“Mirror Neurons”

Watch this now-classic talk by neuroscientist VS Ramachandran. Mirror neurons were a hot topic five or ten years ago, shortly after they were first discovered, but things have cooled off a bit recently as more research has been done and shown that – surprise! – things might be a wee bit more complicated than VS initially led us to believe.

“What We Know Currently about Mirror Neurons” – 2013 journal article

“A Calm Look at the Most Hyped Concept in Neuroscience” – wired.com article written for non-neuroscientists, that essentially explains the previous, more academic, link.

“Mindfulness Training and the Compassionate Brain” – 2012 article from Psychology Today

“Mirroring in Dance Movement Therapy”  – 2014 journal article

The Village Continuum



The Village Continuum Gathering 2015 is live! Friday to Sunday, November 13-15, at Hollyburton Park organic farm, 45 minutes from Melbourne.

This will be the second year of this event, featuring an awesome selection of workshops in traditional skills and crafts, taught by an amazing, wonderful, group of facilitators. I am once again privileged to be a part of it, and will be teaching natural movement and meditation alongside my old buddy Craig.

The farm is beautiful, with at least ten kinds of animals running around all over the place, and old converted Bedford house-trucks parked here and there. They’re a bit of a hub for the home-schooled or “un-schooled” children in the region, so lots of free-range kids running around everywhere too. Madeline, the oldest daughter of the family, is 20, and has already set up her own highly successful business raising thousands of chickens, crowd-funded an industrial egg-cleaning machine, and sells organic eggs and chickens around the region. She got two chickens when she was six, and has doubled her flock every year. Smart kid.

Workshops and activities on offer this year include:

– Leather craft

– Longbow making

– Blacksmithing

– Arrow making

– Knife making

– Felting

– Fermenting

– Shoe making

– Permaculture principles

– Mowing with a scythe

– Natural building (Cob/mud brick)

– Doona making

– Spinning and dyeing

– Cordage and basketry

– Foraging and survival skills

– Fire making (with friction, and flint)

– Juggling and circus skills

– Acroyoga and balance

– Art of relating

– Natural movement

– Tiny house building!

It’s going to be great. Check out the website at http://thevillagecontinuum.com.au/ or the facebook event.

Here are Lars and Kate, who have been organizing the event this year, talking about some of what’s on offer:

Ancestral Alchemy


Very pleased to announce the next “Ancestral Alchemy” workshop! In Sydney, September 12/13, with my good friends and associates Craig Mallett (AwareRelaxedConnected.com.au) and Dave Wardman (Physical Alchemy). As you may be aware, Craig and I have been teaching and running retreats together for the last two years or so, while Dave have been in close contact since weI spent two full-time years studying remedial massage together back in 2009-10. All three of us have been in breakthrough territory for a while now, so this workshop is going to be excellent!

I will be presenting the concept of “body mapping”: the basic neuroscience (or maybe more precisely the “psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrinology”) of embodied practice, how to use “self-directed neuroplasticity” to progressively awaken and develop the entire body, inside and out; to rehabilitate injuries, alleviate chronic pain and consciously fill the body-maps with feelings of wellbeing and joy; massively increase one’s ability to learn any new physical skills; and rediscover total freedom of movement in three-dimensional space –


“Ancestral movement”: exploring developmental and evolutionary movement patterns we have inherited from our ancient human, primate, mammal, reptile, amphibian, fishy and wormy ancestors, and discussing how such practices develop a profound, visceral understanding of ourselves and our evolutionary history, massively increase our sense of kinship with other living creatures, and generally make us feel more at home on the earth.

I think Craig will be sharing similar concepts of natural movement and traditional Daoist self-cultivation practices, and Dave will present some of his own “Physical Alchemy”, which I think has something to do with attaining superhuman strength, flexibility, and refined awareness.

Cost is $360, or $180 for a single day. It will be mind-expanding.

Here is a link to the facebook event page, or you can contact me directly at simon.thakur@gmail.com