Two years ago I co-founded the Honoring Circle (HC). A small group of us have participated in the HC process every week for 2 years. It has changed our lives and so we decided to invite others to join us in this practice. We currently have participants from across the US and Europe and people from Africa and the Far East. We have open spaces in the several free HCs we set up for a 6 week period from March 6, 2022 through April 16, 2022. Contact me if you would like to join a free HC during this time period.
A little background context: The intention of the Honoring Circle (HC) is to deepen our awareness of self, including our body, and mindfully listen to both ourselves and to others, and the Universe, creating a resonant, healing space. Recently we decided to expand our Circle so that others may experience it. We decided to take the HC through the structure (co-sensing, co-initiating, transformational listening, etc.) developed by Otto Scharmer, co-founder of the Presencing Institute at MIT. Otto’s global class began a few weeks ago and we have an extended team of 20 people joining us in the class process but we have opening in our actual HCs. So I thought I would invite more folks. Every day we seem to have another person joining us. I will work to find a time that works for you.
A description of our process follows. Feel free to use it and give us attribution (Honoring Circle, Presencing Institute)
Honoring Circle – Honoring Self and Honoring Others
The Honoring Circle is an embodied practice that provides a way to connect with ourselves, to recreate community and develop the skills of deep listening and empathy. Deep listening and witnessing help build a container of trust where we can show up without needing to hide our true selves. Embodying this process may lead to increased feelings of self-worth, trust in our own body’s inherent intelligence and an enhanced sense of self-confidence. Those who have practiced it regularly have found the Honoring Circle to be an anchor amidst the turbulence, a safe place to feel grounded, seen and heard in a way that feels healing. The witnessing is as important as the sharing.
Setting the container: To begin we announce a sacred space in a ceremonial way, perhaps with a ringing bowl or other culturally appropriate item. From this time all that is shared within the circle is not to be shared outside the circle. We honour each other by listening with our whole body, with all our senses and with our heart, speaking of and from our true selves. Staying present in the moment, we witness each other. We pass the talking stick around the circle (metaphorically online or literally in person) and practice listening The intention of the Honoring Circle is to deepen our awareness of self, including our body, and mindfully listen to both ourselves and to others, and the Universe, creating a resonant, healing space.
Each person who wishes shares:
Round 1: How you feel around what’s been happening in your life recently and the impact it has had on you. Round 1 invites us to check in with each other, to quiet our minds, and to settle into our group space.
Round 2: Share your being-ness, that is, how you are in your mind , heart and body and how connected you feel to earth/sky/Universe. Throughout this practice it is important to simply witness and share what is observed, not to change anything. This act of direct awareness and sharing may have a transformative effect. Allowing the process is important.
While realising our entire being is a unified whole, to assist in connecting to ourselves in this deep way, we suggest four areas of focus.
1) Mind/ Head – Notice the quality of sensations in your mind or head, e.g., the flow of thoughts, the speed, the texture, anything you observe; everybody notices different things and describe this to the group. The intention is to be present to your mind in this precise moment.
2) Heart space/Emotions – Deeply sense what is happening in your heart here and now. It might be emotions, energies, or even physical sensations. Whatever it is, we are not trying to change anything, but rather give it a voice and witness it. We want to allow the heart to speak.
3) Physical body – Observe and share about any body sensations. You may want to do a scan over your body. What do you notice on the surface or inside your body – does it feel light or heavy, hot or cold, pleasant/ unpleasant/ neutral? You may even mention your energy level. Each day is different but we share what we witness right now.
4) Earth/Sky – Notice your connection with the earth, are you feeling grounded, what do you sense when you focus on your physical, emotional and/or spiritual connection to Earth, Sky or Universe?
Round 3: Next we share our present awareness of cohesion, alignment or non-alignment (or a synchronistic flow of energy) between our mind, heart and emotions both within ourselves, within our circle and possibly in relation to the current state of the world. Feel free to share reflections, new insights, images, etc., from our personal experience using statements such as (I feel, I sense, I realise, etc), as an offering without speaking directly about what another person shared. Time permitting, we may move into a short generative dialogue building on what has been shared.
Close the circle with intention.
Updated 3-11-22 ls