School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
Issue: June 2013

Selling Movement Medicine
By Roland
A small trickle of blood was running down the neck of the woman sitting on the car seat in front me with my survival bag tucked round her to keep her warm. I was sitting on the sill of the door holding her hand while we waited for an ambulance to arrive. The ambulance seemed to be taking a long time.

It occurred to me that this moment was a very odd one and had an ‘out of time’ quality about it.  For 10 days I had followed an itinerary I had set myself of travelling to Scotland and walking on routes I had planned weeks previously and then had travelled to the Isle of Mull to take part in a family occasion of part scattering and part burying the ashes of one of my sisters on the small island of Iona.  Now the itinerary was disrupted and it was clear that my nephew and myself were going to miss our ferry back to the mainland  as the single track road was completely blocked by the two severely damaged cars involved in the crash.

I talked with the woman about several things and then she asked me what I did.  Now normally when I am asked this question I find giving a good answer difficult.  This is in part because I always feel that I have to concentrate on either describing the Movement Medicine practice or to talk about my role within the organisation.  I am mindful of a conversation I had several years ago with a very large man who had recently retired from being a PE instructor for an army parachute regiment who on hearing what I did for a living, challenged me with “Oh so if you are responsible for the publicity, then sell this Movement Medicine to me.”  After a few minutes he interrupted to inform me that I had failed the challence and that he wouldn’t be found anywhere near a dance floor.  I let his words hurt me deeply.

I can’t remember exactly what I said to the woman in the car, but I talked about free style dance, ecstatic dance, dancing with the elements and how it was practiced by thousands of people around the world and how many of them had found out through the practice who they really were and what they had come to this world to do.  “That sounds really wonderful,” the woman said and, for the first time in the fifteen minutes I had been there, she smiled and seemed to relax a little.  In the short silence that followed I imagined her on the dance floor gracefully drifting though the other dancers.  Then we heard the sound of the ambulance siren and we said goodbye.

An event which does not need too much selling is the Summer Long Dance which is due to take place 4th – 10th July.  Due to some cancellations we still have a few places left.  If you feel that you are one called to be there please contact me at and I will send you an application form or you can download one from and send it to me by email.  I am also looking for one more person to come onto the practical crew team.  The people on the team pay a reduced fee and get a free weekend workshop for their work.  Please contact me if you are interested.

The Initiation workshop 27th Sept – 6th October is also well booked and there are now just a few places left.  The application form for this workshop is at  This workshop is an essential pre-requisite for those wishing to take part in the next Apprenticeship Programme and this will be the last chance to do it if you wish to apply for the next Apprenticeship Progamme which will begin August 2014.

There are no other School of Movement Medicine workshop during the rest of July and August.  In September the programme will restart with the following two workshops.

6 - 8  Norway  Ya'Acov Dancing with the Heart of the World. Contact: Marit +47 45604535

6 -8 Holland      Susannah Love Stories. Contact: Frank +31 71 8893253

For details about other Movement Medicine events please go the newly up and running Movement Medicine Association Website at where you find details of all classes, workshops and Movement Medicine inspired events run by Movement Medicine teachers and facilitators.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the articles we have in this month’s edition of the newsletter.  The next newsletter should be out at the beginning of September.





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

Chosen Surrender
By Susannah
Last summer, on holiday in the mountains of Portugal I received strong promptings that I needed a more profound relationship with land. That I needed to live on and have guardianship of land. Those of you who know me well will probably know that working on my Uncle and Auntís organic farm in Wales was a formative part of my childhood. It was my heaven and haven on earth. That was the meaning of ďlandĒ for me. Land, farm, hay, animals, the smell of hay and grass after the rain.

Anyway, last summer, we took the message seriously but decided that, at this point in our lives we needed to ask “land” to wait and enjoy the land of our garden! Then, this spring, “land” returned with a strong passionate voice. So we started, playfully, to look at what was available. Suddenly it was there. A unique place which has been taken care of in a way full of imagination and awareness. Step by step the land claimed us, and we fell in love. Step by step we worked through the mini practical obstacles. Our house sold in a couple of days. We agreed a date to complete. Again and again we thought that buying this new place might be impossible and I found myself getting uptight and upset. I found that handing it back to spirit, handing it back to the great choreographer brought a real shift into grace. It’s not in my or our hands. All we can do is play our part, and then hand it over and let go.

Up to the last minute there were hitches. Several times we thought that we might have to rent somewhere. The night before the removal company started moving us out of our old home, we did a little ceremony of thanks, rememberance  and blessing for the house which has been such a sanctuary for us for nearly 13 years. Reuben was with us and we had a beautiful time remembering our family life and moments together. The next day, as our old house was emptied, we were still dealing with details with our solicitors and the mortgage company, and still had not exchanged contracts. Dancing with the unknown and staying stable enough to function was not too difficult but we each had our moments! It all worked out, and we moved in on the day we needed to, the same day on which we exchanged and completed. I’m really grateful to the team of people who helped us get it together on time, so we could move smoothly from old to new.

And here we are. We’ve found home. We feel ridiculously blessed and grateful. A place with some land, a stream, hydro-electricity from the stream, and trees, young and old. It’s on the edge of Dartmoor. Some of it is old and whole, some of it is reclaimed land becoming whole again. So, so beautiful. Every day we’re having to expand to receive this extraordinary gift and responsibility. Its already been taken a long way, many old and beautiful trees were already here, many have been planted, and there is much more now we can do to go to the next step into supporting the bio-diversity here.

So, there you are. People talk about manifestation, but this feels more like active, chosen surrender. We will need some time to grow into this and what it means and what it opens. What is amazing is that energetically we both feel so different already. Roots and branches. I’m 50 this summer and I feel I’ve come full circle to land in land at the beginning of this next half century. Thank you life!

And we are so pleased that we can welcome the 3 young Amazonian leaders in the Long Dance, and feel these threads all coming together, of dance, prayer and action in and for and with the world.

If you want to do something to wish me happy birthday, please support the Pachamama Alliance, or/and buy some music from the Musical Mosaic in the Movement Medicine Shop to support the “Earth Mosaic” which is soon to be re-born in new vigour and effectiveness,

Thank you life, thank you all,

Susannah Darling Khan

Dancing for Change
By Simric Yarrow
Dance is change. Dancing involves the whole body in movement. Free dance allows the body to move as it would like to, not as our head might tell it to Ė itís not a boot camp or a ballet class. Allowing the body to initiate the movement and the head to witness and be guided by that. Free dance is all about real freedom. Not just doing what the government and the priests tell you to do.

No wonder dancing was banned by various churches, and our collective psyches learnt that dancing round a fire was the ultimate Halloween nightmare. And then what about music with a beat – like those wicked drum things? We are, collectively, slowly but surely waking up from this particular anti-dancing sleep. 

And guess what. In free dance, the body also heals itself. Older people who dance regularly are the only bunch of people whose chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease are dramatically lower than the controls. Better than anyone doing any sports or eating healthily or whatever else. Free dancing is – to quote my two favourite dance facilitators – Movement Medicine. And after attending Ya’Acov and Susannah Darling Khan’s latest 4-day Cape Town workshop, Dancing with the Heart of the World, I can add that dancing is the most incredible way I know of to create community. Beyond words, we all express ourselves in our uniqueness and yet are accepted on the free dance floor. And that’s not where community ends. In the dance we can imaginatively embody and connect with all the elements of life that we are made of – embodiment is the word for our time and yet dance, which is its most obvious and immediately available version, is still not taken as seriously as it should be. Perhaps because it’s too much fun. Because it shows off too much of our true natures. Because it’s one of the most wonderful things we were born for, and so there must be some catch.

In fact some people view it as downright frivolous. When Eve Ensler suggested we all dance against women abuse for One Billion Rising in February, many journalists (of both sexes) criticised the event, asking what good in the long term a dance would be against an entrenched culture of rape and domestic violence. Surely a dance is just a brief moment, and then the serious business must start again. The serious business, of course, in the eyes of the average journalist spending their day at a laptop in one fixed body position, is to do with writing and complaining and making statements and practical linguistic suggestions. Preferably over the third coffee of the day.

Well, my message to the opinion-makers and the politicians is come dance with me, come dance your soul out of your worried skins, then we’ll really talk seriously from the heart. Once you’ve seen that we’re just the same and different, once you’ve seen that I am full of hopes and fears and shame and joy and power and vulnerability and holiness and passion and craziness and love and fury and magnificence and grief and bitterness and tenderness and pain and deep, deep humanity. Once you can acknowledge that we are mirrors. Then clever words and empty statements won’t be able to get in the way of our connection. There will be nowhere to run to. Are you brave enough? I truly trust that you are.

Song of the soul on Gipsy Bank and in Wolfscote caves
By Hannah Mackay
I attended the Phoenix Retreat in 2010. More recently I have found myself doing similar kinds of processing through poetry. This poem is part of a piece of soul retrieval, and is written in the voice of the lost soul fragment. Gipsy Bank and Wolfscote caves are in Dovedale, near where I was born.

Song of the soul on Gipsy Bank and in Wolfscote caves

In the circle

I was always on the edges,

Hand on the door handle,

Ready to run.

My grip on form was tenuous.

You might see me on a beach,

In a valley, on a hill

But then I’d fade out of focus,


Become illusion, apparition, mistaken mirage.

Receiving the beauty of the world,

My senses opened, attuned,

Every vibration resonating,

I was a conductor of connectivity.

The Universe poured through me

Into becoming.

But it was hard to hold onto the whole.

The pressing importance of imperfection,

Getting it right,

Belonging, being somehow unloved,

Pulled every criticism into sharp relief.

Every mistake, missed moment

Grew, shadows looming,

Overwhelming my ability to be.

So I faded in and out of existence,

Presence and disappearance

Each taking their turn.

Until I met a man who sees,

And I found a place to become.

Soul spoke to soul

Of something wider than wrongness

An acceptance I had never known was missing.

And I arrived in loving brightness,

All of a piece, light and shade,

Landing in sensual wholeness.

Later, when I left the scene,

Ceding my place to those

More active and confident,

Less vulnerable than I,

I knew you would be fine without me.

I released form and let go,

Soared out into insubstantial space.

Without the restrictions of form,

I could be everywhere.

Receiving the beauty of the Universe,

Letting it pour through me,

I spoke to you through the medium of mystery.

Impossible to understand,

I led you on

By the bleeding feet and fingers

By the lightning bolts of senseless words

By oceans of tears

By images of women bagged up for the bin.

I showed you the spaces in your life

That would not fill.

All the Universe of formlessness is available to me

Beyond the confines of time and space.

I am now, in the past and future.

I am a waif outside on the cold hillside


I am at home with you.

February 2013

The Challenge of Returning Home
by Chirstine Pechan
After Re-Creation I spent another night at Totnes and went together with a friend to a special Movement Medicine dance class in Dartington, where I also met some wonderful participants of Re-Creation, enjoying that the dance went on!

For monday, the morning of my departure, I chose to release the burden I am carrying on my shoulders, hips... and change responsibility for all the people I take care of into love. The following day gave me a wonderful reflection of my old pattern in competition with my new story. At Brussels airport I got my first chance. An old woman noticed my first aid stand-by service at once and asked me, if I could accompany her. We had to change the gates in 15 minutes, a short time, so she intended to use the airport service of electric cars, because of her injured hip. How could I refuse? At Brussels we arrived with a delay of 10 minutes, so I was glad to join her. But nobody was waiting for her at the exit and the countdown began. Looking for help I ran through the passport control but after some precious minutes only a small woman arrived with a wheel chair. ''Calm down! The next flight will be free for you two", she told us, but I felt a little doubt, that this will go also for me. And the old woman became more and more nervous. So I stopped thinking about and fell into a feeling of deep trust and repeated continuously the words, "We will arrive in time, don't be angry" for us two (in opposite to one of my eldest nightmares). Suddenly an electric car appeared from nowhere and together with the airport assistant, we began an interesting catch through the underground closed part of Brussels airport only stopped by a quick control of our bodies. So we arrived only 5 minutes later at our gate  -  that wasn't yet opened!

Full of gratitude for this experience we continued our journey, which changed into a comedy, when we arrived at Hamburg. An ambulance bus waited for her at the exit of the plane and for the second time she asked me, if I would stay with her. A friendly man welcomed us, telling the rules for handicaped persons and the most important parts of his own life at the airport ambulance. His stories flew out of his mouth while he turned back to us, driving round and round between the planes. I felt involved in all these circumstances, noticing a lot of my old shapes in a new humorous way. At the end when the last door closed behind us the woman discovered the mistake of her luggage. So I called the ambulance back to help her again and said good bye.

Coming home is and was at every time a great challenge for me, because it is difficult to share my feelings with my waiting husband. So easy to fall back into my old habits.  A low disappointment was growing in my stomach. Late in bed I decided hopefully to release this old story as soon as possible. The SEER-Process is one of the greatest gifts I've got at Re-Creation to break up my old structure, make peace with my past, honour who I am now and create my future. There are so many stories to dance like dreams to become true. What a chance. And every day I have to remember Ya'Acovs words at the beginning, "step by step"....  My heart is full of gratitude for your great support. 21 gratitudes to all of us, all supporting energies seen and unseen.


Dance of Life
By Gianni Demozzi




















JUNE 2013 , Gianni Demozzi

Love Stories from Dublin
By Love Stories from Dublin
Love stories, stories of love Loving movement, move in love, move into love Through the medicine of dancing, dreaming, daring Dare to dance, dare to dream

Yes, yes, yes


Awareness of the heart -The body, mind and heart

Mind-full-ness, body-full-ness, heart-full-ness

Accepting, receiving, giving, being - My being,

Loving life and living love, life giving love, giving love life


Yes yes yes


One steps in, two step out, three step back and round about

Some they twist, more they shout,

With movement medicine, it all comes out


Through the feet and knobbly knees, with painted toes and jangly beads

Our damaged hearts and emotional needs

The movement heals, as the music feeds


Yes yes yes


Back massaging, massaging back – giving, receiving, giving back

The wisdom words of the wise elder – whispered,

From the heart to the heart, freely given, but harder to receive

I am worthy to receive – only say the words – and I shall receive

Could this be love, could you be love, could I be love


Yes, yes, yes


Patterns of love, stated; statements of love, voiced; statues of love, danced.

Feel the fears, conquer the dangers,

Find the loving kindness in the hearts of strangers,

Love’s lovers, sons and daughters, sisters, brothers

Connecting love, through the hearts of others


Love deep, hold in the heart dear

In the heart near, far, wherever you are


Yes yes yes, we can!

Through Love Stories with Darling Khan

Indaba, My Children
By Richard Pantlin
In appreciation of dancing "Move!" with Suzannah in Johannesburg in April, I would like to offer this extract from what could be the Southern African Bible, the book "Indaba, my children" by Credo Mutwa. The book contains a marvellous creation story and many legends of the tribes of that part of the world:

“The hunting parties had all returned safely and the great gate was securely shut.  The Wakambi were in tense readiness as they scanned the forests below for the first sign of the oncoming enemy.  Night was falling fast and the land was once more shrouded in mystery.

On the high palisades warriors stood to arms - hard-eyed and tense in every muscle - waiting for the Masai to come storming up the slopes of the ancient hill on which the first village stood.  As the night crept across the land with its somber mantle, people became touchy and easily irritated, but they remained hard of eye and grim of face.  The First Village ever built in the land was under the shadow of suspense and was firmly gripped in the cruel claws of the vulture of fear.  Then the people heard a strange sound: a sound that was not of this world, that flowed through the silent dusk like a silver river through a dark forest.

It was a sound such as no human ears have ever heard before. It penetrated the very depths of the soul like cool water down a thirsty throat - like oil, soothing oil killing a cruel pain.  Men stared at each other with incredulous wonder. Others groaned, and wept, blatantly and without shame.

It was the sound of unearthly beauty, and to the surprise of everybody it came from the throat of Marimba!

She had taken the deadly bow of the captive Masai and had fitted a gourd to the bow itself, transforming the deadly weapon of war thus into the first makwenya bow-harp the world had ever seen.  Not only had Marimba invented the first musical instrument, but she was singing the world's first song as well.

... Later ...

Marimba turned the old nut-grinding mortar into the first drum the world had ever seen and for the first time since the dawn of creation the forests shook to the pulsing beat of a drum.   The instrument became so popular with the Wakambi that almost everybody wanted to have a drum in his own hut.  The woodcarvers were very busy indeed....

With the birth of the drum came the birth of new dances in the land of the Wakambi - dances like the bupiro-mukiti or the dance of life, performed by both male and female dancers, or the chukuza ya sandanda, the dance of the baboon which is performed by male dancers only.  This is the most muscle-punishing dance that can ever be performed.  All these dances were invented for one reason only - expression of tribal religion and the release of that beneficial life-force present in every human being, but which, when released, makes one feel closer in 'the arms of Eternity'.”

Richard Pantlin

22 April 2013

Kufunda Learning Village



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.