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Date: 01/01/2014
  • Practices
  • Transforming Our Relationship with Power
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Small Groups on the Great Unraveling

from chapter 7 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: 30 minutes


This simple sharing practice comes after an exposition of the Great Turning and the Great Unraveling. Clustered in small groups, people tell each other how they experience in their own lives the collective crises of our time—environmental, economic, social. People rarely get a chance to report and reflect on these realities without appearing to complain or blame.  



Invite people to sit close in threes or fours and take turns reporting to each other in response to a single question: In what ways, in your own life, do you experience and observe the Great Unraveling? Allow enough time for the sharing to go around their little circle more than once.

At the conclusion, invite people to see how the concerns they mentioned extend beyond their personal needs and wants, demonstrating their capacity to “suffer with” their world—the literal meaning of compassion and the fuel we need for the Great Turning.

Contributor/Author: Joanna Macy & Molly Brown