however has been ‘putting off’ writing his article for the current Newsletter and suggested that I do it for him. So it appears that I’m now ‘writer in residence’… So here we go… The dance goes on with pen and ink.

Reflecting not just on the year that has passed, but on the 20 years that I have been dancing with Susannah and Ya’Acov, I feel glad to know that ‘some things change and some stay the same’…

What has never changed is the deep satisfaction and value-for-money that I have always felt as a student of the Darling Khans – whether in the older days of the 5 Rhythms or in the more recent years of Movement Medicine. The song remains the same… and it’s one of praise!

Dancing with the Heart of the World incorporating the deeply relevant and essential work of the Pachamama Alliance and the Be the Change Symposium fused beautifully with our own personal stories and was a true pleasure. Even the pain was delicious!

I find Susannah and Ya’Acov still working together beautifully, but what has changed is that there is even more refinement, subtlety and sensitivity, and an indescribable ease yet great professionalism in what they do. Their work has become a craft, and their holding is both strong and incredibly gentle and fine. Their essence is the same, AND they have grown as teachers and human beings and it’s obvious  that they walk their talk, and practice certainly makes perfect… This is heart work coming from skill and sensitivity to Spirit.

I come in and out of my own teaching, and in and out of my own practice, but it’s wonderful to know that when I get myself onto the dance floor with my very first teachers, I am as ‘at home’ and relieved to be held and truly ‘seen’ as I was 20 years ago. As for Roland and Susanne, they continue to be as relaxed and constant… both as friends and administrators!

I hope to be putting myself into alignment with Spirit and Matter on the great dance floor much more in 2013… And that includes showing up at some more Movement Medicine workshops and experiencing more of that old familiar and at the same time new and exciting unknown experience that is known as Movement Medicine…

See you there!

Jan Rosa Lee

Forthcoming Workshops

29 Jan - Feb 3  Winter Dream Dance (Apprentices Only) led by Susannah and Ya’Acov at Rill Estate (R) Contact: Roland +44 1803 762255 Roland@RWEvents.co.uk   

8 Feb. Alchemy in Movement led by Caroline Carey, Cape Town, SA.  Contact: Jayne + 27 737487743 info@movementmedicine.co.za

9 - 10 Feb. Circle, Fire & the Phoenix led by Caroline Carey,  Cape Town, SA. Contact:  Jayne + 27 737487743 info@movementmedicine.co.za

8 Feb. Move! led by Ya’Acov  in Olten, Switzerland Contact:  Kristin +41 78 801 32 10 movementmedicinebasel@gmx.ch   www.kf-events.ch

8 – 10 Feb. Return of the Light led by Ya’Acov in Olten, Switzerland. Contact:  Kristin +41 78 801 32 10 movementmedicinebasel@gmx.ch   www.kf-events.ch

12 Feb. Where you are! Webinar led by  Susannah & Ya'Acov. Contact: Roland +44 1803 762255 Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

There is a new sample Webinar  video available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6BvmeS2zEw

Things to look out for in the New Year
By Ya'Acov

In 2013, we once again have a busy programme. We just wanted to bring to your attention a few things that may be of interest to you as readers of this newsletter.

Apprenticeship Programme 2014

2013 is the year for all of you who want to take part in the next apprenticeship programme to make sure that you have all the prerequisites well under way. In 2013, the Journey of Empowerment (end of March, June and October) will be offered at the Rill Centre in Devon. Two modules will be taught by Susannah alone, and the third will be held by us both.

We will both hold our annual Phoenix Retreat at the beginning of March and Ya’Acov will also offer Re-Creation at the beginning of May. The 2013 Initiation Odyssey will continue in its new residential format in September. All of these events are prerequisites for the Apprenticeship programme and please note, though we recommend doing them in the order below, we tend towards the practical and therefore, they can be taken in any order. All of them will take place at the beautiful Rill Estate in Devon with its gorgeous purpose built studio and we look forward to welcoming you there.

Apprenticeship Prerequisites in the recommended order:

1. Journey of Empowerment (Early bird discount booking deadline January 21st)

2. Re-Creation (*)(Early bird discount booking deadline February 27th)  

3. Initiation (Early bird discount booking deadline May 1st)

4. The Phoenix Retreat (Early bird discount booking deadline January 7th)

(*) = not an absolute prerequisite but highly recommended.

Bring the Dance Back Home Webinars Continue

We are SO happy to be able to offer you this service. As we have got to grips with the technology involved, we’ve come to look forward very much to our monthly international get together through the world-wide-web. The last ones that we led in November and December felt so intimate to us. We so strongly felt the connections between us as we all did our practice interconnected across 20 or so countries.

We love the webinars for many reasons. Here’s a few that might tickle your curiosity and encourage you to give it a go. After all, it’s only £35-00 for ten webinars and for that you get access to the whole archive of past webinars!

  • They are a great way to integrate after a weekend or intensive and to be supported to bring your movement practice into your own home.
  • Many people have told us that they have been able to share their practice with friends or family who might never go to a workshop.
  • They are an excellent way to stay in touch with a sense of community if you are unwell or unable to travel
  • You can dance and nobody’s watching so you have privacy. At the same time, you are connected to a network of dancers around the globe who are practicing with you
  • Because they are live, they give us an opportunity to integrate whatever may be going on in the bigger picture in our practice and to receive the support of community
  • If you miss one, you can do it anytime through the archive section of the MMTV website

We are planning to run a fund raising webinar for the Achuar people again, hopefully in the Spring. This involves getting together with a group of friends or fellow students in one of your homes or in a local hall with web access and joining in an intentional dance with practitioners and groups around the world. The music will be a mixture of live and recorded and we plan to bring the webinar to you live from our studio at Rill where you will join a group who will be with us in the space. We tried this once before and we had terrible practical difficulties. Since then, we have ironed out the problems we had and we are confident this one will work fine. We’ll let you know as soon as we have further details.

Finally on the webinars, why not gift someone you love with a subscription?

There is a new sample webinar video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6BvmeS2zEw

Resonance

For those wanting to work with bringing together the medicine of the voice with the medicine of movement, Susannah will be offering Resonance again in Pegasus, a beautiful centre North of Hamburg in March.

Dancing Warrior Men’s Edition

I (Ya’Acov) am very happy that Frank in Holland and a team of committed apprentices have persuaded me to run a men’s workshop once again. It will take place in May at Orval and from the messages I have been receiving, it looks like it’s going to be a strong circle.

The Summer Long Dance

Yes, it’s true. This year we have extended the Summer Long Dance ceremony to the full 72 hours now that there are enough people who have experience of the ceremony. This year it will be limited to 100 dancers.

Lucid Dreaming and Movement Medicine

We are looking at creating a weekend workshop that shares the fundamentals of Movement Medicine and Lucid Dreaming practice. The residential Poetry of Presence workshop with Ya’Acov and Charlie Morley will take place again in 2014.

New Workshops

We will be offering a new weekend workshop called Fulfillment in 2013. Life’s journey can sometimes knock us out of shape and take us down alleyways of distraction that lead us nowhere as we chase someone else’s dream. What does really matter to you? What would it take for you to relax into being the one you are and knowing that you were fulfilled?

New Venues 

In 2014, we are planning to return to teach in Italy as well as bringing Movement Medicine to Croatia and Slovenia. If you would like to organise a Movement Medicine workshop in your area, we have a team of qualified guest teachers available to work with you.

Movement Medicine Association New Website

In the near future, we are delighted that the Movement Medicine Association will launch its new website. This will have details of all the Movement Medicine activities going on around the world led by qualified and apprentice Movement Medicine Teachers and Facilitators. At the time of writing, you can find a list of trained teachers and facilitators by clicking here.

 

The Dawn of a New Era and the Nature of Empowerment
By Susannah

Journey of Empowerment 2012 has just come to a close. What a blessing to witness this group of individuals grow, blossom and show up, becoming a co-creative, empowered and empowering community.

Step by step we created the ground together of trust and welcome to support each person to “land” more deeply on earth, as unique individuals, and to find welcome in the human community as represented by the group. Step by step we practiced seeing ourselves with truth and love, and setting ourselves free. Our inner ‘wise elders’ became important allies.

On the last module of JOE each individual has the opportunity to create a special creative piece to share with everyone. What a wonder to see and hear the unique, individual treasures revealed. I was moved, awed and full of joy to see and hear each one. I find it extraordinary (and simultaneously wonderful and sad) that we each hold inside us such amazing creative powers and beauty, but that it’s so rare that most people are enabled to share theirs. And it’s actually so simple, what is required…. Simple, but not easy in the world most of us live in.

To bring out and share our original gifts, don’t we have to know we are safe? In order to feel safe doesn’t it help to know that we are loved and valued, simply as the being we are? Don’t we all (or any way most of us!) long for this? Once this experience is rooted in our psyches, it gives a freedom which frees us from “performance” and allows our natural being to shine through. And don’t we long for this too? The joyous freedom to spread our creative wings and discover all that we can be, do, offer.

I’ve come to feel this is the true meaning of empowerment; to drop down through the layers of adaptation and hiding, to that place of simply being oneself, risking revealing the being one really is. Over and over again, it has become clear to me in practice, this truth is beautiful, potent, and real. Each being is unique, original, a unique offering from and for life, and when it is shared we are all the richer.

In this new era, this is what I feel we need. Human creativity switched on. Not just a few “special” ones of us, but a renaissance of remembering ourselves as creators, as creation in the process of unfolding, each with the capacity to lead, to follow, and to create together. Community rather than conformity, individuality rather than individualism, the joy and power of creativity, rather than the passive, junkie thrill of consumerism.

At 12 noon on the 12.12.12, (which apparently was a linked ‘power day’ with 21.12.12) we stopped for a moment of meditation. I had a strong experience of seeing and sensing the interconnectedness of all life as an energetic honeycomb stretching out in 3D. I, in my honeycomb cell, linked and held in the matrix of all the others. I felt profoundly supported by this in a way I have not felt before, and at the same time, empowered to offer and strengthen my offering.

This encapsulates my current understanding of ‘empowerment”: empowerment as “standing in ones individuality, together with all life, making one’s unique offering, supported and supporting, loving and loved, strong enough to be vulnerable, vulnerable and courageous enough to stand up in the true strength of who you really are, and what really matters to you.”  As Van Jones says, “A standing ovation starts with one fool standing up!”

JOE 2012 was held at the beautiful Waldhaus centre in Switzerland. The Waldhaus is situated on a hill. If you go up the hill through the farmland, and take a few turns left and right, you come to a majestic old linden (Lime) tree on the edge of a forest. This tree became important for several people on the group, as a representative of the Tree of Life. They would go and visit with the tree, and share in its benevolent beauty and presence. The tree is on some land owned by a very elderly couple, who love their land, the tree, and were very welcoming. Several group members, whilst visiting the tree, had warm talks with these elders, which deepened over time. So, for the little concert we gave as part of our “thank you” to the Waldhaus staff, the group invited the elders, and the farmer whose nearby cows’ “moos” had kept us company through the group. Everyone came. The farmer and his wife, our “wise elders” and all the staff. The group sang their hearts out. Most of the audience wept, so did many of us. We realized that, though on one level the gift was the songs (and JOE 2012 had by then become a fabulous choir), the real gift was the love that the songs simply were a channel for.

This was a little big moment of integration, sharing with the wider community, for us and for Waldhaus. Afterwards the old man said: “I hope this spreads out through the whole world”, and so do I

With my love and respect for all of us on our journeys of being and becoming, allowing ourselves to be supported and giving all we have to give, step by step.

And wishing you and the world a transformative 2013, for all our relations.

Susannah

A Time of Change
By Ya'Acov

I think I should begin with some hearty congratulations to us all! If you’re reading this, then we’ve moved past that most mentioned of dates, 21/12/12, and we’re still here, breathing, and hopefully celebrating the beginning of a new era (or at least a new year!). Happy New Year everyone! Wherever we are, we’ve survived thus far and it seems that life is giving us another day to dream and work, and love, live and learn here on this beautiful earth!

It’s easy to be cynical about the 2012 thing. On the other hand, it’s just as easy to get caught up in placing cosmic certainties on the most uncertain of situations we have ever faced as a species. I’ve been reading a book called The Dawn of the Sixth Sun by Sergio Magana, a Mexican teacher and Nahual, steeped in the Toltec traditions of his ancestors. I’d been told that it was a down to earth look at what this time portends for us. The calendar that he refers to is the Toltec-Mexica calendar. It’s based on the mathematical principles of time and space that our ancestors observed. It tells the story of the five ‘suns,’ or periods of time (each one 6625 years long), that we have lived through. According to Sergio’s teachers, 21st December 2012 was the moment when the old sun and new sun had equal power – after this point, the old sun continues to pass away whilst the new sun gains in strength. This shift happens over a period of years and it implies the possibility of renewal and change.

It was interesting for me to read how each sun or time period had specific characteristics and the new sun is said to be characterised by a rising of creative energy to levels not seen before, a cleansing of our shadows, and an increase in the importance of our ability to dream lucidly. If I use my own experience as a gauge, then I’d have to say that sounds about right to me! Apart from that, three things have stayed with me from my reading this week that seem relevant to share here:

  1. The new sun is governed by the laws of nature whereas the laws of humans governed the last. This means that nature is now in charge!  And this means that we need to learn to listen. That makes sense!
  2. Our indigenous (*) ancestors created ways of measuring time based on how the planets move, most especially the Pleiades. They recognised that each shift brings about the possibility of renewed focus, renewal, and dedication of one’s efforts towards creating or recreating balance in all areas of life. In my own life and in our work, I have become more and more aware of the importance of these kinds of ‘remembrance’ rituals throughout the year as a kind of compass to make sure that as much as possible, we remain on track with the creative project called life!
  3. Sergio Magana insists that dreaming and more especially, the practice of lucid dreaming, is of vital importance in this new era. He explains how for his people, the ability to dream consciously was considered to be the best way we have to manifest what matters most to our hearts in this world. I have heard this notion mentioned many times by shamans from many different traditions. What we dream is what we create and if this is true, then becoming conscious of what we dream, and interacting or dancing with our dreams in a lucid way, on both the individual and collective level, is of vital importance if we are to survive and flourish as a species in balance with the community of life on earth. In a nutshell, what we might call embodied dreaming is the deepest practice that we work with in Movement Medicine. Dare to Dance, Dare to Dream is much more than a strap line. It’s a clarion call to become conscious of the ways we dream. And more than that, to become conscious of the effects of the stories we tell about life and ourselves through our internal dialogue, the ways we hold our bodies, and the ways we relate to each other and to our environment. In other words, it’s an invitation to become conscious of what we are dreaming and what we want to be part of creating.

Movement Medicine has evolved out of our own recognition that our own personal ecstasy doesn’t mean very much if we don’t bring through the lessons the dance teaches us into the way we live. For many years, we were working within a story that relegated the thinking process to the dustbin named ‘too rational’ and ignored the power our thinking has on our perceptions of the world and therefore the ways in which we respond and act. As our own practice developed, we began to recognise how powerful our thinking is. When we started to work with our own individual and our collective ‘creation stories,’ a major shift happened inside us, between us and in the focus of our work. We started to see that our own ground had changed. We had been so rooted in the 5Rhythms story about how things are, and we realised that it was no longer the ground of our own thinking and way of being. In short, it was no longer our practice. We are not the kind of teachers who can teach what we don’t practice and though our shift to Movement Medicine 6 years ago was a little ‘clunky’ in places, as we approach the 6th birthday of The School of Movement Medicine, we do so with deep gratitude for the dreaming that brought through the name, mandala and essence of a story so much more aligned with who we are and who we wish to become.

In the past 12 months, I have been challenged to my core at times by what life has asked of me and by what I see happening in our world. I have had to look deeply into the shadows that beset our transition from the relative safety and known ground of the 5Rhythms to our new work. When I look back now, I can see what a leap of faith we took. We had our niche carved out and our place in the 5Rhythms world but it would have been a lie to hold on to it. I have come to realise that the difficulties we had with Gabrielle in the last years of our relationship with her were in fact the deepest and most useful chapter of our long 18 years of apprenticeship with her. What we learned in those times and through all the challenges of leaving the ‘safety of home,’ has become a library of experience we intend to pass on to our own apprentices.

This acknowledging and cleansing of the shadow has been powerful and humbling. Perhaps because it has been my focus, I have also seen a lot of this going on around me. I have used the Movement Medicine SEER Process, which I will teach at next year’s Re-Creation workshop in Devon, to great effect several times. It’s been a year that has felt like fast track learning for many of us. This is not always comfortable but I have to say, that I have, without a shadow of a doubt, learned at least as much from the uncomfortable challenges in my life as I have from the ecstatic realisations that grace sometimes bestows! What I see around me is a heady cocktail of awakening and the purifying of shadow that must go along with it if we are to evolve into more communicative and perhaps co-operative ways of being that do no deny our power and the whole host of ways of being that we may consign to the ‘not okay’ box. These will only fester in the shadows and come back to bite us if we cannot find peace with them. For me, now is a time of integration. Rather than trying to be ‘spiritual beings’ who are not a bunch of competitive, territorial, selfish, hedonistic, immature, power crazed lunatics devouring everything in our path, let’s look for the integrity and intelligence in the ‘beast.’ Let’s use our discernment to filter out the mindsets or stories inside these shadow energies and allow through the pure energy of them in a way that supports the life in us and around us. For instance, I had a dream recently where I was with a group of warriors. We were running a race. We all wanted to win. And it was clear that we all loved each other. We all ran our hearts out, bringing out the very best in each other and all wanting to win if possible. It was glorious! It wasn’t about being better than others; it was about being the best we could be. That’s what I mean by integration. And we each have our own list of ways of being to integrate that we have made not ok. The deeper we go with our apprentices, the more I understand this way of working. The stronger the yang, the stronger the yin and my own challenges this past year have been as much to do with my capacity to stay present in vulnerability as they have been to do with allowing my warrior spirit his space. And naturally, if our indigenous friends are to be believed, the deeper I and we go, the more lucidity there is within the psyche and the way we dream, the more lucidity there will be in the manifest world around us. Now wouldn’t that be a cool thing!

I feel blessed to have such an open, strong and diverse field to work in where all of our collective learnings and understandings become part of the circle that holds us all. On January 10th, a few days after our 21 year old son has set off on his travels, we will celebrate the 6th birthday of our School. We will be in the cloud forests of Ecuador having just left the Amazon and our Achuar companions behind and we will be drumming and in prayer and sending the best we can find in all directions. Please feel free to join us at 5.26am (UK time) in the morning if you are so moved! In six years, our little Movement Medicine baby has grown into a strong child. We are more than halfway through our second apprenticeship and there are now many teachers and facilitators out there working with Movement Medicine in a variety of ways in a variety of situations. At the end of January, we will have our first Winter Dream Dance. During this time, the Movement Medicine Association council will have its next assembly, and several more apprentice teachers and facilitators will graduate. The Dream Dance is our giveaway to the community of apprentices and it’s a chance for us to be together and go into ceremony and use the time to strengthen our dreaming, commitment and understanding of our individual and collective journeys at this time.

In the year ahead, with all my heart, I pray for courage and continuous breakthroughs grounded in a whole new level of acceptance of self, lucidity in dreaming and waking, focused intention and action, and celebration of the diverse community of life. I don’t expect an easy ride but I am strapped in and ready to go.

May 2013 bring each one of us the clarity to see what we are dreaming for our selves, each other and those who will follow. I have no idea what the outcome of this great adventure will be. Maybe that’s not the point. However, I choose to go on deepening and making my contribution and dedicating my life to what matters most to the heart that lives this body and to the dreams that come. I will look forward to seeing you on the road and on the dance floor. As always, the journey has only just begun.

Ya’Acov. January 2013.

(*) These words were placed on the alter by Louise Maloney at the recent Circle & The Sword workshop in Manchester and I found them beautiful.

They were written by Cecilia LaPorte in 2009.

Indigenous is not a skin colour
Indigenous is not my nose, not my eye colour
Not my lips – indigenous is not romanticising
Ancient teachings. To appropriate, disseminate,
To cut in pieces, abbreviate in a research document –
Indigenous is removing layers of shame from your ancestors’ trail
Indigenous is stepping up to the plate
Healing and creating a new way for future generations,
Indigenous is standing tall.
Indigenous is standing beautifully.
Indigenous is an honour.

Spirit Dancing
John Lockley

I had the good fortune of meeting Ya’Acov in September this year. We were introduced through a mutual friend, Charlie Morley, a charismatic lucid dreaming teacher. We met in the hussle and bussle of London’s Euston Station. Ya’Acov was enroute to teach a workshop in Europe. We started talking about dreams and how we were called to our particular paths.

It quickly became apparent that our paths were similar in that we use music and dance to connect to our hearts and our joi de vie or joy of life.  I was encouraged by Ya’Acov’s passion for sharing his music and dance, and I felt that I had met a kindred spirit on the road of alchemy and mystery. He invited me to take part in his ‘peace day’ festival (in September) in Devon with proceeds going towards ‘combatants for peace’.  He asked me if I would like to open the festival with my Xhosa dancing and singing. I felt deeply honoured, and accepted.  

At the festival I met Susannah, Ya’Acov’s lovely wife and partner. I was deeply struck by their commitment and dedication to their work and community. The focus of my work is ‘Ubuntu’ meaning humanity, and teaching people how they can connect with their dreams, ancestors and one another. An important part of this is community, or as we say in Buddhism, the Sangha. For within community we learn humility and grace. Ubuntu encompasses everyone by saying  ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. I was struck by the tangible feeling of ‘Ubuntu’ in Ya’Acov & Susannah’s community in Devon. There was a real sense of love and togetherness. And when the music started and I joined in with my drum, I felt our communal hearts beating as one. Recently I had the good fortune of taking part in a community dance here in Knysna, South Africa with Dion Viljoen and others connected with Movement Medicine. I was delighted to find the same feeling of togetherness and ‘Ubuntu’ that I encountered in Devon. So congratulations to Susannah and Ya’Acov for your wonderful work in facilitating peoples’ togetherness in coming together in community!  For as we dance, we dance both with ourselves and with one another.  In traditional cultures like in South Africa, there are no words for depression, however in Western culture it is a pandemic of frightening proportions. Dancing together helps heal our collective alienation and facilitates healing on many different levels.

So with this spirit of ‘Ubuntu’, Ya’Acov and Susannah have asked me to share a few words about my work and calling.

 I am a Sangoma from South Africa, the Eastern Cape. Sangomas are traditional medicine people who receive guidance from the spirit world through dreams and visions. The guidance we receive is geared towards helping humanity maintain balance with the natural world and one another. We are the wisdom keepers of sacred protocol and natural lore;  ways of working with the ancestors/spirits, plants and animals. People are chosen to become Sangomas through dreams and illness. It is a painful process. At the heart of our profession is the Xentsa or trance dance. It is the engine and vehicle through which we connect to the ancestral/spirit world. We sing ancient chants or ‘ingomas’ and play the drum in a particular way to induce trance and an altered state.

I was trained and adopted by my teacher, Mum Ngwevu from the Xhosa tribe. The same tribe as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.  I was called to this work through a number of dreams and visions from the age of 17. I succumbed to the gruelling and painful ‘twaza’ illness or ‘calling illness’ endemic to Sangoma medicine people of Southern Africa.  I found my teacher, Mum  Ngwevu after battling the twaza illness for over 7 years. Apartheid was in full swing in the late 80’s when my calling started, and as a white male I wasn’t allowed into the black areas to find my teacher. So I had to wait for Apartheid to finish before I could start my apprenticeship. It was during this time that I studied Zen Buddhism under Zen master Su Bong from South Korea. Our grand master, Seung Sahn Soen Sa invited me to become a monk, but I declined because of my Sangoma calling.

Apartheid ended in 1994 with our first democratic government under Nelson Mandela. A few years after that I found my teacher in the Eastern Cape.  Within a few weeks of starting my apprenticeship my teacher had a dream where the ancestors told her to call me ‘Ucingolwendaba’ meaning ‘the messenger’ or bridge between peoples’.  My apprenticeship lasted 10 years.  Afterwards I was guided to bring the ancient teachings of my medicine elders to the Western world.  My elders in the Eastern Cape gave me permission to teach and initiate others to deeper dreaming and reconnection with their ancestors.

I teach ‘Ubuntu’ workshops all over the world. In our culture these workshops could be termed, ‘khanya umsebenze’, meaning ‘the shining work’.  It is all about helping people to shine from the inside through deeper dreaming, and reconnection to their ancestors, one another, and the natural world. These workshops involve drumming, dancing, dreaming, medicinal plants, and prayer.  I help people work with their dreams in a mystical way.  As  Sangomas, we see our dreams us guiding lights to our ‘soul’s purpose’ or life path. So we could be termed ‘dream trackers’, helping people to track their dreams, and thereby helping them to manifest their soul’s purpose.

I offer 2 hour public talks or blessing ceremonies where I chant in Xhosa and play my drum. It is said that whenever Sangomas sing and drum we call the ancestors or spirits, thereby helping people to reconnect with their hearts. I have been pleasantly surprised to hear of people’s dreams after they have experienced one of my ceremonies. People often experience powerful dreams after these performances. New York, London, Dublin, Canada, Mexico, Australia, to name but a few. This has thrilled and delighted me, proving that we are all connected through the rhythm of the heart and red blood, regardless of culture or creed.

I run one and two day workshops where I teach people how to move with their hearts. This is done through trance dancing, medicinal plants, prayer and heart-beat meditation. A core aspect of the work is listening. Listening to our dreams, one another, and our beating hearts.

I also offer private one to one sessions where I give traditional Sangoma divinations. These involve the ‘throwing of the bones’ to help divine peoples’ life path. It is not a fortune reading but rather a process of going deeper into one’s life’s purpose or destiny. The job of the Sangoma is to ‘ukuvula indlela’ – meaning to ‘open the road’. Our job is to help remove peoples’ obstacles so they can realise their destinies in this world and the next. We do this through medicinal plants, prayer, counselling and rhythm work.  A divination is helpful in clearing obstacles and bringing difficulties/obstacles to light for healing and renewal.

 

I am available to travel to communities to lead Ubuntu workshops and give divinations. If you are interested to know more and you would like me to facilitate one of these workshops then please email me at johnlockleysoffice@gmail.com, and see my website for further information,  www.african-shaman.com.

A hearty thank you to Susannah and Ya’Acov for inviting me into your community and giving me an opportunity to share my teachings from the Xhosa nation in South Africa.

May our collective dance get stronger and may we continue to renew one another through the spirit of Ubuntu (humanity).

I wish you all a wonderful 2013, filled with magic, mystery and purpose!

Best wishes,

John Lockley

Pachamama Journey
By Susannah and Ya'Acov

As we write, we are preparing to set off again for Ecuador on our Pachamama Journey into the Andes and Amazon to connect again with the Achuar, to share, learn and discover more of what we may do to support their stand to save the rainforest that is being threatened again by oil exploration. The Achuar are standing strongly on behalf of us all to protect the forest.

We passionately invite you to join in supporting them to protect their beautiful forest and through that, all life on earth.

http://www.pachamama.org/27/protect-ecuadors-amazon-rainforest#slide4

As well as being the home to a huge diversity of life, and home to their way of life, all life on earth depends on the Amazonian lungs of the world. With climate change becoming a reality which all of us can feel and see, protecting the remaining rainforests now has become an even more vital part of giving the future of human life on earth a chance and taking up our role as guardians not destroyers of life.

The Achuar are supported by their radical alliance with people from the industrialised world, which includes us and many of you, in the form of the Pachamama Alliance.  It’s a potent time to manifest our love for life. We invite you to join in and take a step in action by connecting with the Pachamama Alliance in some way, making a donation, participating in or training to run their inspirational symposiums.

At the recent “Dancing with the Heart of the World” workshop, the generosity of the group raised $1084 for the Pachamama Achuar fund. Yeah! Thank you all.

Here’s to the joyous power of shared responsibility,

Susannah and Ya’Acov

Living the Dream I Didn't Know I Had!
By Hazel Newton

A recent post on the Movement Medicine facebook page got me thinking about the whole 'living the dream' thing. Last week I played clarinet in two Wind Ensemble concerts - the main piece was Stravinski's Firebird suite - challenging but fantastic to play.

At rehearsal the previous week the conductor had mentioned finding another percussionist to play on two of the christmas pieces - as a drummer with a fancy for orchestral percussion I put myself forward and so, after a frantic couple of days of practice, I found myself playing glockenspiel, chimes (tubular bells) and the big bass drum. I loved it, and there was a big moment in one of the pieces where the music slows and quietens and leads to a single 'dong' on a chime. The satisfaction of dropping that note in exactly the right place with exactly the right sound is indescribable and, I expect, one of those moments that will stay with me for life. 

I found myself wondering where it all came form, why I got such a big kick out of it and remembered as a kid my big brother sitting me down to listen to Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. (Probably the year it was released, which would have made me 5 years old.) This piece uses all sorts of percussion instruments and would have been the first time I'd heard many of them - I was fascinated. 
Fast forward about twenty years to a friend's wedding and the bride's cousin is introduced to me as an orchestral percussionist - and I am SO jealous and I can't understand why - |'d played lots of instruments as a kid but they'd fallen away as the pressure of academic studies built and now, as I embarked on a career as a research scientist, the only music-making in my life was choral singing and a bit of penny whistle for stress relief.

Forward another 15 years and I've realized that science only satisfies half of me and doesn't have space for all that I am so I've moved on and I'm unemployed and recovering from a bout of ill health. And I've rediscovered the dance (another childhood passion), first 5 rhythms and then Movement Medicine, and I'm on the first apprenticeship program with the intention of clarifying who I am and what I have to give. So, as I'm preparing to move house and looking for ways to lighten the load my eyes fall on my clarinet (which has been with me since I last played it 29 years previous) and I decide, with regret, that it's time to sell it. The next day, I spot an event in the local council's arts bulletin - 'Blow the dust off your old trumpet' - an orchestra project as part of the festival for older people. I'm excited and, because I'm learning to integrate the wisdom of my body and the yearnings of my heart with the power of my mind, I follow it up and I'm delighted to be playing clarinet again.

A couple of months later, when a bizarre set of coincidences lead me to discover that the Irish government runs Community Employment schemes and there's one for trainee musicians, I'm onto it right away and I'm lucky enough to get a place. There's a music school run in the same community centre and one of the teachers there gives me clarinet lessons until I've caught up with her. I apply to the local music college and, now that I've passed grade 5, I get to play in the Wind Ensemble.

Drum kit lessons are part of the CE scheme package and here I am, 2 years later, with my own kit, studying for grade 6 and playing for a local brass band. 
And I'm confident enough to volunteer to play percussion when the chance comes up, and able enough to tolerate the discomfort of failure long enough to teach myself to play the glockenspiel part and present enough to notice the joy of a well placed note.

Living the dream? Hell yes! Would it have happened without my involvement in Movement Medicine and the Apprenticeship Programme in particular - I doubt it.

(Here's a version of one of the pieces - the big tubular bells moment is at 1 min 24 secs - it still gives me the shivers!)

And The Mountains Echoed: Gloria!

www.youtube.com

Performed by the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble December 17, 2011 in San Diego, CA. Learn more about the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble: http://www.hillcrestwindensemble.c...

 

(Here's the piece that inspired me - listen from 22 mins 30 secs to hear the bells featured.)

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (1973) Full Album

www.youtube.com

https://www.facebook.com/KritikospaMusicChannel Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (1973) Re Uploading October 30, 2012 Track Listing 1 00:00 "Tubular Bells, Part...

After The Way of the Dancing Warrior in Hamburg
By Karuna

These are fragments of my inner journey from the workshop. Water, fire and the work with the dance of victim, persecutor and the rescuer. First I am impressed by the intense energy of the elements. It felt so powerful to dance with the elements. This work lets me have a lot of images comming up in the dance and I meet all kind of animals. How powerful.

This seems to be quite different to the 5Rhythms I have danced with you before.There we also worked with the elements, but now I feel like meeting real element power. Sometimes threatening but also very good.


Water:

Experiencing the power of the waters.

At the bottom of the water where water meets air is the place of chaos. There I feel the shaking energy of water.

Then I am sinking deeper and feel much softer moved by the flow of water around me.Meeting with animals of the oceans,dolphins.. fish...Hearing the sound of the moving water.

Sinking deeper it is getting darker and darker and more quiet.

Deep down I am sinking to the ground of the ocean.

I feel stillness.

There I meet a squid or an octopus. Then I become the octopus and move like it.

There are moments I become afraid of this immense power of the water.

Another moment the water tells me about their happiness.

The waters tell me that although of all pollutaion they are still happy.This is the place to meet a very peaceful and quite happyness.

I am looking forward to visit this place again.

Fire:

what a release I don't have to dance Staccato :-)
Maybe I even did, but I didn't have to.

I feel more free to find my own dance.


In the fire I found female fire and was very surprised by this! I danced my fire dance as a woman with female fire. That was a pleasure and felt sooo good.
Something I have a long time looked for and thought it might not exist. Now I know it does exist.

Maybe a year ago on a shamanic drum journey I got the task to find  integrate this energy, now I have danced it!

This is really useful for me.

Dance of victim, persecutor and the rescuer:

In the dance of victim, persecutor and the rescuer I found my grandfather who was NS Soldier. I became him or his energy in the dance. I have never met him, because he died already before I was born and all I know from him is that he was Nazi, he was not married to my grandmother but to someone else and commitet suicide.

In the dance of setting new seeds I had many plans beforehand which kind of seeds I wanted to plant.

Then it came differently and I had to do something, which I had really no wish at all to do, but I did because it came up so strongly.

3 years ago when my daughter was 1 year we had a celebration for her. Welcoming her in the family. We did this celebration instead of a christening. In this celebration we introduced her to the family and to the 4 elements and had a little ceremony with a friend supporting us.

After this I was being excluded from my family and have since then not met them again.

Back to the dance: In planting new seeds I danced the dance of me being victim of being excluded and then I realised, actually I am part of this family, even if I dont like it and cannot be excluded. I included myself back! I met my grandmother (mother of my mother) who has also kind of been excluded from the family and the woman where my mother grew up (my mother didnt) live with her mother who also has been kind of excluded from my family. I danced with them, and then I included me and them back into the family and into the group of women of my family. Then later in the dance my daughter was also included and part of the family and was then welcomed.

There were then in the dance also some already dead grand aunts which came and sayed oh look we have a desended how great and they were happy about it.

They had not known that they have a new memeber in the family- my daughter - but know they know about her and welcomed her.

This was the dance of planting new seeds. I am very curious if this will have any effect on the situation with my family.

Love and deep gratitude to you both Susannah and Ya'Acov and the new work you have created and for going and finding your own way, I cannot express in words how healing the work you both offer has been and still is for me.
The best healing energy I have ever received.
I thank you honestly my whole life for this which I have learned and healed the last 13 years!
 

Karuna, November 2012

 

The next Dancing with the Heart of the World workshop will be held in Cape Town, SA on April 18th - 21st. Contact Jayne + 27766963527 info@movementmedicine.co.za

My Inner Israeli and Inner Palestinian
By Susannah

Dear all, During a heated debate on the MM facebook at the height of the violence between Israeli and Gaza, following a suggestion Ruth Ben Tovim made I decided to explore a dialogue between my own “inner Israeli” and my own “inner Palestinian”. Here is what emerged:

My inner Israeli says:

“No-one understands, it’s the same as it always was, the world is out to condemn us, we are alone, unsupported, criticised. If we do not protect ourselves, no-one else will! The reason the mortality figures on each side are so dis-proportionate is not because the levels of aggression on each side was different, it’s simply that we have an effective shield in place that destroys the majority of their missiles in flight. They’ve been sending their missiles into civilian areas, 100’s a day… Don’t you understand? They hate us! Hamas still has as a part of it’s “mission statement” that they want to destroy Israel and push us all into the sea. How do you think that feels? How do you think it feels to be surrounded by large Arab states that do not want us here? We have to protect ourselves. We are trying not to kill civilians; but we need to stop the missile attacks on our country.”

My inner Palestinian says:

“How do you expect us to feel about you when you treat us like dangerous scorpions, penning us up, preventing our economic development, removing our freedom, allowing the settlers to continue to take our land on the west bank, what do you expect? You do not take any responsibility for this when you present yourselves to the world as innocent victims of Palestinian violence. When you treat us as a people so badly, when you are blind and deaf to our protests and our needs, of course some of our people resort to violence! What other voice do we have? You have such power, both economic, military, and you behave like a big bully. Many of us do not like what our leaders do either, but you make it so hard for us to stand up for another way when you treat us like this, and when you talk about us like this. When you keep us in prison, when you seem to have no regard for the rights and well being of our people.”

My inner Israeli says:

“Well you know why we penned you up, don’t you? We had to confine you because you kept bombing us! All those suicide attacks in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, all those bombs on buses, in libraries. How can you expect us to allow you the freedom to continue to hurt us? You do not take any responsibility for this when you present yourselves to the world as innocent victims of Israeli violence.”

My inner Palestinian says:

“But why do people do this? Because you have been treating us so badly. Because you dis-inherited us of our land, you took most of what we had, as if it was your right, as if we were not people with the right also to be respected. I do not agree with violence against anyone, but you make it so hard for me to stand up to the violent ones in my own society when all we can see from the Israelis, even the ‘liberal’ ones, is that you care more about your own 5 dead than our 150, you don’t care about our wellbeing, all you seem to care about is defending your actions. I want to be able to say to my people, “Its not ALL Israelis who hate us, some of them care about us too” but I see so little evidence of this.”

My inner Israeli says:

“Of course we care about you too! But how can we stretch out a hand when you will simply bite it, bomb it. I want to be able to say to my government, “Stop! They do not really want to hurt us, destroy us, kill us” but I cannot see the evidence for this. Give me something real! Show me you care about Israeli lives too- make Hamas take out the ‘we will push the Israelis into the sea’ part of its charter, let us know in word and action that you want to live in peace with us, and then we will see!”

My inner Palestinian says:

“Well you do not act or speak as if you care about us too! Ditto! Give me something real! Use the economic power you have to support Palestinian civil society. Show us you care about us as people who have a right to a dignified life, just as you do. Show us that you know it is not right that you have imprisoned us. Show us you want to open your eyes to the suffering happening to people on the other side of the fence, and do something about it, and then there will be a different story!”

I don’t want to give either side the last word, but having given the Israeli’s the first, I’ll end here!

There you have my inner version. I feel both these voices strongly inside myself. And I am not from either side, or living in the situation, so I can only imagine how strong it is for those within it. It’s so familiar to me from personal arguments. “It’s your fault and YOU have to make the first move first”.

This is immensely difficult stuff. It reaches into the undigested pain of the holocaust and the pain of the crude way Israel was created after WW II in response to that. It reaches into the depths of the victim/persecutor/rescuer dynamic which is so polarizing.

In my life with Ya’Acov I find this issue one of the most challenging, and am over and over again amazed by its power to create division and polarization in an instant. We have found that its so easy to spin out into the polarization if either one of us forgets, even for a moment, to make it clear to each other that we are aware of and care about the wellbeing and the suffering on both sides. “But of course I do!” does not cut it.

There is suffering and fear on both sides. Of course both sides do not have equal power. But both sides do (with some reason) see the 'other side' as powerful, threatening and not caring at all about 'our' well being. As I see it, both sides feel like the victim, both sides blame the other, both sides are pointing the finger and saying "It is your fault!" rather than asking "what could WE do differently?" For surely that is the power one has, to change one's own actions, or to influence one's own people. And what I see in these dialogues is how hard to is to feel safe enough to be critical of one's own "side" when one does not feel that others see and understand "our suffering/difficulty/dilemma".

I bow in respect for those on both sides able to resist the polarisation and to act and communicate from a place of non-violence and care and love for all the people, whatever side they are apparently on. Lets pray for the ceasefire and for a real dialogue in which both sides can cultivate their care for the well being of all, including the ‘other’ side. I know that is a big ask, and I feel that it is a big key.

And blessings to us all in this struggle to find truth and love, and a shared place of solidarity with the dignity of all life.

Susannah DK

Requiem for Journey of Empowerment 2012
By Various Members of the Journey of Empowerment 2012

Susannah
Every one of you rocked. You arrived in yourself, over and over. And then in the vibration of welcome and acceptance you created so strongly together, you came “out”. As individuals you each shone with your own original, creative flame. Together you were such a power, blazing with love and life.

I am proud to have been part of this journey, and wish each of you good next steps and integrations. With thanks to the mystery which holds us, and the beautiful, generous, inclusive, laughing, creative, spirit of JOE 2012.

Julia Prievitzer

In JOE I really became aware that in the uniqueness of each one of us there is such beauty and abundance and that the diversity is such a big gift for the community. The more the uniqueness of each one of us was revealed, the more I felt connected with the group, with myself and with the Devine. I no longer need to try to put myself in a box to be able to survive. I feel empowered to live my unique life and to make my unique contribution.

I feel deeply impressed by Susannah´s way of teaching. Until now, learning meant for me to put as much stuff as possible into my brain. Susannah supported us to uncover what is already there. It felt like breathing out deeply for the first time.

 JOE was a journey into my heart, a journey towards my love and passion for life. I felt welcomed in the group and accepted as I am and I could allow myself to be vulnerable and to be seen in my vulnerability. And I deeply felt that in my vulnerability and softness there is my strength.

Nicole Sander

Great to be with so many people in love and respect for each other and been seen, it allowed me to be myself. I feel much more centered in my body.

Christine Pechan

My JoE-Rap

Full of gratitude and love
For your great support
I share with you my steps
And hope you will enjoy.

Refr.
"I'm a healing woman
Wild, strong and free
On my Journey I got power
To set me free."

Remember who you are
With your voice bring it out
Come into your dance
And use your chance.

Find your incantation
Don't be shy
Fulfil your dream
With courage, love and joy.

Take care of your circle
Release your old shit
Fill up the empty space
And choose what you wish.

Look into the mirror
What do you see?
Your beloved human being
A woman strong and free.

Take of your mask
Try to shift your shape
Be woman child healer
All you need is an update.

Go into your heart
To meet your best friend
Ask your Wise Elder
Her support will never end.

And when your heart seems bursting
Cause all feelings are so deep
Join this unique circle
Of our wonderful whole group.

Remember you are welcomed
An accepted beloved part
You can feel it everywhere
Keep it deep in your heart.

Ursula Stamm

I made myself a gift, the gift of getting closer to my inner core and to feel a deep connection to life through the dance and through the plork, Susannah played and worked with us. I am so grateful for the expereince of being hold and accepted as I am from Susannah, the assistents and the groupe: a dive into the ocean of the unknown and then realising that something deep inside happend, healed. A deep healingprocess could happen. I discovered trust, confidence, love, heartopening and a wonderful connection to the groupe. It was the field of loving understanding and being seen, getting resonance from the others as a human being so that a transformation could happen. I see more light and more shadows, I got a wider understanding and a loving acceptance for myself and for others.
I am grateful for the dancing, the singing and the many ways of practicing at home. My wise elder is an important part of my daily life, I got a deeper connection and love for mother earth. I discoverd the force of fire to feel and go for my dreams and wishes. I experienced the widening refreshing way of the wind for my mind. And I could feel the washing renewing energie of the water. And the biggest new gift besides dancing: I sing! I sing! I enjoy singing! I love singing! Since my childhood I was longing for this free feeling of singing again. After many years of singing in choirs and getting instructions how you should sing and not sing I became always pain in my throat while singing. I finally found my very natural voice again and I enjoy singing! No pain! Sometimes I can`t stop myself while walking in the street, at the trainstation, in the bathroom, in nature... oh I am so grateful for this very long old wish of singing, singing my joy, my feelings into the world! I will always keep on dancing and singing. The wish of expressing myself freely, being authentic, creating and cocreating has been strengthened. This wish will always be with me and be a motor for my life as well as for the life of others.
I want to say thank you to Susannah, for your love, your patience, your clarity, your leading and letting go. The space you create for the goupe and in between the groupe is the result of your unconditional love, your following of your dreams and visions. It is a healing and loving space, a heavens place!
Thank you from the depth of my heart Susannah and all!


Finally! Another 21 Gratitudes !
By Susannah and Ya'Acov>

We have wanted to create a Movement Medicine Journey through all 21 Gateways of the Movement Medicine mandala and we have finally got it together using some of the stunning live music recorded at the Summer Long Dance 2011.

Its available to download now from http://www.movementmedicineshop.com/home.php?cat=104

It is intended to be used as a whole meditation that you can do at home alone or with friends as a movement ceremony that takes you through the 21 Gateways. Some of the tracks include invocations and prayers spoken by Susannah or Ya’Acov to help guide you in your journey. The whole meditation is just under three hours long but naturally, you can break it down into smaller sections and choose to work with just a small section of the mandala, or just enjoy one track at a time, of course. We love this music, and you will certainly be hearing it gracing our dance floors.

All proceeds from this music go to support the One World Mosaic, (add your voice by going to) One World Mosaic project,

Live Music from the School of Movement Medicine Summer Long Dance 2011

With the Long Dance Band:

Ya’Acov Darling Khan
Susannah Darling Khan
Shiuli Subaya
Yasia Leiserach
David Rose
Lawrence Kelson
Iwan Kushka
Volker Kaczinski
And All the Long Dancers

Here is a pdf of the Movement Medicine mandala with short descriptions of the 21 gateways.

Enjoy!

S and Y

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