Wisdom Circles
Self-Discovery and Community Building in Small Groups


circle_med.GIF (3993 bytes)

Introduction

Welcome to Wisdom Circles. A wisdom circle is a way for small groups of people to create a safe space within which to be trusting, authentic, caring and open to change. As an organization, we offer the wisdom circle format to any person or organization, free of charge. There's no requirement to affiliate with our organization, Wisdom Circles, but we'd like to hear from anyone using the format and how it's working for you. You may be able to start a wisdom circle of your own from the information we offer at this web site. New and used copies of our book: Wisdom Circles, A Guide to Self-Discovery and Community Building in Small Groups (Hyperion, 1998) are available at Amazon.com

A wisdom circle is based on ten "constants" or guidelines.  It's designed to encourage people to meet in small groups, to listen and speak from the heart in a spirit of inquiry.  By opening and closing the circle with a simple ritual of the group's choosing, using a talking object, and inviting silence to enter the circle, we create a space together that's qualitatively different from an ordinary discussion or support group.  This process provides a way to deepen the values that sustain our lives while in the company of kindred spirits.  In a wisdom circle, we come to realize how many of us there are who share the life-affirming values of compassion, equality, respect for diversity and concern for the whole, and who are committed to these values as a basis for service in the world.  Here we can develop greater self-awareness as well as the strength of mutual support.



Wisdom Circles is an organization whose commitment is to give voice to the values of compassionate community and the make integrity a visible force in the world.   By wisdom we mean the creative intelligence that arises from the heart, that thinks for the whole. It is insight into the meaning of one's life as it unfolds within the context of the whole.  By compassionate community we mean those of us who are willing to "sustain our gaze" upon suffering, upon the wounds we inflict upon one another and upon the earth, who are willing to become accountable for the actions of our species around the planet, and who are willing to take action.  By integrity, we mean the alignment and consistency of one's stated values with one's actions.


kindred_couple-pair.gif (1530 bytes) We are linked by a set of values and a vision for a more humane and sustainable existence for us all.  We encourage anyone who is interested to use the Ten Constants and to adapt them to her or his group.  Small groups using the general principles reflected in the constants can be found in every part of the country.  For example, the wisdom circle format is being used by a variety of individuals including members in various chapters on The Institute of Noetic Sciences, AIDS support agencies, the Women's Forest Sanctuary, and in the Viewer's Guide that accompanies the PBS television series, Reaching Out, among others.  Informal groups focus on such topics as spirituality, racism, personal growth and single parenthood.  Nonprofit and activist organizations find the format useful in staying on track.


Our intention is to encourage and provide resources for those who are discovering the power and joy of gathering in this way.  We want to help make visible the communities of compassionate people who are following a path of service, who are giving voice to their values and who are working hard to align those values with their actions in daily life.   By developing these capacities through practice, we can begin to resolve our conflicts and respect our differences based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, religion and political ideology.  We can begin to heal the wounds that ail our souls and fragment our society.

Core Circle:
Cindy Spring
Charles Garfield

Advisory Circle:
Lana Angel
Jeanne Blackstone
Kathy Gottberg
Alexandra Hart
Thomas Hurley
Jennifer Jaffe
Laurie Shur
Joseph Tieger
Justine Toms
Michael Toms
Gayle Waring
Harriet Wright

Webmaster:
Bharat J. Lindemood

If you would like to know more about the activities of other wisdom circles, please contact us.

Please note: The Wisdom Circles format costs no money, nor is any formal affiliation to an organization or adherence to any doctrine required. It is suggested that people who use the Wisdom Circles Format abide by the simple but important "constants." The name Wisdom Circles has been trademarked.


Home  |  Voices From The Circle  |  Introduction  |  Our Heritage in Circles 
In the Company of Kindred Spirits  |  What is a Wisdom Circle For? 
The Wisdom Circle Format  |  Getting Started: Calling the Circle 
Stories  |  Book  |  Links  |  Contacting Us



If you have comments, feedback or questions,e-mail WISDOM CIRCLES.

Copyright © Wisdom Circles 1999 - present