The Way of Council
Every Saturday after the meal, we hold a council circle.
FOUR INTENTIONS OF COUNCIL
Speak from the heart
1. The first intention is to “speak from the heart”. This means to speak not only with your head and your ideas, but
with your feelings as well. It means to tell your own story as honestly as you can trust in the moment. We have
countless important and meaningful experiences. When we speak about them truthfully, we are speaking from the
Listen from the heart
2. The second intention is to “listen from the heart” when another person has the talking piece. This means to listen
without judgment, to listen with an open mind, even if you disagree with what the person is saying. Listen not just
with your mind, but with your heart as well. The success of a circle is largely determined by the quality of listening.
3. The third intention is to “speak spontaneously.” This means that we wait until it is our turn to speak before we
decide what we want to say. If you are thinking about what you are going to say, then you are not listening
completely to the person who is speaking. When you don’t preplan what you are going to say, you will often be
surprised what comes to you when it is your turn.
Be lean of expression
4. The last intention is to “speak leanly.” Something that is “lean” doesn’t have anything extra on it. When you
speak, keep in mind that many others would like a chance to speak, and that there is only so much time. Use only
those words necessary to get your point or story across. Please remember that no one is required to speak.
Essential for sake of trust and respect, Confidentialality is the fifth intention held outside of circle times. What is said within the circle, stays within the circle.