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Date: 01/01/2014
  • Practices
  • Going Forth
  • Emerging Facilitators
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Circle of Blessings

from chapter 10 of Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown; second edition, published 2014. Please acknowledge the source when you use any of these practices.


Time: 2-5 minutes per person


Having a circle of participants express their appreciation and good wishes to each other is a fitting conclusion to a Work That Reconnects Workshop. We have found two main ways to hold a Circle of Blessings. In the first each participant speaks before being blessed, and in the other there is nothing they need to say.


Method 1

One at a time, each person steps forward into the circle and declares to the others a particular action or path they intend to pursue. They use these or similar words: “As I go forth in the Great Turning, I will…” or “…I am going to….” The full circle responds by singing the person’s name several times, with spontaneous words of affirmation and encouragement. They may stretch out their hands, palms forward, to transmit their regard energetically. In this way, each participant is held in a field of collective appreciation and support.


Method 2

In a simpler and actually more moving ritual, there are no words from the person stepping into the center. As the ritual begins, the guide suggests to the circle:

Here’s a chance for you to look one at a time at each person in our group and beam to them the full intensity of your appreciation and regard. Take a moment to relish the uniqueness of each person, and the marvel of their readiness to serve the Great Turning. After a few heartbeats, we’ll sing the person’s name, over and over, with hands outstretched, palms forward.

Contributor/Author: Joanna Macy & Molly Brown