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Coming Full Circle through a Talking Circle

Sometimes a person just wants to be heard. Sometimes it's hard to listen. Using a talking-circle-method makes it easy for all to be heard and to listen.

Talking circles, peacemaking circles, or healing circles, as they are variously called, are deeply rooted in the traditional practices. The circle consists of like-minded people. Here is what they do in the meeting: The circle starts with a prayer or meditation to set an intention and instill safety and comfortability for all that are practicing. There is usually a main person who convenes the circle and keeps all participants engaged. A talking stick or sacred object (something special) is held by the person doing the talking. All listen and remain fully engaged - there is no conversation other than through the person holding the object. When that person is finished speaking, the sacred object is passed to the left (clockwise around the circle). Only the person holding the object may speak. All others remain quiet. No questions or comments are given. The circle is complete when the object passes around the circle, one complete time, without anyone speaking out of turn. This process prevents reactive communication and directly responsive communication, and it fosters deeper listening and reflection in conversation.

Try this process at home, work or amongst friends in a social setting. You will find that it's easier to listen, talk and form ideas. This engagement is considered a complete dialogue and the end result means you come full circle in a variety of mindful ways.

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