School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: June 2013
New Horizons

By Ya'Acov
I canít quite believe that itís already that time of year again when weíre preparing for the Summer Long Dance and then moving into our time out for the Summer. Itís all been a bit of a whirlwind as they say! I never would have guessed that Iíd be writing to you looking out on a whole different view. With one decision, our lives have changed and the effect is already much greater than I imagined it would be.

We’ve moved onto Dartmoor, just around the corner from where I’ve been taking people out on Movement Medicine Vision quests over the past few years. It’s a beautiful part of the Moor; sweeping and majestic with a whole family of older and younger trees dancing outside our windows. To be honest, we’re both still in a bit of shock. Susannah had the command to move closer to the land last summer. It took me until the winter and our time in Amazon with the Achuar to hear the same call. I was told in no uncertain terms that it would be impossible for me and us to go on working in the way we want to without a deeper connection to land that we are guardians and caretakers of. “OK,” I replied. “We’ll find a couple of acres near to home to be with in a few years time.” The thought of moving was way too overwhelming in our busy schedule and we just didn’t have the time or the wherewithal for the moment to do anything about it. Or so I thought!

In February, we were just property browsing on the internet one Sunday at home. I hadn’t realised just how dangerous a pastime that was! It’s like saying: “Oh, we’re just going to go and see that puppy.” Once you’ve looked into the eyes of a little fur ball, you’ve got no chance! I didn’t know it was the same with houses!

So, we browsed. We found a beautiful little place called Lemon Cottage up on Dartmoor and decided just to go and take a peek just out of curiosity. It was charming but definitely not our home. There was so much that right but even more that wasn’t. So we sat down and wrote down the list of what our perfect house would have.

There was a time in my life when my reality was always chasing to catch up with my imagination. I have to say that things have changed. Now it’s my imagination that has to catch up with my reality. We wrote the list and then the next day, went on another little tour through the fascinating pages of a property listing website. We now had quite a lot more criteria so we could narrow down our search considerably. To be honest, we were still playing at moving. The reality that we actually might had nowhere near landed. Anyways, we found a house that ticked all our boxes but it was out of our range. However, there were two beautiful horses in the picture (I’m looking at them out of the window now as I write!) and the advert described the property as having ‘eco features’ so we decided to go and take a look. Just for fun.

We spoke to the agent and asked him more about the eco features. ‘Well,’ he told us, ‘it’s got a mini hydro-electricity scheme that produces way more electricity than you use that you can sell back to the grid. It’s got ground source heating and it’s been built with the latest insulation throughout.’ We drove here wondering if we were coming home. When we got close, we realised that the house was less than a mile away from the little house we first rented when we arrived in Devon nearly 25 years ago!

When we walked in to the house, I knew immediately that we were home. It was the heat coming from up from the floor that I knew was produced without harm to the earth that did it. I nearly burst into tears. Johnathan, the fabulously eccentric and incredibly generous and knowledgeable owner, took great pleasure in showing us round. It took more than three hours for him to show us the place. We told him there and then that we were going to buy it but he kind of laughed and told us that he would only do business with us once we had exchanged contracts on the sale of our own home. We hadn’t even put it on the market. What followed over the next few weeks was a classic case of dreaming and manifesting. We knew in our hearts that the place had called us but we had no idea how to make it happen. And yet here we are. The house didn’t just tick all our boxes. It considerably exceeded our dream.

We came here to spend a night sleeping on the land and doing ceremony to listen in to and communicate with the spirits of the land. Johnathan gave us permission to park our motor home on the land and we lit a fire and drummed. I said that we already knew it was home but we have discovered that knowing is a many layered thing!  In our ceremony, we saw and heard many things. I saw the man I would have to become in order to be the guardian of a place like this. All I know is that I will do my very best. I have no conscious experience of looking after land.

One day, on one of our many visits whilst the complex wheels of solicitor talk and bankers’ questions turned so very slowly round and round, we met the local farmer. We were walking by the brook and we saw him. He walked straight up to us to ask us who we were. We told him that we were going to be the new owners. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘is that right?’ He then proceeded to look deeply into my eyes and then Susannah’s. I was being examined and I steadily held his forceful gaze. After what seemed like an age, he held out his hand and welcomed us warmly. Whatever the test was, it seemed like we had passed. I told him that I knew nothing about looking after land but that I very much wanted to learn and asked him to help. He told us how important neighbours are in the country. Next week, he and his wife are coming over for dinner.

We wake up in the mornings here and look at each other wide eyed with astonishment. And since we’ve arrived, it seems as if things are happening by themselves. It’s as if the momentum of our dreaming has come full circle and is now behind us moving us forward without our conscious will. It’s like the metaphor we use to describe maturity in the Initiation workshop that we teach. Adulthood is like getting into a swimming pool and walking. There is resistance. It takes a lot of effort. If you’re lucky, you may find someone or several people to walk with you so that you create a current. If you keep walking for long enough, that current will catch you up and come round behind you and before you know it, your own momentum is carrying you. That’s maturity and that’s the cycle that I feel we have entered.

The fit of this land and our work is extraordinary too. The four directions from the mandala we work with fits beautifully here. The land was once polluted and it had to be cleaned up and now, it’s a beautiful eco home. What better symbol of Phoenix medicine could we find? To top it all, the postcode is 21!

There have been so many times on the journey of my professional life that I have felt dispirited. There have been so many times when I wanted to stop and choose an easier path. There have been so many challenges along the way and hurts and disappointments. And now there is this. I recently realised that another name for the journey invoked by the last three of the nine gateways at the top of our mandala would simply be, ‘the harvest.’ We have expanded our horizon and the depth of feeling that is already inside me from becoming a guardian to this place is truly quite the most shamanic experience I have ever had. This land is both our home, our connection to source and our mirror. In it, we will see how much we are walking our talk or not.

Now, when I dance, the body feels more and means more. When I dance with the wind or with the waters, there is already a whole new depth of relationship. The relationship I have with the land of my body has grown and more than ever, I now dedicate this life to the body and spirit of the land. As we expand our horizons, Movement Medicine is expanding its horizons too. New teachers and facilitators will be initiated at this year’s Summer Long Dance. And the new Movement Medicine Association website is coming more and more to life with every passing week. And for the first time, our Long Dance ceremony will be visited by three young leaders from the Achuar, Shuar and Zapara tribes.

Please feel free to support the Pachamama Alliance by sponsoring a Long Dancer. The Alliance is working so hard to protect the rainforest and life on earth for many generations to come. And support is needed now.

So dear friends, this is me signing off from newsletter writing for the Summer. Just the little matter of a Journey of Empowerment Module, an Apprenticeship Community Gathering and a 72-hour Summer Long Dance before I close the computer down, put the hammock between a couple of gorgeous sycamore trees and rock my way through the summer time.

Wishing you all deep dreaming and the courage never to give up on yourself and what matters most to you. This earth is a spectacular place to live and dream. And you do live here and you are dreaming, so you may as well dream the dream that matters most to you.

With my love and deepening respect, 

Ya’Acov Darling Khan

June 2013

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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.