Exploring Holistic Education – Sharings and Introductions

COMPONENTS OF HOLISTIC LEARNING

By Dave Till and Christine Lines

This is the eight article in our series on Holistic Learning, to read the introduction and view the other components to follow please click here.

8. Sharings and Introductions

Experience Week, one of the core programmes of the Findhorn Foundation, introduces deep sharing and deep listening the ‘Findhorn’ way. In the welcome circle, everyone is invited to introduce themselves in turn, share about how they feel and their inspiration for being there. The focaliser of the group begins and leads by example.

All the other participants are invited to listen with an open heart and open mind and welcome each individual through their attention. It is a time to simply listen, not to comment or give feedback, making it a safe space for everyone. Groups form in a circle to reduce a sense of hierarchy and increase the sense of connection.

It is a standard practice in Findhorn that group members share about themselves and how they are feeling at ‘check-in’ times during a working or learning week.  Each programme and each work department will begin with a short check in or time of sharing, depending on the time available, to help everyone become fully present and increase awareness of each other within the group, developing empathy, compassion and understanding.

When a new group forms it is also standard practice that everyone introduces themselves. These techniques move the individual into emotional awareness and learning. A group that doesn’t share emotions is already disabled; by not incorporating what can often be felt in the field of awareness there can be a dissipation of energy and less effectiveness.

A group that hasn’t introduced its individual members and heard from each of them, hasn’t formed properly.  Acknowledging each person present creates an emotional connection and sense of openness.

Everyone, even the quiet introverted group member, can be included by these practices. When people have been invited to speak the first time, it often makes it easier for them to speak voluntarily and contribute to the group, task or process more fully. By being encouraged to share we develop our emotional intelligence, which can happen at any stage in life.

Each week we will introduce a new topic. Please feel free to add your views and comments to expand on it more fully.

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