At the outset, the authors define wisdom circles as "places to practice heart-to-heart communication skills, to heal wounds, to find the courage to act upon that 'still small voice within.' Places to share a vision, define a mission. Places where we can create a community, where we can learn to be more fully ourselves, while simultaneously becoming an integral part of the group." Meeting in a circle has a long and inspiring history. Charles Garfield, Cindy Spring, and Sedonia Cahill, who have many years experience working with this form, detail the basics of calling a circle together, creating rituals, sustaining the process, dealing with difficult people, and rotating leadership.
This is an excellent how-to manual filled with examples of the wide range of small groups now functioning across the country. The authors plumb the depths of the wisdom circle process with their explanation of "the 10 constants." Here they discuss creating a safe container for full participation, listening from the heart, speaking from direct experience, making room for silence to enter, expressing gratitude, and commitment to an ongoing relationship. Wisdom Circles is a necessary resource for any group that is really interested in the art of community building.