If the circle provides sanctuary, touches the heart, and guides us on our path, it’s a Healing Circle.

Michael Lerner

What are Healing Circles?

  • Healing Circles help us step out of ordinary time into a safe and accepting environment in which to explore our healing.
  • With open minds, we explore together ways of deepening our capacity to heal, alleviating our suffering, and finding meaning in both challenge and joy.
  • With open hearts, we access our own inner guidance to understand where the greatest healing—in body, emotions, mind and spirit—can occur.

What agreements protect a circle?

  • We treat each other with kindness and respect.
  • We listen with compassion and curiosity.
  • We honor each other’s unique ways to healing and don’t presume to advise or fix or try to save each other
  • We hold all stories shared in the Circle confidential.
  • We trust each of us has guidance we need within us and we rely on the power of silence to access it.

What are the practices of a Healing Circle?

  • Listen with attention.
  • Speak with intention.
  • Tend to the well-being of the whole Healing Circle.

What are the Circle roles?

  • Every member of the circle has an equal voice and is responsible for the leadership of their own healing.
  • 4 roles can help the circle flow smoothly:
    • The Circle Member shares from the heart and holds the rim of the circle for others
    • The Host convenes and pays attention to flow of the circle.
    • The Guardian watches time, holds the bell, and protects the agreements.
    • A scribe can keep notes if the circle chooses.
  • When a Circle has done its work, the Host should know how and when to end the Circle well.

How do I prepare to host a Healing Circle?

  • Create a beautiful welcoming space—clean, well-lit, comfortable chairs
  • Create a center for the Circle – candle, flowers, or shared object.
  • Allow a time for social interaction—refreshments, warm welcome, casual conversation
  • Create a smooth transition from welcoming time to Circle time.

What’s a simple, sample Healing Circle?

  • Entering the Circle – silence, candle, and optional (poem, music, etc.)
  • Check in/Heart sharing – talking piece mode – can be more than one round
  • Harvesting/Learning – learn from collective wisdom in room or outside resources; can be done in conversational mode.
  • Close/ Leaving the Circle
  • Note: Importance of social time before and after Circle

What are other types of Healing Circles?

  • Healing Circles are safe environments for those with a common condition to share their experiences and harvest collective wisdom.
  • Discovery Circles are for those who like to process whatever they are facing through a specific form of creative expression.
  • Learning Circles are for those who share an interest in a topic or wish to develop a healing skill.
  • Caring Circles support those who care for others, including family, friends, professionals, and volunteers.

How do we deepen our Circle work?

  • By creative expression – Examples: Ritual, art, poetry, music, and movement
  • By addressing soul questions – Examples: Meaning & purpose, grief, fear, and uncertainty
  • By energy work – Examples: Healing touch, healing intention, and sensitivities to subtle energies
  • Deepening our own personal work – Examples: Love, trust, compassion, and gratitude.
  • By humor and laughter