THE CIRCLE IS OPEN
The FORUM is a place for research and collective inquiry about everything regarding human beings. The possibilities to try it out in Brazil are starting to appear.
“Hello, good evening. Welcome all.
It's a pleasure to be gathered with all of you in the FORUM circle.
This is a space for research and collective inquiry about everything regarding the human being.
Before we start, I'd like to speak a little about our structure.
The circle is composed by everyone gathered here tonight.
As a group, the people in the circle will witness the sharing of personal stories and challenges that other people are facing in their lives. The energy of the group may make it easier or harder for people to feel comfortable bringing some of their own issues that make them uncomfortable.
For that reason, I invite everyone to try and listen with a lot of curiosity, valuing and welcoming people's vulnerability, and receiving the truth about the others with as much equanimity as possible, aware that we can only see part of people's wholeness and that, in the essence of what it means to be human, we all face very similar challenges in life.
Moreover, we ask not to talk about any subject brought to the FORUM for the following 24 hours, so that the person who shared it can integrate their experience and those who listened can let the new information sink.
THE CENTER AND THE PROTAGONIST
The protagonist can be anyone who's willing to risk themselves into the center, bringing transparency to something that's alive in them.
Tonight we'll have an open FORUM, which means we can talk about basically anything — love, money, power, sexuality, education, work, family. Anything that's pulsing inside you can be shared with the group, always from a place of self-responsibility — making yourself responsible for what you feel, speaking in the first person, trying to understand what's your role in the story that you're sharing.
The invitation is that the protagonist make your subject public so that they can deepen into it, exploring their feelings, embodying what's being lived, seeking new perspectives and, also, finding some answers and new questions to think about.
This deepening happens with the help of the facilitators.
We're two people in the role of facilitation. Me, as facilitator, and the person by my side, as co-facilitator. Our role is to follow the protagonist in their research and make the process more fluid.
For that, we can bring in new questions, which may not have been asked yet; we can make invitations for body experimentation, such as a playing as being in another point of view of their story; we may welcome some painful reality that is brought and help the protagonist look into it; we may provoke that the person elaborates on a personal wish; and even stimulate that emotions — whatever emotion — are expressed in ways that are more intense than we're used to, just to see what sensations emerge.
But we do not bring answers.
We're here only to take care of the process, seeking only to take one simple step forward, as small as it can be, in relation to what we know about ourselves and the world.
After sharing, the facilitators can offer mirrors to the protagonist or not. And, once offered, the protagonist may choose if they want to listen to them.
The mirrors give the protagonist and the group an opportunity to listen to how the story reached other people. What feelings, questions and points of view emerged, what generated connection and what made people more distant.
We use to say that mirrors are gifts that people offer to the protagonist, as a way of collaborating with their quest for peace, love, connection, acceptance of reality and happiness.
WHAT'S ALIVE RIGHT NOW?
Keeping all this in mind, I now invite you to sit in an active and comfortable position and close your eyes for a moment.
Let's take three deep breaths together, while we connect to the sensations that are alive in our body.
Check inside yourself and see if there's anything you'd like to explore more deeply, any subject that you'd like to make transparent to the group, something with which you may need help. Or if there's something you'd like to celebrate.
If, while thinking about possible subjects, your heart started beating faster, that's a good sign that this is a subject for the FORUM.
The center is open.”
The FORUM is a methodology for building trust in groups and communities developed at ZEGG ecovillage, in Germany, over more than 30 years.
The formation for facilitators FORUM BRASIL | Circles of Trust is in its second edition in 2019 and new initiatives for people to get in touch with the practice and its benefits are popping up.
If you're in São Paulo and are interested in experimenting with it, there are two circles starting in March 2019: