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What is Circling? Directory

What is Circling? Directory of Resources 

and We are often asked, "What is circling?" as people are naturally curious as well as cautious. In truth, it is best to try the practice to get a best sense of it. However, we also want to offer this directory to inform people as widely as possible.

Our forthcoming immersive training films are, hopefully, also very useful to 'dip a toe' into practice to attending an event and visible here as well as our YouTubechannel. 

We also, having a corporate social responsibility, need to acknowledge that we do not know the quality of the practitioners and groups named in the articles we link to on this page. However, we are aware that some use the practice and form cabals or, with power and resource coupled with some spiritual aspects of the practice, even activities that have been described as cult like. In that regard, where people have informed us of concerning things, or where Circling Cornwall's core community have given detailed accounts of misuse of facilitation, we give an active WARNING.

One very useful source is this blog post by Gregg Levoy from December 2021 published in Psychology Today.

Evidence of how circling can support and advance your organisation's productivity can be, we feel, best illustrated in this article from American magazine, Forbes.  

WARNING Members of our team and community have experienced, witnessed and received complaints about the company Circling Europe. We do not recommend, endorse or promote any aspect of their work. To summarise the nature of concerns, without revealing information shared in confidential forums, what they provide has been experienced variously as unorthodoxesoteric and predatory. For balance, historically many activities and events by Circling Europe have also been positive experiences for our core community members who were in attendance. We also feel it is important to clarify three further points of information. 1) Most complainants to us come in form of a warning or seeking support and have been female. 2) Jordan Myska Allen is no longer part of Circling Europe and has started his own circling organisation. 3) We acknowledge the definition of Circling Principles were only outlined (as far as we are aware) by Circling Europe before we created our own. 

A further point around principles. We have always been highly critical of some elements of their principles, particularly as they are ineffective for anything specifically intentional. They are also difficult to keep, difficult for a facilitation team to monitor, lack clarity,  We did create our own in consultation and to ensure complaints we received about Circling Europe would not then occur for us following the formation of our principles, so hope circling practice will evolve and develop to remove issues.

This blog article about circling by retired Dutch professor of philosophy and mathematics, Jan Van Eijck, is an excellent elucidation of practice pitfalls, with several criticisms of any circling training that claims to hold authority to gatekeep who can or cannot facilitate. Van Eijck makes an extensive examination of practice roots, plus warning signs to be avoided. We endorse his writing.

To inform you further about personal benefits of circling, we recommend this article from experienced Circling and Authentic Relating practitioner in the USA, Michael Porcelli. 

Authentic Relating (AR) is widely acknowledged to be a sibling, or even parent, practice to circling, where circling structures are particular contexts within which we can enhance various elements of authentic relating to each other. Many activities we run start from a basis of wanting to relate authentically, primarily. Practicing then extends, often in Convercircling or Semi-Circling naturally in how practitioners relate. So, we encourage people to use skills developed in circling structures to enhance authentic and vulnerable communication before, during breaks and after the events, as well. Therefore, Circling structures are useful for us to enhance the requisite skills to do this effectively, as well as build belonging, compassion, empathy, community, connection in the way we nurture people in the practice.

Levoy, Van Eijck and Porcelli's articles are particularly good for providing theory along side personal accounts, and in Van Eijck's case the power and pitfalls, all demonstrating the benefits of Authentic Relating and Circling.

We have long wanted to introduce people to events before they actually attend and we have some 3D immersive training films coming soon, as we say. It is possible to buy cheap, or even make goggles that we hope will allow wide access to these films once they are available as a package on our training page. All you need in addition is a mobile telephone with access to the host website. We plan to post a taster to this webpage soon.

You may also want to read Taylor Prewitt's experience at a games evening, published here.  We do distinguish between Authentic Relating and games in our practice. (
Contact us if you want to know more).

Moreover, this montage of experiences below, where we have been able to collect images of Circling and related activity in terms of joy, belonging, authenticity, compassion, empathy and connection that is available will, we hope, go the rest of the way to inspire you to join us at one of our events!