What does that mean?
What we mean by intersubjective is that we are sharing our subjective (meaning internal/personal) experiences with
one another. The meditative part is because while we're sharing, we're also bringing an awareness to what is happening
from moment to moment.
Another way to describe Circling is that it's an organic, in-the-moment interpersonal process that's equal parts art
form, meditation, and group conversation - all designed to allow a visceral experience of connection and understanding
of another person's world, celebrating who and where they are right now.
It's practicing using our genuine curiosity to better understand and become a connoisseur of another person's world
through present moment awareness while breaking through the assumptions and stories we have about each other.
Different than sitting on a meditation cushion by yourself, Circling is a relational practice. And though it works
exquisitely in intimate relationships of all kinds, it can be applied in ALL areas of life because it's so organic,
non-analytical, effective, nourishing and fun.
Circling is not therapy and the intention is counter to trying to 'fix' anyone.
Circling can uncover relational blind spots, result in the feeling of being seen and accepted and through this
experience give access to personal transformation(s).
Through this in-the-moment process, we have more choice about how we respond. The more we are aware of our blinds
spots, the greater our choice in any situation. The greater our choice, the greater our degree of relational freedom.
Currently there are three 'styles' of Circling being practiced around the world. 'Birthday', 'Organic' and
'Surrendered Leadership'. The default style for our regular public events is Birthday circling, where
the groups gravity, that is to say the groups attention is focused on a single person who volunteers to be Circled.
A common way that a Birthday Circle looks
is that we sit, coincidentaly enough, in a circle. The circlee at one end
and the facilitator across from them. The others in the circle position themselves so everyone can see each other.
The facilitator might often lead the inquiry with "What's it like to be you right now?", and this begins the inquiry
into sharing what is alive in the present moment, interpersonally. The inquiry continues by exploring how the circlee
is impacted by having the groups attention on them, and how the group is impacted by the circlee. While always
bringing our inquiry back to the circlee. Circles at your average Circling evening typically last from anywhere
between 30-60 minutes. However, while this description is typical, due to the nature of the practice and the
intention to "welcome everything", any individual circle can look quite different.
The other styles, ART offers in more committed and/or advanced containers such as our Core Practice
Series, Master Circle Leadership Training, Facilitator Labs and various Intensives.
Circling is a very experiential practice, making it difficult to say 'what it is' in a way that all can relate
to it. Its gifts are plentiful and varied as are the people who practice it. In many way's it's one of those
things you may 'have to experience yourself' to get what Circling is for you.
Below are some ways in which this practice can work and benefit various contexts.
Circling: For Deepening Relationships (personal, familial, professional)
This practice can help us get more in touch with our inner truth. From there we may start to
answer some "why's" we've never thought to ask ourselves. This can lead to more consciousness around
our actions, understanding our fears and with that knowing, we can start to feel more comfort
and acceptance leading for us to advocate for ourselves in our relationships. Asking for what we
want. One way this can look is expressing clearer "No's" through boundaries and/or expressing our
"Yes" in a way that others can trust it.
Circling: For Professional Development
In addition to the relational benefits mentioned in 'for deepening relationships', another way
the practice can be helpful in professional settings is not only improving intuition but also
gaining the capacity to check our assumptions and gain shared reality around others
intentions and expectations. From here we can deliver based on people's true expectations rather than their
implied expectations. This simple exploration can greatly improve efficiency and perceived
quality of output.
Circling: For Healers
Circling is not a modality of therapy as there is no intention to fix or heal anyone, and
yet simply bringing a 'circling presence' to our interactions and relationships often can
result in positive impact. One way in which this can be experienced is through others relaxing and
experiencing a feeling of safety, or a depth of inquiry through non-judgemental curiosity that can uncover unexplored terrain.
These explorations can lead to loosening or releasing binds (stuckness), giving access to increased
self-actualization or thriving.