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Council Workshop July 2011
Transcript of Council Workshop July 2011
Format for Facilitating a Council
We are born to hear but we have to learn to listen
Council is a mindful listening and speaking practice that encourages compassionate communication. Based on worldwide practices, council is a structured process that includes being in a circle and passing a "talking piece" in response to a prompt from the facilitator.
1. To listen from the heart: deep listening, practicing the "art of receptivity" - suspending judgement, reaction, and opinion
2. To speak from the heart, speaking from your own truth
3. To speak spontaneously without planning and only when holding the talking piece
4. To "keep it lean" or get to the heart of the matter so everyone has time with the talking piece
For many, the first intention is the most challenging, yet one that is recognized as essential in developing a more peaceful and empathic way of relating to others, beyond "tolerance"
Opening and Dedication: Can begin with a short mindfulness practice to set the tone and serve as a transition.
Prompt Round: a prompt is given, each person is given a chance to hold the talking piece and share their thoughts, feelings, ideas without interruption, everyone else is practicing deep listening.
Witness Round: talking piece is passed around once more as each person says one word or sentence about a theme they heard or witnessed
Closing: this can be a quote, poem, reflection, or a community building game. Finish with emphasizing that "others' stories are not ours to share, please say your name to honor this commitment."
by Krysten Fort Catanese
Mindfulness Trainer and Consultant