Community listening circle

What happens in the Listening Circle

This listening circle might be the simplest of all forms for going deep with others. That doesn’t mean it’s easy! Perhaps a metaphor explains it best!

It’s as if travelers from many different directions meet at the appointed hour. Perhaps one or two will show up, perhaps many more.

Each of us brings a rich experience of being human and it’s our reflection on that personal experience we’re listening for here.

We could tell a history or a report or what we already know. But we could also tell what’s alive for us right now as we’re there together. As we listen to others we often notice things about our own journey we hadn’t noticed before. A group genius – a scenius – can show itself!

These guidelines – we start off with them as a sort of invocation – help put us on the same footing . . .

Take time to slow down and be with what you’re noticing in the present. See how it really is for you. Most conversations don’t make room for what’s alive in the moment so it may feel unfamiliar to make a space for that.

We’ll go around and speak in order but it’s perfectly OK to pass, to not speak, anytime it’s your turn. If you choose to pass, please say so, so that the others know that.

Listening is as important as speaking. As best as you can, don’t step away from what’s being said in order to plan what you’re going to say.

Speak to what’s true for you and let others have their experience of what’s true for them. No need to interpret for them. No need to fix, advise or rescue others – even if that does come from a good motive in us.

Welcome silence in the group should it come. Much is being said in the silence if we can rest and listen in it.

If feelings are running high, see if you can let that be OK too. There’s much intelligence in the circle that will carry us through. We don’t have to fix things.

Having others’ attention is a precious gift given to us. One way to receive that gift is to be aware that others are listening closely to you. See if you can gift them with something alive from you.

In addition to our individual perspectives and feelings, there’s also something happening in the larger “field” of us together. Each of us notices that, consciously or not. It’s often helpful to speak to what you’re noticing in the moment in “the field.”

Take what comes as an expression of how we are together at the moment. Have fun with it!

Find the details for connecting to the Listening Circle here.

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