September 13, 2001

Dear Friends:

I know that circles are vehicles for healing and change. i wrote this poem to get the word out. I've also written an article entitled "Circles as Vessels of Healing and Transformation" to accompany this poem. Please spread these message to others.

Love, Jean Bolen

Circle Invocation

At this time of mourning
May we be connected to each other,
May we know the range and depth of feelings
in ourselves and in each other.
For there is vulnerability, fear, love, rage, hatred,
compassion, courage, despair, and hope
In ourselves, each other, and the world.
May we know our most authentic feelings
And voice them when we speak.
May we tap into soul and spirit
When we are silent together.
May healing begin in us.
May we form and become a circle.

Begin by holding hands in a circle
(even two people can be one),
Be silent and feel the clasp and connection
Of hands and heart.
Then each in turn
Speak for yourself
And listen to each other.
Put judgment aside
Remember that anything voiced
That you may want to silence
May be a silenced part of yourself.
Sing what spontaneously wants to be sung.
And end each circle as it was begun.
(for meditation, contemplation, prayer).
Invite blessings.
Until we meet again.

~Jean Shinoda Bolen

A circle is a healing and connecting prescription accessible to everyone. Every family, any group of people anywhere can form one. In preparation for the 5th UN Conference on Women and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children (had been scheduled for September 19-21, 2001 at the UN in New York City,) the Millionth Circle 2005 planning committee wrote this statement of intention:

"Circles encourage connection and cooperation among their members and inspire compassionate solutions to individual, community and world problems. We believe that circles support each member to find her or his own voice and to live more courageously. Therefore, we intend to seed and nurture circles, wherever possible, in order to cultivate equality, sustainable livelihoods, preservation of the the earth and peace for all. Our aim is to celebrate the millionth circle as the metaphor of an idea whose time has come."

The metaphor "the millionth circle" was taken from my book with the same title (which in turn was inspired by the story of "the hundredth monkey" and morphic field theory that had sustained activists in the 1970-80s to continue on in the face of conventional wisdom that said ordinary people could not deter the nuclear arms race). It inspired Peggy Sebera at the World Parliament of Religions to call the Millionth Circle 2005 planning committee, which was supported by several UN NGO's: Women's World Summit Foundation, Pathways to Peace, Global Education Associates. Further meetings in California, Geneva, London, Wales, and Scotland are being planned.

Wherever you are today, tomorrow, next week--bring people (include the children) together to form circles. if you are in a group, transform it into a circle, if you are already in a circle, get together. In response to the destruction of buildings, families, lives and everyone's sense of security, this is something you can do to help.

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