In the last 18 months or so, my experience (and understanding) of Biodanza has taken a quantum leap forward! A whole new paradigm has opened up for me, thanks to one man, Philippe Lenaif of Belgium (www.coregane.org), Director of the Biodanza School of Soigny and creator of the Biodanza extension The Heart of Transformation.
This work exemplifies Philippe’s deep understanding of the human condition, a combination of his 20 years as a Biodanza professional and as a shamanic practitioner. The workshop trains the unconscious mind to move towards the things it has developed many clever and intricate strategies to avoid all these years, and to thereby release the repressed emotions therein, cleaning the psychological and emotional wounds and healing the psyche. This produces the eponymous transformation. It is amazing work. Simple, yet profound. And, it is absolutely Biodanza! Tweaked, to be sure, but in such a way as to retain the integrity of Rolando’s concept, yet producing manifestly different benefits.
This is Biodanza for those who have perhaps reached a plateau in their development and evolution in the technique. Philippe insists on a minimum of three years of regular weekly class participation before engaging in this work. This is because something new needs to be in place for when his work dismantles the foundations of the psychological structure that has been there, but is not necessarily healthy. This psychological structure once served a purpose, to ensure our survival, but that initial threat is long since over. But because the emotions triggered at the time were never fully expressed, the adaptation made to cope with the threat remains long afterwards, and it is this that Philippe’s work addresses. When the soul is ready to let go of this emotional wounding and the fixed pattern supporting it, the three years of regular Biodanza provides ‘resources’, as he terms it, to support a new psychological foundational structure.
Traditionally, Biodanza has shied away from embracing its inherent power to touch deep pain and suffering (and thereby release it) by moving only towards love, joy, happiness, plenitude…the so-called ‘positive emotions’. This can radically rearrange the furniture and redecorate the individual’s psychic structure, but to replace the joists, walls, ceilings and even the roof requires encounter with the deeper substructures of the unconscious.
M. Lenaif has created an exemplary vehicle for so doing. He teaches us how to open up space and receive messages from the body – the fear, sadness or anger inducing incidents from our past (of which there are countless) – and clean up our shadow sides little by little.
It is done without forcing or pushing or engaging in premature catharsis. Catharsis happens, but only when the body is ready to do so – and only once there is a replacement psychological structure ready to take the place of the one exploded in catharsis. This training of the Unconscious enables us to continue the process long after the workshop is over, as the Unconscious learns to embrace the painful parts and release the emotional tension, rather than doing everything possible to avoid them – which is what generally happens to us in the western cultures.
My own personal healing journey has been jump started by his work. It has radically enhanced my understanding of how and why Biodanza works so well, and has considerably bolstered the armoury of tools available to me. Philippe’s work is reinvigorating my teaching and exciting me as to where I might take this work myself.
Merci beacoup Philippe!
I recently finished the training to give The Heart of Transformation. Right now I am in Norway experiencing it again as a participant. I shall endeavour to offer this work with my friend and colleague Pip Kennan in the UK sometime in 2014! Watch this space for more details.