Humans have been gathering in circles since we discovered fire. Circles are deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness, and have a powerful resonance in our psyches – even today. Jalaja Bonheim sees circles as a key to healing the personal and global wounds we all face, a way of reconnecting to our hearts, to our spirituality, and to one another. She explains, “The circle is a symbol of oneness in all traditions around the world. It’s not just a symbol of oneness, but it generates the knowledge of our oneness. Spirituality is the realization of oneness. That is what the circle can help us achieve. It’s so deeply in our consciousness that it doesn’t require a lot of explaining.” In this conversation Dr. Bonheim tells how her work with circles has brought healing to people at war, and helped to heal trauma and restore wholeness. You’ll hear of Arab and Israeli women who gather in circle, and discover they share the same stories, the same pain. You’ll learn about impoverished women in India, who sat in circle and resolved to overturn deadly cultural practices. Most of all you’ll feel a reconnection with your own tribe, your own circle of humanity, and with the greatest circle of all – the planet earth. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)
Jalaja Bonheim, Ph.D. has been studying and leading circles for more than twenty-five years. She is the founder and director of the Institute for Circlework, and has taught at the Omega Institute, Kripalu, California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Rowe Conference Center.
Dr. Bonheim is the author of several books including:
- Aphrodite’s Daughters: Women’s Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul (Simon & Shuster 1997)
- The Hunger for Ecstasy: Fulfilling the Soul’s Need for Passion and Intimacy (Rodale Press 2001)
To learn more about the work of Jalaja Bonheim go to instituteforcirclework.org.
Topics explored in this dialogue include:
- How sitting with others in circle can help you access your spirituality
- How we’ve managed to empower women without empowering the feminine
- Why we need to teach our children to be loving
- How conflict can be a source of creativity
- Why sharing a meal can help to dissolve boundaries
Host: Justine Willis Toms Interview Date: 4/23/2009 Program Number: 3305