Veronica Argañaraz experiencing Circling
I knew Circling of pure chance. I arrived half pushed. I had no idea what I was going to find. I was not too interested in finding out before. What little I had read had not told me anything. Absolutely nothing that found a place in my world back then. And that in my world of that time there was already meditation, conscious presence, collective intelligence, interpersonal communication and other distinctions of great value to me.
You could say that, I arrived naively. I took a plane to travel 1200 km, stay in the temple of generosity, do the workshop and fly home again. On the return plane I could not erase the smile or stop shaking my head ... My feeling was something similar to that mixture of joy, rejoicing and surprise when I discovered a great movie that I had not heard almost mention, the surprise was huge and enormously pleasant. This movie he had lived in person.
A great discovery
Circling, also known as interpersonal mindfulness, is a relational technology where we use mindfulness to, through gradual exercises, activate group intelligence, allowing those who participate to experience a very authentic connection with others, deepen self-knowledge, and increase levels of group consciousness. (more information)
For me the discovery was not only external - the discovery of the practice of Circling and the connection with people - but also inside. I discovered that I can have a much more sustained connection with my interior, with my being, when there is the presence of the other. When I meet another in a meditative state too, mine increases, and it holds very easily. It is as if the connection with the other person keeps a channel open to my deep being, and from there I communicate. And after that happens, there's nothing more to do. If I can not intervene ('small' task) everything starts to happen and flows naturally. I discover my being in the world and I also discover the other person inside him -if he opens the access- or in his resistances -and I respect them.
The present moment and the being here and now of each one takes on Circling full protagonism, and when one of the participants is disconnected from that complete presence and is carried away by a flow of thoughts or mental constructions, the group will find the way to mirror it . Show him a way to return to the connection, to remain at the level of sensations, as one of the 5 principles of Circling says, which are not rules but guides, they are not answers but questions to guide us ... as beacons.
And as simple as it seems, this poses some giant challenges. For example, trust in your present experience, as another principle says. Today for me that is related to letting go of the illusion of control, letting go of the fear of what may appear, of what may happen if I let go of this, if I show that other, if I share what I just registered in me.
In Circling spaces, whatever emerges is welcome. Because it comes from the present experience of a person or a group. And many times what emerges in a person is somewhat confusing to the habitual mind :-) does not have a clear rational explanation, and may even be incomplete. But from the moment it is shared, this may come to resound in another member of the group, who manifests how he receives that and how he perceives it in his body, in his sensations, in his emotions.
I happened to participate in Circles where I have the feeling of being in a palace of mirrors, or in an echo room, where an initial image or sound shot by someone begins to resound in another person, and then in another, and in another and in another ... and it ends up discovering something that for any of us individually would have been impossible to see. Collective intelligence expanded, in a meditative state.
"What would happen if our work meetings were like this, with this level of communication?
And what do we do with our mind?
In Circling we do not deny judgments, stories, explanations, interpretations and projections. All constructions that our dear mind learned to do to protect and guide us, and we should thank him, and also ask him if he could please rest a little more often :-) He said that they are not discarded, they are stories of each other's world, and they are explicit as such. In general we try not to get carried away by the "fat motorcycle" (as the Argentine song says), but not through repression -which clearly would not work- but through the attention placed on other planes. We maintain a commitment to the connection, and we try not to follow the usual paths in the face of whatever emerges in that connection, I mean the reflections we have to explain what happens, try to modify what happens, avoid it, etc. The commitment to connection means for me today, accept whatever appears, and explore it, seek to know it with our most naive curiosity.
Once I participated in a Circling session in which the facilitator of the group - a person quite experienced in practice - as an opening said some words similar to these: "Hello everyone, welcome. I wanted to share that at this moment I feel a tension, and insecurity. I perceive a kind of concern within me for "doing my job well" in this circle, and I am noticing that it generates a certain rigidity in my back. "The empathy that instantly generated in me that way to share their vulnerabilities, to take over your present experience. It established for me a connection code and a level of communication so deep and authentic that it marked a lasting learning.
Inside and outside the circle
I wondered how many times a day I keep my perceptions, sensations and emotions, even in contexts where I feel safe sharing them. And yet I do not do it at the moment. Sometimes I never do it. And then I charge them, I carry them with me where I go, I drag them. Many times they are very 'silly' things and that, therefore, they do not have to occupy space in my daily energy capacity, and when I get the exercise to shorten the time between the time I register them and when I share them, the results are great.
In addition, the fact of respecting my register of sensations and validating them with the other has so far had two possible outcomes: 1) an explanation that makes my annoying sensations disappear automatically, or 2) a constructive dialogue with the other person is opened It benefits both of us. In any of these two exits, I saved myself a lot of chains of vain thoughts and my emotional climate could turn sunny.
To explore new worlds
As the Circling principles say we seek to be with the other in his world. And here begins a wonderful part of the journey. Discover new worlds, but in the most authentic journey we can imagine. Know the other without preconceptions, or without our preconceptions have so much, or if they count a lot then we challenge them: we share them and we see how that resonates in the circle and what gives us back.
It has happened to me to have the sensation, after a practice of Circling, to know very closely a person -or a part of it- and in the conversations of the break to remember ... What was your name? And realize that I do not know what she does, where she lives or works, or any of the things that I would usually say I know her.
All these searches generate an alchemy of authenticity in Circling that makes you wonder, as one dear colleague once said in a practice "What would happen if our work meetings were like this, with this level of communication?" The world It would be another, she replied to herself.