The Five Principles Can Be Lights on a Path to Presence with Each Other

The practice of Circling encourages you to draw your own conclusions, while continuously allowing them to be re-drawn. The Five Principles can be lights on this path to presence with each other.

The following descriptions are not comprehensive—but they will give you enough to start testing out how you can deepen your presence both inside and outside of Circles. They are not rules; they are guidelines. They are not answers; they are questions to be lived. They are not static; they are evolving as we evolve.

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Commitment to Connection

An invitation to stay in connection with whatever is arising between you and others. This includes revealing yourselves and being open to the impacts from—and on—others. This does not mean any forced sense of having to be open or vulnerable; it does mean we inquire deeply into the truth of what is here instead of habitually reacting or avoiding. We can just as easily share and explore the feelings of being guarded, distant, confused, or unknown with someone as we can the feelings of vulnerability, closeness, or appreciation….

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Owning Your Experience

Getting to our deepest truth, our unarguable experience beyond our projections. Encourages us to take responsibility for what is happening within us, and being open to that changing. Often this requires a letting go of outcomes and admitting feelings that challenge our sense of who we are. It involves the willingness to feel our body, the subtleties in our experience and our more challenging emotions. The highest level of this principle is feeling 100% responsible for all of our experience…

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Staying With the Level of Sensation

By including the subtle bodily sensations in our awareness and expression, we can share with more power, presence, and discover more truth. These sensations often contain the least interpretation and therefore can surprise us with connections outside of rational analysis. This is about alive embodied sensations and emotions—not ‘dry’ body sensation sharing…

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Trusting Experience

Invites us to honor the relative truth of any given experience inside of us, while discerning what is happening. It is often an invitation to trust the unknown, to include non-rational experiences, and points to something beyond our individual consciousness…

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Being With the Other in Their World

Deeply appreciating the perfection of someone in each moment, while getting penetrating insight into the nuances of their way of being. Seeing their inherent innocence, assuming nothing, and being willing to challenge assumptions in both of you (without any effort to change how someone or something is). This principle is a pointer to not just understand someone intellectually, but to surrender into being with them in that particular moment…

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Circling in Peru: An Experiential Preview of Relational Practice

(this post originally written to share about the Integral European Conference, a global gathering of scholar-practitioners coming together to consider to envision a more integral European continent. My heartiest regards and thanks to the IEC and the amazing work they’ve done). It’s Tuesday night in Cusco, Peru, and I’m sitting in a white plastic chair in the second story of …

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Meditation and Circling

The most outstanding feature of Circling is the way the wisdom and understanding from the individual practice of meditation has been brought into an interpersonal dynamic to be shared between people. Although there are many different forms of meditation there can be said to be an underlying purpose to the practice. This could be described as a way of bringing …