• 17 - 22 Jul 2022

What Sustains Us: Exploring What is Essential Through Courage and Play

This retreat will explore the question of what sustains us in our lives when what we seek goes awry. We are living through an unprecedented time. In such times how can we stay connected with heart, curiosity and compassion?

This retreat will explore the question of what sustains us in our lives when what we seek goes awry.  We are living through an unprecedented time.  In such times how can we stay connected with heart, curiosity and compassion?

We will work with the theme of What Sustains Us using The Nose to Nose approach and the Circle of Trust® work of Parker J. Palmer, both rooted in the belief that each of us has our own inner teacher to discern our way in the world.  We invite the wisdom of our inner knowing to emerge through interweaving the vulnerable playfulness of clowning with time for reflection, deep listening and sharing in a trustworthy community.

Through Clowning: we connect to our playful spirit.  We develop and sustain, in ourselves and each other, the courage to be who we truly are, to trust life and ourselves.  We explore joyfully the fears that block us from being fully present in the “here and now”.  By committing to living the absurd, the ridiculous and the tragic without judgement we invite transformation and change in our own daily lives.  We “become the other” in order to become more ourselves.  We move into the realm of metaphor and can explore the paradoxes of our lives in evocative ways.

Through the Circle of Trust approach: we create a process of shared exploration.  Through the principles and practices of this approach, we create a safe space for reflection and meaningful conversations to make deeper sense of what we are experiencing in clowning.  We find the courage to share our vulnerabilities, delights, gifts and limits.  We learn to trust our own wisdom to align our inner life with our outer work in the world.  We may see ourselves with curiosity and wonder for who we are.  The word Courage comes from a root that means “heart”.  “Taking heart” is a profoundly inward process, and an invitation for overcoming the fears that block us from being fully present in the “here and now”.

In this retreat we will interweave Clowning and Circle of Trust explorations. There will be time for learning together in the whole group, as well as time in small groups and chances for personal reflection and solitude.  Our invitation is to “create a quiet, focused, disciplined space in which the noise within us and around us can subside and the voice of the inner teacher can be heard.”

All are welcome: This retreat is open to all – no experience necessary.


This program is co-facilitated by Courage & Renewal Facilitator Penny Williamson alongside Vivian Gladwell, creator of Nose to Nose UK in 1990, Nose to Nose of North America in 2006 and Fool View, the Social Clowning group.

Emerson College, Pixton Lane, Forest Row
East Sussex, RH18 5JX, United Kingdom

Photos courtesy of Emerson College Trust Ltd

Emerson College, an education charity whose purpose is to develop, practice and teach sustainable ways of working and living through experiential teaching and inner-led change. The campus is set in 22 acres of beautiful botanic gardens. It was founded in 1962. It is now situated on Pixton Hill, Forest Row in East Sussex, UK.  It was named after Ralph Waldo Emerson. For the past 50 years there has been an international community of students and teachers living and studying on the site. It is on beautiful land with gardens, pond and lovely walks, serving healthy vegetarian food and on site accommodations for residential retreats.

Emerson College is well connected to transport hubs. Regular direct trains run between London Bridge and East Grinstead train station and the journey time is one hour. Taxis can be booked from East Grinstead station to Emerson College (15-minute journey). The closest major airport is London Gatwick airport, which is fourteen miles from Emerson College. Taxis can be booked (30-minute journey) from Gatwick airport or alternatively local buses also connect Gatwick Airport with Forest Row.

July 17-22, 2022
Sunday, 6:15pm – Friday, 1:30pm

COSTS: 410 British Pounds (tuition only); Deposit (180 British Pounds).

Deposit is refundable more than two months before the start of the course. There is a 20 British Pound administration fee for refunds.  If the course is cancelled your deposit will be refunded in full.   Please go to link to register for retreat – listed below.

Room and Board is booked directly through Emerson College. https://www.emerson.org.uk/calendar
To contact Emerson: email is bookings@emerson.org.uk

How to Register: https://www.nosetonose.info/uk/events/what-sustains-us-exploring-what-is-essential-through-courage-and-play-a-weekly-online-course-of-4-sessions-2

Maximum Number of Participants – 12

Deposits are refundable if more than two months before the course (minus a 20 British Pound admin fee), and fully refunded if the course is cancelled.

Questions about this event?
Please contact us: Vivian Gladwell: Nosetonose@gmail.com


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