Customized to acknowledge the power and meaning of our collective life transitions and celebrations (births, divorce, grieving, anniversaries, weddings/unions, house/barn blessings), Deirdre will work with you to co-create a ritual to honor these sacred times in our lives.
Circles are an ancient way of gathering together to foster intimacy and restore our profound interconnection. We may need to repair harm or conflict that resulted from some unmet need, strengthen our connection to community or tell our own stories in a safe container. I first began sitting in Circles as a child attending summer camp in the Santa Cruz mountains. I felt immediately at home in myself and others as we sang around the campfire as the stars glittered overhead. Those circles helped me discover who I was in relation to others. As a teenager I encountered other circles, which I often attended in silence upon my mother’s urging, to support those caring for family members with terminal illness, and later, for grieving. I then went to college and enrolled in every “field” experience I could, including a course taught while backpacking in the woods by Zen poet Walker Abel, which was life changing. In 1993 I lived for a year on the Fort Belknap reservation in Montana to support their protest against a cyanide heap-leach gold mine. On the reservation, circles were a part of everyday life, held by the tribal council or with family and friends in the sweat lodge. I even left New York City to join a circle, the Big Apple Circus, with its European style one-ring stage that allowed spectators to be intimately engaged with each show.
Most recently I was certified in Circle Process derived from the Restorative Justice (RJ) tradition. Restorative Justice in both philosophy and practice emphasizes the power and capacity of ordinary people to identify and resolve their own problems (Van Ness & Strong, 2015). RJ situates harm and conflict as violations of relationship and then asks the question as to how that harm can be repaired. The RJ practice of peacemaking circles is a methodology that allows people and organizations to provide a network of support, care and accountability for members of their community. I’ve been sharing RJ philosophy and Circle Process with all my friends working in the field of social justice in resource poor contexts all over the world. I think for many of us its a simple yet profound method of returning home.
Read more about RJ here.
Upcoming Circles (Sundays)
- Women in Transition, Birch Lodge (private residence), Sawyer, MI
- The Zen of Dying, Open Death Conversations, Three Oaks, MI