Authentic Relating Toronto - Changing the world one connection at a time. - Trainings Page

"Perhaps the greatest gift we can offer is being open to being altered through enjoying the living shit out of each other…" - Guy Sengstock

ART Circling Training is our 3-month fundamentals based training for the practice of Circling.

Upcoming Dates: April-June 2020 (Registration is open here.)

Why Circling?

If you’re familiar with Circling already, you probably have your own ‘why’ that you participate in the practice with...

and if you’re not familiar with Circling, as a leader in this intersubjective meditative practice, it can be very daunting to create a pitch that lands with a broad spectrum of people. To find a frame that doesn’t dilute the potency that we know the practice can offer. This dilemma can lead to some would-be participants having the perspective that Circlers, when they talk about Circling, are being vague, perhaps deliberately so, which can naturally feed some skepticism, especially around some of the seemingly ‘grand’ claims we can make about the impact this practice has had on our lives.

So what to do about this bind?

Is there a bind?

Do you feel a bind?

You don’t have to, but I do. I can feel my stomach clenching.

Perhaps you feel indifferent about the bind, yet I don’t. It matters to me and I could make up a lot of stories about your indifference, or why you’re experiencing whatever it is you happen to be experiencing.

If only you were here to check those thoughts out with. We could get an understanding about how this is for you, and that seemingly simple clarifying action, could drastically change the direction with how I present this practice to you. You see, I need you, to know how to share this with you.

Perhaps at the end of my share, what I say won’t land and you’ll go back to life-as-usual, perhaps someone else should have shared their experience of Circling with you, after all, we can’t be all things to all people. Or perhaps, we might touch something very deep within one or both of us and we might become very close. Perhaps that intimacy is scary for you, perhaps exciting. Perhaps the same is true for me, fact is, I’m not sure, because I don’t know you. It’s also possible, you don’t know you. In fact, I might even learn something new about myself with you!

As I consider that, I get excited at the potential of all the things that could happen in our connection, that is, in our Circle. I get excited that one or both of us could leave the Circle and how we perceive ourselves or the world, changes forever! And from there I get even more excited about how that effect could ripple outwards through all the connections we both make, holding the revelations of our Circle in our awareness, and then eventually, over time, integrated into our very being.

That potential is a big part of my why.

Your why, your entry into this exploration of self and “other”, could come from an experience of stuckness or that something is missing, in that Circling could offer you a way back into your true self. A reintegration of disowned parts throughout your childhood or adult development.

You might see that you have people all around you, yet you feel disconnected and/or alone. Circling might offer you an experience of feeling deeply seen, heard, witnessed and/or accepted as you are, or perhaps simply in your struggle to reveal yourself, as you are.

Your perspective might drop even deeper and less personally, you might see or perceive a crisis of meaning within society and Circling might look like it offers a way through to the other side. A contemplative practice of collective intelligence and distributed cognition to support humanity and it’s challenges through the next hundred years.

And it’s likely, whatever your first point-of-entry is, practicing Circling will continue to reveal more doors, more richness of choice, than you thought possible, especially in relationships, be those with intimate partnerships, friends, family, colleagues and ‘strangers’.

And, regardless of the entry points, we believe the person who actually gets the most value out of this practice is actually, the facilitator, the one holding the space for the practice!

Why this Course?

We want to make the course accessible, and experiences with ART, or other Authentic Relating communities and practices is an asset, and yet, not required. The course is structured such that it guides the students with (or back to) a beginners mindset into a place of general or expanded comfort with the practice.

By taking this course, students who are on more of a leadership or facilitation track will qualify to certify their capacities in ART Circling for future facilitation opportunities and those who feel they’re more on a personal development track can further integrate Circling as an extremely valuable life practice that does not demand a formal circling-event container. And you can always change your mind, perhaps midway as you might start to relate to the practice and your original why differently.

That said, if you have any question as to if this course is a fit for you, please reach out to us to schedule a 15-minute call.

Course Details

In this course you will learn the basics of how to facilitate, what is known as a "Birthday” Circle in the ART (Authentic Relating Toronto) style. You’ll be introduced to the underlying principles that the practice is guided from as well as learn the processes involved in setting up and holding a container for 'safe' Circling.

This training takes place over the course of 3-months, the center of which involves 4 live weekend intensives during which you will balance structural understanding (theory) with state experiences (Circling, as a participant and facilitator) all while receiving direct feedback and coaching on your practice. In between each of these intensives there will be 1:1 partner and peer-group work where you can practice and further integrate your skills. Also in between these intensives there will be several small-group coaching sessions to again offer direct support on your individual area(s) of focus.

A general overview of the contents covered in each weekend are as follows:

Weekend 1 - The Download (Working with Basic Skills and Principles)
Weekend 2 - The Wade-In (Beginning with Facilitation)
Weekend 3 - The Expansion (Theory and Receiving Coaching)
Weekend 4 - The Cleansing (Trauma, Ethics and Receiving Coaching)

Completion* of this course grants a title of “Certified ART Circling Practitioner”, signaling said completion. To acquire a title of “Certified ART Circling Facilitator” and thus qualified to facilitate during ART Circling events or future ART training courses, interested participants must undergo a multi-stage certification process. The completion of this training* being the first step, which then allows you to attempt certification once every 3-months (to allow integration of any feedback and new practices to take hold) for a period of 12-months following the conclusion of the course.

During the final weekend of the course, existing FiT’s (from previous trainings) will have opportunities to attend for parts of the day to do their initial Certification circle which participants of this training can engage with which would provide an overview and clarity of practical expectations within the certification and adjudication process.

Expanded Training Context

For those of you familiar with our past foundational course, you may be wondering about the context for the expansion. We’re excited to share some info around this and to keep the answer brief, we had six guiding principles we measured any changes to the course against, which are:

1) Taking more responsibility for how Circling shows up in the world
2) Integrate opportunities for existing FiTs continued education/mentorship
3) Expansion of our geographical reach
4) Certification within reasonable grasp of more participants at completion
5) Provide direct support on individual challenges
6) Inject play into the pedagogy (teaching method)

The now-integrated changes accumulate in an over 2x increase in facilitated hours from our previous course, in addition we are providing a skill up-level path for existing FiTs to engage with the expanded curriculum.

Further to that, this training, as-designed will be one of the four modules presented in the upcoming 12-month ARTful Leadership Training course. Therefore participants of this course will receive a notable discount towards that offering when it launches.

*Completion involves attending all weekend intensives, participating or reviewing the recording of the small-group coaching calls and participating in a minimum of 8 self-organized, peer-based practice calls. If there are extenuating circumstances that impact meeting these completion requirements, please notify our staff *in-advance* of the session(s) that can not be attended.

Registration is now open for the upcoming course in April-June 2020. Click here!

Below you can see our video from 2017 we used for our previous iteration of this course.


"The best way to help [us] grasp the power of integration is through immersion in direct experience." - Dr. Dan Siegel

The ART-ful Facilitation Immersion is a weekend of open hearted interpersonal connection combined with edgy opportunities to show up in group facilitation.

These weekends are for anyone who enjoys practicing authenticity in service of more genuine and rich connections. And while there is no obligation for you to facilitate anything, this weekend is also for those who might be interested in facilitating at an ART Community Connection Lab, or perhaps you just want an opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to facilitate for a group or sharpen your pre-existing facilitation skills in a different container. Facilitation and leadership skills and experience gained in an authentic relating container has benefits across the entire spectrum of life and contexts. One could even consider the weekend as fun professional development!

And for those less interested in being the centre of attention for a period of time, the weekend is structured such that it can be very rewarding as a pure-participant. A great way to think of this immersion is much less like a workshop and more like a playshop. There are no presentations and while you might want to bring your notebook, no-one has to write anything down.

Upcoming Dates: May 1st - 3rd, 2020 (Register on
Corporate Team-Building & Leadership Training

Utilizing our many years of proven transformative relational leadership practices spanning over 200 events/workshops/training courses, EDC can provide your organization with the experience and tools needed to make your team(s) communicate better and work more effectively.

Please visit the Emergent Developmental Concepts website for more information.
©2018 Emergent Developmental Concepts