Sharing & Talking Circles - Santele Healing Circle


Talking - Santele Healing Circle
The Circle is a powerful tool used in my work to facilitate the process of truth and reconciliation. Circle work creates a sacred space for connection and healing. The Circle has healing power. In the circle, we are all equal, there is no one in front of you and no one behind you, above or below you. The Sacred Circle creates unity.

The Circle brings people together as equals to have open exchanges about difficult issues, painful experiences, trauma, grief, celebrations, goals, accomplishments, life lessons, cultural teachings, life experiences in an atmosphere of respect and support. The key principles of the Circle are to honor the presence and dignity of each participant and to value each other’s contribution to the Circle with each participant given an equal voice. Confidentiality is essential to ensure openness and emotional safety.

Talking Circles

Talking Circles are deeply rooted in the traditional practices of Indigenous people as an educational group activity versus a therapeutic group format. Traditionally, Talking Circles are a way of bringing communities together for the purpose of teaching, listening, and learning. Talking Circles are a way to pass on knowledge, values, and culture. The Circle starts with a prayer, usually by the person convening the Circle [usually called the Circle Keeper], or by an Elder. A Talking Stick [or other sacred object i.e., eagle feather, fan, stone] is held by the person speaking and then passed to the left. The object held is often viewed as sacred. Participants can bring an object that is symbolic to them personally. Only the person holding the stick may speak, all others remain quiet and listen respectfully with open hearts and open minds.

This method of education instills respect for another’s viewpoint and encourages its participants to be open to other viewpoints by listening with their hearts while another person is speaking. They foster respect, model good listening skills, can settle disputes resolve conflicts, and build self-esteem. Talking Circles provide its participants with a structure that promotes self-exploration in an empathic and supportive atmosphere. The Circle is complete when all who wish to share have done so. What is shared and spoken in the Circle are held in confidence within the Circle. Talking Circles are conducted in a safe, nonhierarchical manner that includes all participants being given the opportunity to speak, without interruption. ​

Talking Circles can stimulate cultural awareness and foster respect for differences and facilitate group cohesion. Talking Circles encourage participants to treat one another with kindness and respect, hold one another’s stories in confidence, withhold judgment, and honor one another’s unique path to healing without advising, fixing, or rescuing. Being fully seen and listened to in a Circle has the potential to be deeply healing and helpful to another person.

Healing Circles

Healing Circles are a traditional way to manage and resolve stress-related and other life problems. They are a useful adjunct to conventional health care. They are a culturally syntonic way to receive help from others within the community. They can potentially help to manage and resolve stress-related and other life problems. Participants are seen and heard by others within the Circle who hold their pain with a mutually respectful, non-judgment acceptance which can be healing and helpful to members of the Circle.

Participants enter and engage in the Circle with kindness, respect and listen with compassion and empathy. Honor is given to each participant’s unique ways of healing without presumption to advise or fix to try to save each other. All stories shared within the circle are held in confidence. Participants commit to listening with attention, speaking with intention, and tend to the well-being of the whole healing circle. With open minds, we work together to discover the best way to face challenges and obstacles to healing, alleviate suffering and deepen our capacity to heal. Participants in the Circle have an equal voice and are responsible for the leadership of their own healing. The use of the Circle is used in many different settings, including neighborhoods, schools, prisons, workplaces, families, and marriages. They are used for healing, conflict resolution, community building and reconciliation justice within the criminal justice system. ​

Talking is medicine.

Truth | Reconciliation | Honesty | Trust | Kindness | Compassion | Empathy | Cultural Education | Healing | Wholistic Healing | Cultural Healing | Collective learning | Collaboration | Community support

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Talking is Medicine

Sharing & Talking Circles