If it touches the heart, if it helps guide us on our path, it’s a Healing Circle.

Michael Lerner

The Path Through Grief: The 3 Questions (5:14)

Khris Ford with The Austin Center for Grief and Loss discusses how we can look at the possibilities of enduring and processing grief and how we can begin to recognize the legacies of the loss.

Healing Circles 2017 (8:50)

Diana Lindsay’s recovery from stage 4 lung cancer was a remarkable journey. The journey continues with the emergence of a powerful opening of the heart that she and her husband opened. Healing Circles opens up support to anyone who needs it in her community. This has opened up at least 10 Healing Circles on the continent today.

What are Healing Circles (6:45)

  • Healing Circles help us step out of ordinary time into a safe and accepting environment in which to explore our healing.
  • With open minds, we explore together ways of deepening our capacity to heal, alleviating our suffering, and finding meaning in both challenge and joy.
  • With open hearts, we access our own inner guidance to understand where the greatest healing—in body, emotions, mind and spirit—can occur.

What agreements protect a circle (6:23)

  • We treat each other with kindness and respect.
  • We listen with compassion and curiosity.
  • We honor each other’s unique ways to healing and don’t presume to advise or fix or try to save each other
  • We hold all stories shared in the Circle confidential.
  • We trust each of us has guidance we need within us and we rely on the power of silence to access it.

What are the practices of a Healing Circle (5:29)

  • Listen with attention.
  • Speak with intention.
  • Tend to the well-being of the whole Healing Circle.

What are the Circle roles (5:15)

  • Every member of the circle has an equal voice and is responsible for the leadership of their own healing.
  • 3 roles can help the circle flow smoothly:
    • The Host convenes and pays attention to flow of the circle.
    • The Guardian watches time, holds the bell, and protects the agreements.
    • A scribe can keep notes if the circle chooses.
  • When a Circle has done its work, the Host should know how and when to end the Circle well.

How do I prepare to host a Healing Circle (4:14)

  • Create a beautiful welcoming space—clean, well-lit, comfortable chairs
  • Create a center for the Circle – candle, flowers, or shared object.
  • Allow a time for social interaction—refreshments, warm welcome, casual conversation
  • Create a smooth transition from welcoming time to Circle time.

What’s a simple, sample Healing Circle (5:30)

  • Entering the Circle – silence, candle, and optional (poem, music, etc.)
  • Check in/Heart sharing – talking stick mode – can be more than one round
  • Harvesting/Learning – learn from collective wisdom in room or outside resources; can be done in conversational mode.
  • Close/ Leaving the Circle
  • Note: Importance of social time before and after Circle

What are other types of Healing Circles (11:13)

  • Healing Circles are safe environments for those with a common condition to share their experiences and harvest collective wisdom.
  • Discovery Circles are for those who like to process whatever they are facing through a specific form of creative expression.
  • Learning Circles are for those who share an interest in a topic or wish to develop a healing skill.
  • Caring Circles support those who care for others, including family, friends, professionals, and volunteers.

How do we deepen our Circle work (4:44)

  • By creative expression – Examples: Ritual, art, poetry, music, and movement
  • By addressing soul questions – Examples: Meaning & purpose, grief, fear, and uncertainty
  • By energy work – Examples: Healing touch, healing intention, and sensitivities to subtle energies
  • Deepening our own personal work – Examples: Love, trust, compassion, and gratitude.
  • By humor and laughter