A heart circle is a place where people meet in sacred space to share from the heart. It is a place where you witness and are witnessed just as you are – your authentic self, speaking from the heart rather than the head and expressing all and any emotions that are present for you. (Source)
There are some simple guidelines and pointers for taking part in a heart circle:
- Confidentiality is part of the circle – everything said and expressed is kept within that session.
- Speak with ‘I’ statements and talk about yourself and what is going on for you now.
- This is not a place for discussion or debate. No one is interrupted or verbally responded to.
- No one has to speak. Typically there is an object or “talisman” that is used to hold the protected space for each person – whoever holds the talisman has the time and space to speak and no one interrupts (although there are ways to gently express appreciations and resonances with what is being said). When holding the talisman you do not have to speak – you can just be witnessed in your space before passing it on.
- Although a heart circle is not formalised therapy, the sharing, witnessing and being witnessed can be incredibly healing and transformative for each individual.
- Each heart circle has a defined start and end time and it is important for you to be there at the start so as to be a part of the “flow” and process.
- Sometimes the sharing may naturally end a little early but the always the aim will be to find ways to end it on time.
- Moment of silence – Taking a moment of silence before opening and closing of every circle or group conversation. A multi faith prayer can also be shared after the silence by one of the participant or just ringing a meditation bowl to close the silence. This helps to take a pause, connect with ourselves and invites us to listen to the unspoken words.
- Silent walk – We have a peace pole in our campus, that for us symbolises, humanity’s faith in oneness. We start the walk by giving a hug to the peace pole, followed by a prayer. We walk in the nature, taking each step very slowly, with mindfulness and awareness. The intention of this walk is to express gratitude to our ancestors, to known and unknown friends and to the divine.
- Silent dinner – With the intention that guest is god and to experience food as prasad (sacred offering), we invite participants during our retreats to experience dinner in silence. Volunteers decorate the place with a mandala in the center, welcome guests as family members with reverence, prepare and serve food lovingly.