Circles of Belonging at Llansor Mill
cultivating compassion through contemplative silence, listening, and speaking
Everyone takes away different things from time spent here: but a common experience is of a compassion which isn’t ‘delivered’, it just somehow grows: a compassion towards others, towards yourself. But what is it that happens here, that makes this possible?
Imagine you’ve just joined a group of friends which has has gathered at Llansôr Mill – perhaps it’s the one experiencing the gifts that the Enneagram offers; or the Christian-Muslim encounter group; or the men’s group; or the group exploring wise teaching from the heart of the Christian tradition, from people like Richard Rohr, James Finlay, and Timothy Radcliffe… Whatever the context… you’ve turned up. Perhaps you feel a bit nervous as the group settles to sit in a mind-quieting, heart-opening silence. But then you feel how the energy of the group is somehow transformed, focussed, simplified, by the silence.
Now imagine that with others having modelled the approach, you find yourself speaking the unvarnished truth about yourself. Imagine that the others are listening attentively, and aren’t interrupting. Imagine too that they aren’t offering any ‘helpful’ advice. You’re confident that what you are offering isn’t becoming the material for gossip.
Whilst others are speaking, you aren’t using your mental energy picking out the flaw(s) in what they’re saying. Neither is the time when they are speaking, the time in which you are preparing what you’re going to say next… all you are offering is your undivided, unconditional attention.
Enough imagining. It’s all real, available, and open to all. Everything that happens here is rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition which focusses on simplicity, inclusivity and paradox: knowing and not-knowing held together in a healthy tension: as Richard Rohr put it, Everything Belongs. In this safe, welcoming environment, transformational growth somehow happens from the inside out.
Whoever you are: you’re welcome.
(…and we can bring these marvellous, profoundly simple [but not easy!] gifts to you… just ask)