What were we doing you may well ask?
Well this was the beginning of what is called ‘The Long Dance’ and is the brain child of Ya’Acov Darling Khan. Most of the 120, have been dancing together for many years, within the structure of The School Of Movement Medicine, some longer than others, usually finding ourselves in deep process together, unraveling the stories of our lives, healing some of those wounds and finding ways to individually and collectively re-claim those lost soul parts of ourselves and find a rich fulfillment and connection to who we are. This is the personal work of Micro awareness.
As our own healing work manifests and the necessary changes are made in our lives, we are more able to extend ourselves to the world around us and find new ways to make effective change elsewhere. This is the ‘Macro’ awareness of the practice, extending the dance to the world around us.
The Long Dance is part of that work where the individual work is still danced, but collectively we are raising money for the charity of our choice. In this case it was to donate to the Pachamama Alliance, who are supporting the Achua tribe and their loss of land to oil companies.
This is a little information about why we are raising money for this tribe….
Ten million acres of the last and most pristine culturally and biologically diverse rainforest in the world is under threat right now, as the Ecuadorian Government is aggressively promoting the oil concessions of these ancestral lands with out the proper consultation or consent of the indigenous people who have lived there for millennia.
We were very excited that we were to be joined in person by three young leaders, Jiyunt Uyunkr Kaniras, Olger Jencham Sandu and Yanda Montahuano Ushigua from the Achuar, Shuar and Zapara Nations, to hear first hand about what is happening on the ground in their rainforest territories and how a growing alliance is coming together to stop this impending round of oil development. These young indigenous leaders are exemplary in their efforts to raise awareness in their communities and the wider world. They have been working jointly with the Pachamama Alliance to empower people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.
The three leaders, currently on a visit in Germany, were asked by the British Government’s Home Office to go to Dusseldorf to receive their visas. On arrival, however, these were denied to them.
How disappointing for us that we were not able to meet with these three young people and hear how their lives were being affected. I ask myself what are we in Britain afraid of? How could these three young people be a threat to our civilization?
Still for us it really enforced the need to dance, to raise money and to offer our support in as many ways as possible to the forests and the people who need our help. To send them our prayers and our support so that their own efforts are recognized. We raised around £40,000 for that particular charity and other charities also. Quite an accomplishment really and shows what is possible when we all come together with a collective intention.
Raising this money is a huge step to support this tribe and to do what we can to speak out about the injustice of what is happening to our rain forests.
The practice of Movement Medicine is to dance through 21 Gateways. This is mapped out with a Mandorla where we spend a particular time in a state of awareness that is focused on one of the gateways. We move our bodies (dance) in connection to this. It might be the gateway of Body or it might be the gateway of Fulfillment or Realization, it might be our Past or our Future. Which ever Gateway it is we have time to ask questions, meditate and receive inspiration as to what is needed for this particular area of our lives. It is a very safe space for this process and we can be challenged or surprised, sometimes experiencing deep emotional experiences as the truth becomes made known to us. There is always support on hand and where needed when the going gets tough.
Our intention is to become the Dancing Warrior, the one who can dance through any challenge, no matter what we are faced with. What ever is presented to us in life, even some of the most unbearable situations that have to be faced and danced with. Sometimes it is all to easy to step away, ignore or run in the opposite direction but standing strong as a warrior does, we embrace the truth and become stronger with it.
Ceremony amplifies what ever it is we are dancing with. Emotions and stories can seem way out of proportion. I know, for it has been part of my own journey. When my heart was hurting some years ago, I was ready to leave and never have to face that painful moment again. The rebel in me was ready to go it alone, step away and ‘do it by myself’ what ever it was I intended to do. But luckily I made myself a promise some years ago, that I would stay no matter what. That I would keep showing up and go the whole way no matter the dances I had to dance.
I knew that I would meet many challenges and that they would get stronger. What I have found is that each one has had its dance and has had had to come full circle, from beginning to end, to find its completion and to then have its dance reflected in life outside of the ceremony.
For whatever we dance within the ceremony, it is reflected effectively 10 fold in our daily lives.
We are facing our fears and the unseen part of ourselves, the shadow energy that cannot hide within the light we are creating together. It is inevitable that part of our story will want to be brought to the fore. What we do with it is up to us, as individuals. Dancing with it and allowing its process is what this practice offers us. And part of that is to dance with our ancestors, those we love and need to develop deeper connections to, those we wish to pray for, both human and non-human, especially our connection to the earth.
Maybe you will join us next year for this outstandingly beautiful event. Its growing expanding and getting richer by the year. Maybe you would like to support in other ways too.
Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan and 120 dancers of Movement Medicine