The Organized and Playful Mind: A Workshop with Pedro de Alcantara

Our lives are made of the dialogue between improvisation (the playful mind) and structure (the organized mind). Good health is the balance between these two aspects of existence.

Questions, suggestions, requests? Please email me.

When? Saturday & Sunday, November 23 & 24, 2019, from 2 to 7 PM with a tea break. Monday, November 25 from 10 AM to 1 PM, an optional Practice Lab at no extra cost.

Where? Studio Bleu, 7/9 rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris. Métros Château d'eau (line 4) or Strasbourg-Saint Denis (lines 4, 8 and 9). The Studio Bleu is on the first floor of the building sandwiched between the Franprix supermarket and the New Morning jazz club.

For Whom: Anyone interested in skills of observation, creativity, mindfulness, and adaptability. Limited to 12 participants. Past participants have included artists, musicians, writers, health professionals, and public speakers.

How Much: Each day costs €150. Take both days and receive a discount: €250 instead of €300. Please email me for more information or to register. 


1. Habits of Thought. Thinking is like everything else in your personality: unique to you, and composed of "possibilities" and "habits." Habits of thinking can include irony, doubt, cynicism, enthusiasm, gullibility, and literal-mindedness, among many others; these can be harmful or helpful. As for the possibilities in thinking . . . they are numberless. In this segment we'll become better aware of our individual habits of thinking, the better to open up to new possibilities of thinking.

2. Habits of Work. Waking up in the morning is, symbolically, a habit of work. So is drinking coffee or not drinking coffee, since it may affect your manner of work. And, yes, you guessed right: everything you do contributes to your habits of work and, consequently, to your creativity, your productivity, and your health. In this segment we'll grapple with the way we work "today" and the way we'd like to work "tomorrow."

3. Habits of Improvisation. Everyone has access to two modes of working, which we’ll call improvisation and structure. The modes are first and foremost frames of minds: ways of looking at things, ways of approaching a situation, ways of responding to problems or to any task. You can develop both modes separately and—more importantly—in dynamic opposition. In this segment, we’ll consider tools for improvisation, with an emphasis on suspending judgment and having a good time.

4. Habits of Structure. You can read the same text with an improvisatory filter (in which you let words and images flood over you and trigger all sorts of associations and fantasies that whisper, talk, or shout at your unconscious) or with a structural filter (in which you analyze a text’s construction, the order and proportion of its contents, its logic and coherence, and so on). To sharpen our habits of structure, we’ll use a series of reading and writing exercises.

Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 11.53.27 AM.png