Social practice to be heard and seen, listen and see others and self in the context of an authentic, ancient and modern group process.
Offers a process of group learning and social integration in variations of a universally familiar format. Has simple guidelines and invites a pace and depth that is inclusive and transparent – People sit around in a circle, attribute a center, agree on basic intentions, using a talking/listening piece and conduct attention to witness, attend and facilitate a learning, a support and a wisdom inherently present within the participants, space and time allotted.
At the beginning of the course, even daily as a short check-in if necessary, we would meet, hear our more personal self which included our hopes and dreams, our feelings and responses to current situations. By so doing, a necessary bonding took place, listening to the stories that deepened trust and allowed each to reveal more of themselves, not normally given space for in more driven collaborations.
A short daily check-in. Can be a non-verbal round of sound and movement that expresses how each feels, or a minute each of speaking etc.
Longer session at the start of a training or course, middle and end to review how things are going, if everyone is present and in a good relation with events and each other.
As above, that can also include the use of break-out rooms for smaller groups to share longer stories, and then return to a large circle with highlights, pearls and anything else the group really needs to hear.
The guidelines are simple, yet need to be clearly held and gently reminded – people may talk too long and energy fails, there is talk ‘about’ something rather than telling a story (a personal experience), giving a clear example and or getting to the point. Play a game first, before sitting, keep it light and not too long until the group is more experienced.
Council was used as a central practice for governance in the Iroquois Confederacy, an 800-yr old constitution within a league of six Native American nations. It was adopted by Thomas Jefferson in part for the US constitution.
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