In unison, these seven elements make Circlework the uniquely powerful, transformative experience that it is.
1 Planetary Consciousness: Circlework recognizes the oneness and interconnectedness of the global community. We are not working in isolation, but as part of a greater web of planetary healers. Interconnected as we are at every level, from the physical to the spiritual, we dedicate our work to our own personal healing and to that of the entire planetary community.
2 Spirituality: Spirituality, defined as opening to the knowledge of our oneness with others and the cosmos, is an essential human need. Yet in our world, it all too often goes unmet. Many no longer follow a religious path. Others find that their religious practice does not give them the soul nourishment they crave. Circlework provides a range of opportunities for participants to access Spirit in ways that transcend religion and are not based on any particular ideology or belief system. Immersed in sacred space, they rediscover their own authentic spirituality and are encouraged to live in alignment with their soul’s deepest desires.
3 The Mandala: Circlework approaches the geometric form of the circle as a medicine that can help us become what it is: whole, centered, balanced and sacred. In this respect, Circlework stands in the lineage of all those throughout the ages who saw the circle as a form imbued with sacred power, capable of healing body, mind and soul. Circlework also builds on the insights of C.G. Jung, who described the circle as an archetypal image that lies within the psyche of every human being and can help us realize our wholeness and divinity. By maintaining a constant focus on sacred geometry, Circlework awakens participants to the circle as an inner source of wisdom and guidance. The presence of the center, universally equated with the divine Source, allows them to co-create sacred space, without resorting to religious terminology or dogma.
4 The Feminine: On the one hand, Circlework empowers women by helping them experience their beauty and value and by giving them opportunities, only too rare in our world, to rediscover the true meaning of sisterhood. On the other hand, Circlework also fosters qualities that our society associate with the feminine and marginalizes, such gentleness, tenderness, compassion, softness, beauty and grace. At this time in history, it’s essential that both men and women cultivate these supposedly “feminine” (though actually universal) qualities, since they hold the key to maintaining peaceful, fulfilling relationships between individuals, groups and nations.
5 Embodiment: One of the aims of Circlework is to help people transition from head- to heart-thinking, two concepts I discuss at length in my book The Sacred Ego. To achieve this shift, we need to move the center of our attention from our head into our body. Circlework includes a wide range of practices designed to facilitate this shift. These practices give the experience a unique flavor. Whereas most other types of circle gatherings mainly involve sitting and talking, Circlework includes movement, touch, sounding, silence and immersion in nature. As participants come home to their bodies, they also come home to the earth.
6 Relational Education: As one glance at the evening news can remind us, our species is currently facing massive challenges in the arena of interpersonal relationships. We urgently need what I call “relational education”—the kind that enables us to maintain peaceful, harmonious relationships. By providing it, Circlework prepares us to relate peacefully to diverse kinds of people, including those whose beliefs and views differ significantly from our own. It empowers us to stay centered, spacious and open, even in the midst of challenging interactions—a crucial key to maintaining peace, be it between individuals, groups or nations.
7 Spaciousness: Our society is overwhelmingly busy, noisy and crowded, and our minds tend to match the frantic pace of our outer environment. Circlework is decidedly countercultural in its emphasis on spaciousness as an essential key to happiness and spiritual fulfillment. Through guided meditations and other practices, it helps us access the inner sense of freedom and expansiveness we long for. As much as possible, retreats and trainings are held in spacious natural environments and include a lot of “down” time.
© Jalaja Bonheim 2018