"... I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
(Jn. 15:15 NIV)
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I (the Christ) am there among them.
(Matt. 18:20 NRSV)
As a symbol of sacred geometry, the circle represents the equal relationship of the friends, all of whom are equidistant from the centre. While we are all quite different as individuals, we are all equal as persons, that is, as spiritual beings "in the world but not of it."
At the centre of the circle is the true Self or Christ, omnipresent, in the name of whom the circle gathers in spiritual fellowship to pursue truth through inspiration and intuition. This sacred Presence is the Master in our midst. Speaking as the Christ, Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
Here, we must keep in mind that The Christ is not a person ... not the person of Jesus, but the luminous and illuminating Spirit or Presence of the Most High.
Our fellowship is conducted in open circles committed to freedom for self-inquiry, self-discovery and self-expression, in which participants pursue truth by committing to honesty, authenticity, and integrity, as well as mutual respect and support.
As friends, we like to gather for periods of silent, centering prayer and/or meditation. In such circles we simply sit together to attend to the sacred Presence that is in the midst of the circle and that is the essence of our being.
The form of meditation found most helpful by us in Inner Light is the True Meditation suggested by Adyashanti.
Of course, there are times when we come together in circles to attend to a spiritual mentor or teacher. The teacher may give a discourse or respond to questions ... or both.
Hopefully there will be a resident teacher on hand, and at times, special guest teachers may be available. For more information, see our page on Spiritual Teaching.
Discussion, Planning and Review Circles
The circle is an ancient practice, used by so-called primitive peoples for tribal meetings. When indigenous people gathered in council, everyone had an equal voice. One's turn to speak was marked by passing a token and one was entitled to speak without interuption until passing the token to another.
The presumption was that everyone was speaking in an environment of trust in which truth could be shared about matter of moment. This was not merely a format for decision-making but a sacred rite.
This tradition has been revived for contremporary use, though today, a cordless microphone usually takes the place of the token handed around.
The key fundamental of the circle is sitting among equals, speaking truth from the heart, in an atmospehere where participants create a space for free expression and serving as mirrors for each other through active listening.
The speaker is also an active listener in the sense of allowing the heart to speak, while the mind remains the silent observer, aware only of the emergence of one's truth in the moment as one is moved to speak it from deep within. Indeed, one is often surprised to discover what emerges from the depths of one's heart when one is committed to exploring truth.
To see a page about the Inner Light logo -- the cross with a circle >>>Click Here
Circles of Friends, based on freedom, truth and love, serve to foster liberating insight, harmony, and wholeness.
Circles of friends not associated in any way with Inner Light, yet very similar in spirit, vision and/or purpose exist all around the world. They are known by different names such as awareness circles, satsang circles, truth circles, light circles, contemplative circles, unity circles etc. etc.
On this site, we offer a list (by no means complete) or such circles or groups meeting around Australia.
Often, at the end of a Circle of Friends gathering, we will conclude with the No-Head circle arwareness exercise. This 'rite' is also sometimes referred to as the Roofless or Hyp-aethral Temple closure. (Hyp-aethral is an old Greek word that means: under heaven).
This wonderful bonding 'rite' was first introduced to us by or friend, Richard Lang, a Headless-Way teacher based in the UK. Here, he explains what happens.
"We stand in a circle with 3 to 12 or so friends.
"We put our arms round each other so that we're close, and look down.
"We're looking down into a circle of bodies. Obviously the people here are distinct from one another, each occupying their own space. We don't merge into 'one'. Each person has their own background and history, name, age, nationality and so on. Here we are separate and different from one another -- we are many.
"If we think of the circle of still upright bodies as being like columns in a sacred edifice, then we have the idea of a roofless temple.
"We look at our own body -- it disappears above our chest. We are headless. Our body emerges from being, from spacious awareness. There are two sides to u2 -- our individual humanity down there, and this spacious awareness at the top of the circle.
"We notice that the other bodies also fade out above their waists or chests - into the same spacious awareness that your body fades into.
"Here at the top of the circle there aren't many spaces -- just one. Here in this edgeless awareness are no dividing lines.
"This one awareness belongs to each one of us. It is us – the innermost "I". As this consciousness, we include everyone present. All these bodies disappear into and emerge out of our innermost being. They are within us. There we are many, here we are one.
"Each of us has our own special point of view, our own thoughts and feelings. Most of this is hidden from others. I don't know what the others are thinking, nor what their past is. I might not even know their name. Nor do they know what I'm thinking, and so on. We are distinct and different. To a large extent we are mysteries to one another.
"But at the top of the circle we're not different from each other, are not hidden from each other. Here I see not only Who I really am but Who they really are too, for here nothing divides us, here nothing is held back or concealed. Here I see that they are, like me, open, clear, still, boundless…
"Here at the top of the circle, in the silence of being, in this clear vastness, this simplicity, all our differences dissolve, all separation is overcome -- without denying or destroying those precious differences revealed down there. The One at the top has room for every point of view, room for every being."
Being The One, The Alone
"Looking at the Looker I come home to the One, to the Alone, to Who or What I really am.
"Down there in the circle, I am one amongst many -- others stand either side of me, apart from me, with me, perhaps even against me. But here, above the line of our chests, there are no 'others'. Here all divisions are healed, all separation overcome, all otherness dissolved.
"Here, including us all, is the One within all beings. We are each that One. We are the One that includes the Many."
Richard goes into more detail about the implications of the No-Head circle: >>>HERE
Sacred Circle Dancing (SCD)
On special occasions, we love to celebrate our great Wisdom Tradition with music and sacred circle-dancing.
Some Circle Quotes
"A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection of a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
~ Albert Einstein
He drew a circle that shut me out --
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
~ Edwin Markham
"Tighten to nothing the circle that is the world's things
Then the Naked circle can grow wide, enlarging, embracing all"
~ Hadewijch (13th Cent.)
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