Circling: Connecting with Yourself and Others

Circling, a relatively new branch of non-duality and zen, brings us into the present moment with grace and knowing. A method that highlights the interactions we have between each other, as well as those more familiar tools used in meditation, such as awareness of sounds, tastes, bodily sensations, and how we are feeling in the present moment, circling is a radical way to ignite that moment.

Circling and the transformational power of Surrendered Leadership are phenomenal tools to deepen and extend our relationships with one another.

I had the opportunity of practicing it in a six week course before Christmas, and found it to be a way to access the same results as meditation but by a different route. In its best moments, I entered a state where my awareness increased, I was seeing or experiencing the present moment as it arose and I was in a state of deep relaxation.

In other words, circling is a new way of talking. In our normal way of conversing we rely on memory, moving back to our past or forward to the future, circling brings us right into the present moment.

How is Circling & Surrendered Leadership done

Circling step one: Gazing

Unlike Vipassana, which focuses on one place under the nostrils for example, circling begins, with eye gazing. Staring deeply into one other person’s eyes for fifteen minutes is a fantastic way to step into the present moment and begin to harness its power. 

This can be done with one other person, or in groups of three or four.

Circling helps to open up more to oneself, and access parts that are hidden or gets ignored. It helps them flow with their feelings. It helps them to be more open and lead a more fulfilling life.

Jim Eaton Interview - unravelling the patterns of the mind

Circling step two: Noticing

Bringing the next stage into your practice, is noticing. This is when we verbally ‘notice’ sounds, tastes, and bodily sensations or emotions. For example ‘I’m noticing I have a tightness in my stomach, and I’m feeling a little wary of that.’ Or ‘I’m hearing lots of sounds far away, and am feeling angry about something but I don’t know what.’

Circling step three: Curiosity

Step three, responding to what the other person is saying. With the powerful tool of eye gazing, responding to another person’s ’noticing’ stage can become transformative. 

For example. ‘I’m feeling curious about that (what you just said), and I’m wondering how that is for you.’ Or ‘I’m wondering if you could expand on that, it sounds really interesting.’ Or simply, your own emotional/bodily response to that, even if you don’t understand the source.

You can see from these practices how it can be likened to non-duality or zen.

Though circling can get intense and become a journey into the unknown, it brings to the surface parts of ourselves that truly matters.

Surrendered Leadership

Circling can then move on to larger groups. Using the same practises, it can be performed in a group where we are taking our responses to each other with full responsibility – for example ‘I’m feeling really angry about that’, rather than, ‘you made me angry’.

In a larger setting, we take it in turns to have responses, or perhaps we say nothing. Two interactions can break off and become more intense, one or two people may say nothing, or the group may be equal in noticing and curiosity. The eye gazing is key to uphold, being something we continue to do to stay in the now and in our own ‘leadership.’

We then start to see moments of Surrendered Leadership, where the field of leadership is honoured. It’s difficult to describe, but being a leader becomes less about ego, and more about utilising the field, where moments rise. In the gazing/noticing/curiosity bizarre moments can happen, but where we step into our own and become leaders.

The Transformational Potential Of Circling


Circling Europe

Image source

Circles of Healing

Please share, it really helps! :) <3

Lauren Simpson-Green, who has had quite a few life-affirming spiritual experiences already, now passes her days trying to master one of the most challenging and rewarding spiritual experiences of all; being a mother to two children. Based in Devon, UK, she spends the rest of her time working on a children's book, practising yoga and making wool fairies and gnomes for her daughter's school fayres.
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