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Wisdom Circle

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    As part of the continuing training for the Hospice patient and transition volunteers, Volunteer Coordinators organized an excellent meeting on Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Generally, I miss these events as it is a workday. One of the volunteers suggested that I should attend at least one of these events and hence I decided to take 2 hours off my work and decided to attend. What an event!

    After each Volunteer Coordinator had a chance to share their experiences with the patients and families in their career with the Hospice, they invited a person who had been volunteering for the past 35 years. He brought an angular stick collected from Mississippi River decorated with beads and told about a concept called Wisdom Circle. In his circle of friends, they used to sit around a campfire and share their life experiences or an important lesson they have learned as part of living. The person who talks holds the stick with beads and everyone else will just listen to what each person had to say. Sometimes, the discussion is about spiritual topics and their self-inquiry and how they didn’t know about their inherent nature and acquired tendencies. On other occasions, they just sit quietly listening to the sound of the nature.

    After this talk, 60 volunteers were divided into 3 groups and 3 questions were asked to them giving them an opportunity to hold the stick with the beads and answer the question. Everyone treated with respect what the person holding the stick and beads had to say and listened carefully. The questions were:

    1) What is your sacred space? He clarified that it is not religious altar but spiritual sacred space.

    2) At what point of time interaction with imminent patients make the volunteer feel his/her sacred space?

    3) When do you feel your sacred space when you interact with patient’s family?

    We sat in a circle to listen to the wisdom coming from each one of the volunteers and the group leader called it as “Wisdom Circle”. One lady spoke about how to stimulate a soul to free itself through effective communication by staying centered in her own awareness which creates her sacred space. Each volunteer’s experience with transitioning patients is unique and different. Another person talked about the ways in which a dying person disconnects from the world and watching that happen gives her a clear understanding of dying process and creates her sacred space. After we finished the discussion, highlights of each discussion were shared with the entire group of 60 people and all of them were assembled into one large room.

    One of the volunteer coordinators brought 20 musical instruments some small and some large. A large musical drum with four drumsticks were placed in the center of the room. They asked two volunteers to come forward to play that drum. We were asked to synchronize our mind for a while with closed eyes and deep breathe and then try to begin playing a beat of our choice. The two volunteers playing the large drum started the beat and everyone followed with their own respective musical instrument. There was a 75-year-old woman and I volunteered to play the drum even though we both admitted that neither of us played a drum before. Initially, the beat was not synchronizing correctly and within 1-2 minutes everyone began playing their instrument in tune with the main drum two of us were playing. Slowly, I started increasing the speed at which I was playing and to my surprise, everyone of them adjusted to that speed so quickly even though we have never practiced before.

    This concept proved a point to me that if everyone put their heart and soul into one action objectively, the nature helps us to synchronize ourselves with each other. The whole universe appears to be symphony functioning to the guidelines already pre-wired and only when we drift away from this guideline, we struggle to understand who we are and differentiate life, death, pleasure, pain, friendliness and enmity.
     
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  2. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    While this is a collective subjective experience this at least partly proves my point spirituality has nothing to do with religion. What you had was an intense spiritual experience not linked to any religious belief or dogma.
     
  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balajee,

    You are right. It is a spiritual experience. Even the stick with a bead is just a method to improve the listening skill of others when someone is talking. It has nothing to do with any religion and even the speaker made it clear upfront.
     
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  4. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Gold IL'ite

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    I think the stick with a bead may be working as a unifying tool for stopping the participants from looking other way while the person holding it is speaking. It is rather a spiritual way of seeking attention. It must have been a very rewarding experience. It is rightly said that when the intentions are sublime, the whole universe conspires to help.
    On a lighter side, reminds me of my primary teacher holding a lanky stick and occasionally hitting the table with it reminding us to pay attention to what he was trying to teach us.
    Just curious, are all volunteers equally motivated or do it for their own individual upliftment?
     
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  5. ramasala

    ramasala Silver IL'ite

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    It is definitely a wisdom circle.Synchronizing, I have seen on many occasions of such synchronizing when women met for the first time and started singing a song, unrehearsed.Sociologists explain it in some other fashion.
    Ramasala
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Hari Sir,

    You hit the nail right on its head. You are right. The whole universe helps if the intention of a group of people is sublime. Again, as you rightly said, is a spiritual exercise to assume that is a holy thing to hold and others have to respect the words coming out of the mouth of someone who is holding. There was pin-drop silence when the stick and bead holder talked.

    It is funny you say about the teacher holding the stick to draw attention. I wouldn't say everyone does it with selfless service. It is a mixed bag. For some, one of their loved ones passed away in the Hospice while others do that as they feel lonely at home. A few of them are committed to do it for years indicating that they really enjoy and feel that as a great spiritual experience by helping those in need.

    Viswa
     
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it was. We really enjoyed it. I am curious to know the explanation of sociologists.
     
  8. girvani

    girvani Finest Post Winner

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    Dearest Viswa uncle,

    What a post and you have summarised so so beautifully as below,
    My father once taught me that, if you desire something, if it is a genuine one which uplifts you and the ones around you then it will happen as long as you do your best achieving it. You made me think about my father with your post, uncle.

    It has proved how strong and powerful it can be if we all vibrate right emotions. Thank you so much uncle.

    Love
    Vani
     
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    My Dearest Vani,

    Your dad is absolutely right. We celebrated Guru Purnima this week and a speaker said the same thing. When our thoughts, words and actions are noble for the well-being and growth of self and fellow beings, the entire nature aligns with that goal. He said that is the best way to validate our spiritual growth.

    It is such a pleasure to receive your response.

    With love

    Viswa
     
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  10. ramasala

    ramasala Silver IL'ite

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    It is quite common in samashti Bhajans and ghoshti elegies.They would sing synchronizingly though they might not have heard a single word earlier.Weeping enmass in cine theatres belong to this category.
    ramasala
     
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