Working in a circle was an ancient form of gathering humans into deep conversation and peace-making. I believe we would all benefit by returning to the wisdom of thousands of years ago to face the challenges of today’s world. The existential threats to our ancient forebears were addressed by working in circle. Today’s threats might be different to those faced by our ancestors , but they come with an even greater capacity for devastation as the threats are to more than just our own species. We must find whole-world based solutions to the effects of our fast moving and de-personalising technology, or the toxic impact to the planet of the ‘rational’ actions of humankind and I believe the council circle provides that space.
As Christina Baldwin describes in her book: ‘Peer Spirit’ the circle is:
- a shape where everyone can see and hear each other
- a group process that supports every voice into collaborative decision-making
- an experience of sharing story, inviting diverse thinking and encouraging creative problem solving.
When we are in Council Circle conversations, we agree to:
- speak from our heart and from our own experience
- listen with respect, compassion and curiosity
- hold stories or personal material in confidentiality
- be willing to discover and explore, keep an open mind and suspend judgement, notice patterns, themes and new questions.
- allow people to take part at the level they feel comfortable, or just to listen