Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture
About Calling the Circle
Calling the Circle has served as the foundation for PeerSpirit’s work since its first publication in the mid-1990s. Often referred to as “the essential reference” on modern circle process, this original presentation of PeerSpirit Circle Practice is a classic that stands the test of application and broad global readership.
The book grounds the universality of circles past and present and brings this lineage into modern application that teaches readers the essential infrastructure to call the circle at home, at work, and in community settings. Circle work is a dynamic and expanding field: Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea’s dedication to this foundational form for collaborative conversation has led to their newest book (see also) The Circle Way, A Leader in Every Chair and to the PeerSpirit booklets published by their company.
Reviews and Praise:
"This book is a reminder of the basic protocols and commitments necessary for enriching collective work and making significant contributions in teams, families, and growth circles.”
—Angeles Arrien, PhD, author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life
“Calling the Circle provides us with a way to enter the spiritual center of our lives through ritual, honesty and community relatedness.”
—Matthew Fox, author of The Reinvention of Work and Creativity
“Christina Baldwin tells us how to call a circle and most valuable of all, what can be done when tensions and difficulties arise. Her model addresses the shadow and the spirit. A truly wise guide about forming and keeping circles going and growing.”
—Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. and author, The Millionth Circle
“This book is a must read for anyone that is serious about creative problem-solving. The author introduces an ancient concept called "Calling the Circle" that has a proven success rate over the centuries and very skillfully demonstrates how the principles and practices of forming communication circles will eventually lead to strong resolutions for complex social issues in the 21st Century. The book provides a blueprint on how to listen to each other in the "circle" without prejudice or the desire to dominate the discussion. The process eliminates social tags and labels such as female/male, race, class, political or religious affiliation all in an effort to give everyone in the "circle" an equal opportunity to contribute, listen, learn and be understood. Politicians all over the world need to read and totally absorb this concept!”
—James H. Williams
“Baldwin's book provides easy to follow guidelines on how to use circle methodology in a variety of settings. You can do some of the pieces or all of the pieces and they apply in multiple settings. I often facilitate meetings with clients and found Calling the Circle to be one of the most valuable tools I have for taking a group beyond the flip chart and multi-voting.”
—Mardie Rhodes, consultant
“This is a book for our times. Christina provides a much needed paradigm - a new container within which human interaction can happen in a spirit of respect and tolerance. It is an important answer for anyone who has ever wondered how to be a peace maker in their own lives and in the world. I have used what Christina teaches, and it enhances every interaction all the way from talks with my spouse to large organizational meetings. It is useful at every level of life. It is beautifully written, and it leaves you with highly useful tools in your hand and hope in your heart.”
“Christina Baldwin's Calling the Circle is a book that offers information critical to our survival as a human community. How do we break through our cultural barriers and relearn how to treat one another with respect and honor the collective wisdom that we so desperately need at this time in our history? Read this book to find a proven methodology, a way of being together that, when practiced allows us to connect on a heart level, to honor and understand one another even though we may disagree. We need this information now more than ever.”
—Sarah MacDougall, PhD
Download an excerpt from the book to learn more about Calling the Circle (PDF file)
See a video of circle process in action to illustrate how it works (Coming Soon)
About the Author, Christina Baldwin
Christina Baldwin is a writer and seminar presenter of 30+ years experience. She has contributed two classic books to the exploration of journal writing, including the well-known classic, Life's Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice, revised and reissued in 2007 after 100,000 original sales. This work led her to a long study of personal growth and group dynamics and as a result of that experience she wrote Calling the Circle, the First and Future Culture to explore how social container releases needed wisdom. In recognition of the requirement for increased spirituality, she wrote, The Seven Whispers, A Spiritual Practice for Times Like These. Her legacy book, Storycatcher, Making Sense of our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story, reminds readers of the necessity of story to communicate in all areas of professional and personal life. Continuing the exploration of collaborative dialogue, Christina and Ann Linnea wrote a new classic, The Circle Way, A Leader in Every Chair, which documents applications of PeerSpirit Circle Process as a foundational tool for local to global change.
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Related Classes and Workshops
PeerSpirit's Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea offer practica in PeerSpirit Circle Process several times per year. Focusing on the axiom that it's easiest to learn circle by living in circle, the PeerSpirit Circle Practicum gathers a small group of people at a retreat center for four-and-a-half days of intensive, experiential learning that blends council time with significant training:
Visit their circle training information page for more information.