Circlework is a powerful and effective tool for awakening what Jalaja Bonheim, the originator of Circlework, calls global consciousness—the awareness of our oneness as a global community—in large numbers of people. Today, global consciousness holds the key to healing ourselves, our communities, and the planet. Without it, our species cannot hope to survive. In the practice of Circlework, we use circle gatherings to create a field of love so powerful that participants experience their unity and interconnectedness in life-changing ways.
Circlework accomplishes this in a number of ways:
Circlework connects us with the meaning and power of the circle: Humans have been gathering in circles for hundreds of thousands of years, and have always revered the circle as a powerful healing agent—C.G. Jung called it “the archetype of wholeness and divinity.” Today, leaders in many different fields of work are using Circlework to harness the archetypal power of the circle in service of peace and healing.
Circlework opens hearts. This is important in all our relationships, but especially in situations of conflict. Whereas many forms of reconciliation and peace work focus primarily on dialogue, Circlework teaches that true reconciliation cannot occur as long as people’s hearts are closed to each other. Unless we can muster the courage to lay down our weapons, let go of our defenses, own our vulnerability, and connect in intimate and authentic ways, our species will not survive.
Circlework teaches the art of relationship. Today, the form of education we need most is rarely taught—Jalaja calls it relational education. If we can’t relate well, we can’t live in peace. Circlework™ shows an alternative to the warfare and violence that pervades our world by imparting the skills of peaceful co-existence, skillful communication, and compassionate love of self and others.
In the global era, we’ll need a vastly higher level of relational skills than previous generations ever did. We aren’t just trying to connect with people who share our own views and values, but with people who see the world completely differently than we do. The greater our differences, the more important good communication becomes. Like a strong hammer, it can knock down the walls that separate us.
Circlework invokes the presence of the sacred. It provides a place where people of diverse faiths (or no faith) can share an experience of the sacred, without subscribing to specific beliefs. This is important, because people who have no spiritual meeting ground will fail to bond in the deepest possible way. The experience of shared spiritual communion creates a sense of connection for which there is no substitute.
Circlework cultivates qualities traditionally associated with the feminine, such as gentleness, receptivity, compassion, nurturance, and beauty. Though our society devalues these qualities, they are in fact the very ones that empower us to maintain harmonious relationships, both personally and globally.
Circlework fosters inner and outer spaciousness. One of the great lies of our society is that the mind is qualified to control our lives. In fact, our excessive faith in the power of the rational mind blocks our access to the wisdom that we need. While Circlework honors the power of mental concepts, it also invites us to detach from thought and open to other sources of guidance.
Circlework invites us to celebrate life. Celebrations are an essential nutrient without which communities languish. To be healthy, we need to celebrate. Therefore, Circlework welcomes music and dance, laughter and play, storytelling and poetry, nurturance and pleasure.
Circlework empowers us. Each individual has the capacity to make a unique contribution to the world, and together, we can offer each other the encouragement and support we need to make that contribution. While a circle may have a leader, in Circlework™, there are no gurus. Each individual takes full responsibility for themselves, for their well-being, their intentions, and their actions.