By Roger Harrison
January 1, 2005
This post has been moved from its original location at PeerSpirit.com and archived here, so you can continue to access it.
This month’s circle tale was shared with us by our dear friend and colleague, Roger Harrison.
Have you ever had such a perfect day that when the activities were over, you could only sit and marvel over all that went right with gratitude? It’s the evening of New Year’s Day. My wife, Margaret, and I have been sitting in our living room congratulating ourselves on our good fortune.
We both have a long standing passion for participating in and facilitating dialogue. During the 1990’s, we made many attempts to create dialogue in places as far away as England and the Netherlands and right here on Whidbey Island. We gained a lot of experience, but had rather mixed success, and the successes were not sustainable.
When it occurred to us that we might celebrate New Year’s with an open house that would include a dialogue circle, we were both seized with inertia, and very nearly didn’t get it going. It was December 22nd before we sent out invitations:
Please join us at our home January 1st, 2005 between 1-5p.m. In addition to an Open House, we intend to hold a circle for conversation between 3:15-5:15p.m. During that time, we invite you to reflect with us upon the gifts, blessings and learning we have all experienced during the past year, as well as sharing our hopes and intentions for the year to come.
Many people here don’t RSVP to such invitations, so we were quite uncertain as the day approached whether we would have four or 24 in our circle. Given my abhorrence of giving a party and not having enough to eat, we prepared a great deal of food. Fifteen people showed up. They trickled in so that we were able to sit and really connect with the early comers. When we sat down in circle, there were just twelve, including us, which definitely maxed out the capacity of our small living room.
The process was magical—so much so that my words may not convey the essence of it. After a round with a Talking Stone, in which each person spoke to the theme we’d identified in our invitation, we opened the circle for general conversation. The conversation quite quickly went to people’s feelings of powerlessness in giving assistance to those bearing the suffering of our world, specifically the tsunami victims. Margaret suggested the possibility of creating blessing fields to help alleviate suffering. We ended with a deep sharing around the question of why, when we know everything is connected and that effective action in non-physical realms is possible, it’s so hard to be conscious of those truths and act on them in our daily lives.
We ended with a ritual suggested by one of us, in which we gathered, intensified and focused the loving energy we had been creating with our words in the circle into a strong field of healing energy. We then directed and sent it off to those in need.
People hung about for a while after we closed, eating and chatting, a little reluctant to leave the good energy field they had created. In truth, we didn’t much want them to go. One person suggested that she was now motivated to try gathering such a circle on a monthly basis, which I, of course, encouraged.
When all had left, Margaret and I sat for quite a while, sharing wine and basking in the field and in our own gratitude for the wonderful people in our lives and how they show up when invited to do so. One of the wondering thoughts I have as I reflect, is how hard we have tried in the past to make this sort of thing happen, and how easy it was just now, when we hardly tried at all.