The Wisdom Circle

Formally put, the Wisdom Circle is...
an ongoing community which meets on a regular basis
to practice communication skills, to heal wounds,
to find the courage to act upon that small voice within.
It is a place to share a vision or
define a mission.
It is a safe haven of genuine, committed, caring and supportive friends
which will be a constant in your life for as long as you choose.

"We are calling a circle and invite you to join with us.  We yearn for a
safe space within which to be authentic, trusting, caring, and open to
change.  We are searching for a way of life that embraces wisdom and
compassion as its core principles.  By "wisdom" we mean deep insight
into the interdependence of all phenomena, into the ways we are
connected and how the strength of each one of us is vital to the whole.
By "compassion" we mean the deep feeling that comes
when we recognize our soul's reflection in another person,
when that other person's pain
or joy becomes our own.

We know that the place to begin is within our own hearts and minds.
We want to share our efforts in self-discovery, social activism, and

spiritual inquiry in the company of kindred spirits.  We recognize the
advantages inherent in the way the entire ecosystem organizes itself:
with an emphasis on interdependence, diversity, and the well-being of
future generations.  To integrate these values into our daily lives, we
need the strength and support of a larger community.

So we invite you to come sit with us in a circle, meeting heart to
heart, learning from each other's life experiences and honoring the
values that sustain our lives.  This is a place for deep truth-telling,
for practicing a way of relating to each other that can become the norm
for all our relationships.  This is also a place for recognizing our own
unique talents and abilities.  We will pass the talking stick and take
turns speaking to our basic inquiry: How can we continue to survive,
hope, dream, and carry on during this time of global tumult?

Can you listen from the heart, expressing your truth as best you know it?
  will you choose your words carefully, with sensitivity to their impact?

Can you express gratitude to those who bear witness to your words?

Will you sit in silence and wait for deeper thoughts and feelings to rise?

Can you give voice to this new form of community pressing to be born?"¹

If so, please accept my invitation...

I have cried alone for the earth.
I have cried alone for humanity.
I have cried alone for my brothers and sisters.
I have cried alone for myself.

And, I have cried alone for the grief in my heart
around the paradox
of the pervasive Loneliness  in this Overcrowded world...
and the perceived separateness and fears
which keep us apart from

our planet,
our humanity,
our brothers and sisters,
and ourselves.

Now, I cry out publicly for a solution.
Will you help me define it?

    -  Rich Raffals, 9/16/98

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