A circle activity

Last night the focus of the Sonoma County Circle Keepers Group was “Reflection and Silence.” After our opening round we responded to the question, “Where in our lives are we making time for silence and reflection?”

It’s a good topic and we went deep quickly. The next round was perhaps even more interesting. Introduced as an experiment in communicating silently, group members were invited to hold the talking piece in silence until they felt that their silence was “heard.” Meanwhile, others in the group were encouraged to practice “listening from the heart.”

Here are a few observations. First, the activity was very much appreciated by all participants. My own experience was that I felt “heard” almost immediately. While the talking piece went around the circle, at first I tried actively using my imagination to “feel” the heart of the person holding the piece.

That was interesting. But by the third or fourth person something shifted. I started noticing my own inner silence more. And right when I connected with my silence in a deep way, the person passed the talking piece. It was as if they didn’t feel heard until I stopped trying to hear “their” silence and instead listened to “Silence” itself. This happened for the remainder of the circle.

My conclusion: It is my own silence that hears the silence of another; and the silence of another feels heard by me when I am connected to my silence.

I think this has to to with emotional intelligence; with getting outside the world of thinking and ideas, and just being still.

I would be interested in hearing from others who have tried similar activities in their circles; or, if you haven’t, try it as described here.

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2 Responses

  1. I can’t wait to try this one.

    In a women’s Circle, we all took a moment to make eye contact with everyone before beginning to speak. So the silence and eye contact was the only occurance in the first round. It got more and more emotional and tearful, as we ‘greeted’ each woman with compassionate eyes and unconditional love.

  2. […] read a post by Amos on the Restorative Resources blog – and he shared about an activity to hold the talking […]

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