The RJ Center can send a circle practitioner to your living space or organization/student group to guide you through a circle process. Circle processes incorporate a series of customary activities that signify that the circle space and experience is special and extraordinary. The circle allows people to engage in authentic conversation in a non-hierarchical space. The use of the talking piece ensures that speakers can take their time to speak their truth, and that others focus and listen with open hearts and patience. Opening and closing ceremonies call for reflection on the process and on experiences of personal transformation.
There are many types of circles to choose from:
With guidance of the circle practitioner, participants collectively identify guidelines and values for communication and relationships, and get to know each other on a deeper level through storytelling and active listening. These circles can be of any length (usually one hour or longer) and can be held at any time.
Circles of Support
People with common interests and/or experiences can create support circles where they meet on a regular basis to share accomplishments and challenges, and to forge deeper relationships.
Returning from a break, celebrating birthdays, accomplishments, graduations… get together in a circle to appreciate and plan for the future.
In cases of trauma or tragedy, these circles can be called to provide people with a safe space in which to voice their experiences and emotions and to collectively support others as they come to terms with loss and grief. Through the process, people have a chance to imagine and engage paths to healing and repair.
When serious harm events occur that involve multiple parties, harm circles may be called to address the events, recognize accountability and adverse effects, and collectively develop a plan for repair and the restoration of community. These circles are designed to draw in anyone who has been effected, giving them the chance to tell their story of the experience and hear others. Typically, a harm circle requires extra preparation–circle practitioners will interview those who harmed and were harmed ahead of time to ensure they are ready to commit themselves to this process.