What is Circling? Directory

What is Circling? Directory of Resources 

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. One definition would be that circling is a mindfulness activity where participants put their attention on noticing what it is like to be present in connection with themselves and each other. Noticing, bringing curiosity to, and exploring the experience of being together, voicing any impacts and how doing this changes the experience, is encouraged.  

It sounds simple but human interactions in any social situation are notoriously complex. Every group and time circling happens will be a different experience. Circling Cornwall offers a structured way into learning circling rather than new participants being 'thrown in at the deep end'. 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 YouTube channel. 

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. Links are not endorsements, except where stated explicitly.

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.  

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. 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 have a taster on the training page.

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 about this or anything else on this page or site).

This montage of experiences below, where we have been able to collect images of circling and related activities we have run over the years shows joy, belonging, authenticity, compassion, empathy and connection that is available. It will, we hope, go the rest of the way to inspire you to join us at one of our events!