Exploring Acceptance Through Meditation and Play

Sep 04 2020

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly in the heather by Joe Rosser

Hello! I've edited an excerpt from The Online Clown Academy's first of four drop-in Zoom Clown sessions so you can try it out at home. In this session, we'll be exploring the theme of acceptance through meditation and playful exploration:

To offer a little context for the session, here's a short interview I did with The Online Clown Academy.

The Online Clown Academy (TOCA): What does 'acceptance' mean to you?

Holly: That's a good question. To me, acceptance is central to my work as a clown. I cut my clown teeth on the streets and I quickly learned that being able to say yes to whatever the world throws at me, keeps me in connection with the flow. If a pigeon walks across my 'stage,' it's my job to acknowledge and interact with it, because the stage is a charged environment and everything that happens on it is important. The audience will see the pigeon and if I don't drop what I'm doing and play with it, they'll be disappointed.

TOCA: So are you saying acceptance is about noticing what's happening around you and choosing to include it in your play?

Holly: Yes and it's also about noticing and playing with what's happening inside you.

TOCA: When you say 'inside you,' do you mean farts and burps and that sort of thing?

Holly: Well yes, I guess farts and burps will always be funny, but what I'm mostly taking about is feelings.

TOCA: Urgh, feeeeeeeeelings.

Holly: I know, we all have them though, each one of us is a vessel for a constant stream of changing sensations and emotions. Why not use this in your clowning?

TOCA: Why would you want to do that?

Holly: Because it's what unites us as humans. When I'm brave enough to play with my authentic emotions on stage, it has the same effect as when I interact with a pigeon, the audience can see what they're already sensing, they can relate to me and the laughter that abounds is often rooted in resonance. 

If you'd like to try this philosophy out for yourself, click the video above and be led through a guided sitting meditation exploring saying yes to what is. This meditation is adapted from the wonderful work of Tara Brach.

For the second part of the video, I will guide you through a sensory exploration of your space and the objects in it, inviting you to find an easy quality of play through saying yes to what is. 

Music: Reflection #2 by Joep Beving from the album Solipsism.

To find out more about the Online Clown Academy:

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The Zoom Clown Drop-ins will continue next week (Thursday 10th September) with Robyn presenting a session exploring rebellion. It's open to everyone, age 18+ More info here. Tickets available here

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