Creative Wisdom Blog

In this blog page, regularly updated, I will be addressing different topics in relation to awakening our own creative nwisdom. On the journey of Self-discovery, we face challenges of different types. Our habits and conditioning inherited from our families, school education and our Western culture have been deeply ingrained in us over many years. They often limit our perception of life and restrict our ability to respond to life's challenges with wisdom. As a result, we experience stress, self-destructive thoughts, anxieties, fears and sometimes panic. Then, our artistic and creative expression is not as clear and pure as it could be. We need some tools to help transform those obstacles and find the appropriate antidotes. The Creative Wisdom approach that is shared on this page and in each training and teaching retreats with Didier, address these issues so that we may connect deeply with our Essential Nature that is free, loving, imbued with wonder, creativity and peace. Then your Sacred Clown embodies and mirrors the profound & unique human being that you are. This is a blessing to the world and whatever you share through your art will touch the heart of all.

The gift of Sacred Clowning by Rachel

posted 16 Apr 2020, 04:46 by Didier Danthois   [ updated 16 Apr 2020, 05:23 ]

The gift of Sacred Clowning

This article was written by one of Didier´s student Rachel. Rachel is a qualified art psychotherapist and the director of Alchemy, an organisation that offers Dramatherapy and counselling in Argyll and training and consultancy services throughout Scotland. In this article Rachel offers us her insights from her experience of the Sacred Clown approach and how it can support our personal journey. We added photos of special moments to illustrate it.  
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Didier Danthois offers Scared Clown retreats at Casa Saraswati in Tenerife. Didier’s teaching is from the heart, as a participant I

experienced deep care and containment for my personal process while I was there. The work is about connection, connection to one’s body, connection to one’s internal sense of being, connection to one another, connection to the earth, the elements, and a deep spiritual connection, to whatever that may be for you as an individual. We are reminded of coming home, to rest in a loving presence which can be found inside each and every one of us.

The core of Didier’s work is spiritual, this spiritualism resonates out to the world in compassion, acceptance and gratitude. Every moment became sacred, as I experienced the love emanating from Didier and his work. Challenges became opportunities for transformation. The physical clowning connects me to my body, my energy, my emotions, it is a very personal process, that happens in a group, so also becomes interpersonal. Didier works in a profoundly intuitive way, responding to each individual uniquely. The group is a microcosm of our world, it is the perfect place to see who we are, what roles we fall into, what roles we find more difficult to inhabit. When I reflect, I see myself in my family, or in other groups I am part of. This is not always comfortable or easy, the transformation can happen when I accept this discomfort, when I can silence my thoughts, my judgements and not let them inhibit, or frighten me. This is Didier’s aim, to help you return home to your true essence, which is pure and childlike. This essence is trusting and loving, compassionate, playful and non-judgemental.

Being in an environment like this, for eight days, with people you may not have met before, provides a levelling, an equality. It is an opportunity to practice this new way of being with yourself, and others. It is a safe haven, a safe place to try out approaching the world a little differently. After all, I think, each of us has found this place because of these feelings of discomfort, a sense of wanting to be with oneself (and others) with more ease. A searching for something more meaningful, or, trying to make sense of the world we live in, and for me, attempting to live in it, were all reasons I found Didier and Sacred Clowning.

This is my personal perspective, but research into psychology and neural physiology is confirming that physiological change takes place when humans experience love and compassion. And those that practice and receive love and compassion have been proven to have more developed areas of the brain, particularly the hippocampus. We now know how stress impacts on our physiology, it has a direct impact on our adrenal system, our hormone responses and our digestive system. The work that Didier does guiding us through spiritual meditation combined with physical clowning, enables a coming together of mind and body. The heart as an organ as well as the universal metaphor for love and compassion, are the tools of the work here. As we make our hearts bigger with compassionate practice and physical clowning we are also contributing to the health of our circulatory, endocrine and respiratory systems in a physiological way.

At this moment in time the world is facing the crisis of the Coronavirus, a global threat that is affecting everyone. Didier has responded by moving his courses on-line, and finding delight, wonder and challenges in equal measures, I suspect. I have been attending his guided meditations each morning, connecting with others over Europe in spiritual practice. This offering is making a deep impact, as we are alone, we are connected in our mission to transform fear into hope, to fill the universe with compassion and love, and to nurse our own bodies and minds with this most, beautiful, nourishing and accepting Clown Medicine.

Thank you Didier.

Rachel, Ardfern, Scotland. April 2020.

 

Topic 2: The gift of "Wonder"

posted 1 Apr 2019, 15:01 by Didier Danthois   [ updated 16 Apr 2019, 06:02 ]

The gift of "Wonder"

Did I keep “Wonder” alive in my life? Did you manage to keep in touch with this wonderful quality of awe that the child naturally embodies? Can you recall this moment when the child entered the living room, stumbling his way through the door, as the whole family sits together after lunch? He is 2 or 3 years old, with a tender smile, not so stable yet on his little legs, he looks, he feels, he touches all, he senses the space, the people and moves with an innocence that captures your eyes, your heart, you cannot avoid looking. His presence is so pure, he is discovering,...the moment speaks, he is simply exploring. His capacity to engage with his hands, his legs, his eyes, his mouth is a pure pleasure to watch. Like spellbound, you forget everything about your struggles in your own life. You are enchanted by this little creature that has taken you away for a moment, from your ordinary reality. You feel refreshed, inspired, your heart has been touched and secretly, you long to go back there, to that place of pure wonder in yourself. Are you?...No? Yes?

There is a beautiful poem by Victor Hugo that illustrate the power of the Child’s wonder which goes (first in french, then in english): “Lorsque l'enfant paraît, le cercle de famille. Applaudit à grands cris. Son doux regard qui brille. Fait briller tous les yeux,. Et les plus tristes fronts, les plus souillés peut-être,. Se dérident soudain à voir l'enfant paraître, innocent et joyeux.“ 

Victor Hugo poem In English: “When the child appears, the family circle applauds with great voices. His sweet face which shines, makes all eyes shine, and the saddest faces, the dirtiest, lose their frowns suddenly seeing the child appearing, innocent and joyous.“

In my work as a mime/clown, I have been looking deeply into “Wonder” and how to come back to that quality, that perspective, that perception of life. Whether we are an artist or in our private life as adults, if we want to find fulfilment and happiness, I think that it will be very difficult without restoring the quality of Wonder.

So what is “Wonder”. A great inspiration for me on that theme is Einstein when he says:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed.“

For me personally, I have had to do some cleaning up in my mind and body before I could trust again in that mysterious quality. At the age of seven and for three years, I suffered regular physical violence from my teacher at school and it took me out of my body for many years. I had to slowly and painfully regain myself, my body, my emotions and confidence in people and the world. This quality of wonder had been crushed for a while and I had to relearn step by step how to free the spirit of wonder. Ironically my healing process gave me a deep understanding of how to reawaken this magical gift. It actually became the ground of my work later on in my life.

Nobody seems to see “Wonder” as a very special aspect of our human nature. At school or in my family there was never anything mentioned about Wonder or keeping a sense of the Mysterious as something actually important to nourish.

As I grew into my twenties in Paris, at the circus school, I was fascinated by the Films of Charlie Chaplin, and especially his Tramp character. I actually saw all his films, he was my inspiration and still is today. It is again the quality of “Wonder” that strikes resonance. With wonder comes innocence, he painted the struggles of life as an artist with such reality and innocence that I could feel my human condition in a poetic way, seeing the humour hiding behind all experiences. Through his truly human character of the tramp, he could reconcile failure with joy and power with vulnerability. Well, that is the potential of seeing with wonder and innocence. We actually can become more whole and authentic human beings. 

© Didier Danthois 1st April. 2019


Topic 1: "Essential Love" our Birthright

posted 11 Jan 2019, 16:06 by Didier Danthois   [ updated 1 Apr 2019, 15:27 ]


"Essential Love" our Birthright

The "Essential Love" is the basic love and care for ourselves remaining available whatever we experience in our life.  Firstly, let's bring some understanding of the basic environment in which we live today. I will formulate a few crucial points to deepen our understanding of inner reality. Our perception of life has been conditioned by our past education and experiences. The suffering we experience today is not only due to external circumstances but it is also the result of some basic misunderstandings, misconceptions and thinking habits that have formed over the years. Our education as children in the west has emphasised on training us on the cognitive level, we have learned to think analytically and then draw conclusions, but often our physical and emotional awareness has not been taken care of sufficiently. The end result is that our ability to be with whatever arises in us physically and emotionally is conceptualised. I mean that, for example, we have a tendency to bring out the thinking to deal with an emotion. It simply is too early to bring the thinking in. First, we need to allow ourselves to “Be” with an emotion and accept that it is there. We need to recognise that emotion by becoming present to it, breathing through it without judging it as good or bad. In essence, it is neither good nor bad. It simply is, and it will naturally change. The second element that is necessary to allow this process of “being with an emotion” is to have a loving attitude toward ourselves, whatever we experience. A sort of loving care for our vulnerable self, like a good mother for her child. 

How can we reawaken this sense of loving care for ourselves? Can you consider that at the core of your being there is a kind of fundamental self-love, care and acceptance or do we reject this possibility? I suggest that you reflect on this point before you go further. We often struggle to believe in this fundamental love because simply we do not experience it yet.  Here are two simple practices that will support you to reconnect and to nourish that inner sense of love. These exercises have been effective first for me personally and then for many people who have studied with me.

Recalling the feeling of “Loving Care”:
We will first create a beneficial inner environment in our body.
Sit comfortably on a cushion or a chair with your back straight. The hands are resting on the knees. The chest is open and the eyes are looking down with a gaze like the ocean. The mouth is slightly open as if saying “Ah”. Feel the quality of spaciousness and presence through your whole body. Now connect with the natural flow of the breath, rooted in your belly. Take your time to connect with your breath, aware of breathing in, aware of breathing out. Rest your attention on the breath. Keep coming back to your breath whenever you get distracted. Do not judge your experience, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. Feel the quality of being and accepting whatever you feel. Take at least 5 minutes doing that.

We are here nourishing a sense of inner space as an opposite to the feeling of being under pressure (which is the result of losing inner space.)
 
Now let's recall the quality of “Loving Kindness, care, acceptance that we have received sometime in the past, from our family, a friend, an animal, nature or the simple warmth of the sun on your body. Take a few minutes doing that, recalling and allowing any past loving experience to arise in you. Do not think too much, rather let it be a surprise.
Feel that this loving care and acceptance is filling you completely. Blessing the pelvis, the belly, the chest and heart, calming the mind, soothing the body and the emotions. Breath naturally as you rest in that caring feeling.
Now, have a sense if there is a “Compassionate Presence” of your own cultural or spiritual background that embodies this quality of love, acceptance, care. It can also be a compassionate being of your choice. Be open to what comes to you. Let yourself be surprised.
If nothing comes it is ok, simply come to rest in a bubble of Loving care all around you.. Give yourself a minimum of 5 minutes for that practice.

Resting in the compassionate Presence.
Fell that with every breath you take in nourishment from the “Compassionate Presence”. As you breathe in you take this quality of loving care into your belly, your chest, your heart, in any tense or painful areas. As you breathe out you exhale any difficult emotions or pains into the floor, the earth below. Repeat that process until your whole body, emotions and mind has settled in a warm glowing feeling. Simply rest there at peace for a while.
To Complete: Let the “Compassionate Presence” dissolve in the air, the light around you.
Knowing that this “Compassionate Presence is always there with you with every breath we take, with every step we make.
Note:
If you meet any inner difficulties during the practice, simply try to accept the way it was, as it was. Do not judge yourself or anybody else. The next time you do the practice, it will be different and a new experience.

I wish you well with this wonderful practice that has brought healing to so many people over the last twenty-five years. We are here nurturing the consciousness of our ultimate nature, learning to trust it and rest in it. If we nourish that perspective daily, after some time, it will be naturally available to you as a ground for “Being”. Then your relationship to the emotional roller coaster of life is very different. There is a basic inner love and calmness in the way you approach the difficulties. Many blessings on your practice.  

On this blog, I will continue addressing the difficulties we encounter in our daily life and art.


© Didier Danthois Jan. 2019

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