Mutuality Circles: A Source of Companionship and Transmission
The spiritual life can be lonely. Some of us, attracted to the spiritual life, may be quite introverted, without a large circle of friends or not enjoying large social gatherings. Our spiritual life can also take us in a different direction to friends and partners. Things we once enjoyed with others no longer have the same ‘juice’ for us, or we may no longer feel part of the conversations taking place at social events with friends and family in the way we once did.
It can be particularly hard if we live at a distance to others or have no regular places where we can connect with others on a similar or the same spiritual path. Holding on the thread of our awakening life without regular contact with others with similar experiences can be difficult. The glimpses we have of a deeper reality, of being totally ‘at one’ with a larger reality, of our heart expanding, or of falling more fully into an embodied, awakened life, may be quite fleeting – leaving us feeling lost and alone the rest of the time.
So, moments of connection, of companionship with others with similar interests and passions can be really important. These provide spaces in which we can be more fully ‘ourselves’ and express our awakening awareness with people to understand what we are trying to say, reaffirming and reinforcing our insights.
This is one of the reasons why mutuality circles, whether face to face or online, can have an important place in our lives. In a mutuality circle, each person commits to honoring their own self, as well as making room for others to do the same. Each person is invited to explore and claim their authentic nature through vulnerable self-expression, as well as offering compassion, conscious listening and reflection to others in the circle. This compassionate listening helps us surface and explore uncomfortable patterns and ‘broken zones’ in our lives and integrate our embodied consciousness more fully.
When one or more members of the circle are working closely with teachers and mentors or have experienced their own whole being realization, the circle itself may invoke a communication that is beyond the personality and mind, a mutual activation of the Being force between us. Called ‘Transmission’ in Trillium Awakening, this activation is described as ‘A subtle event whereby the radiant awakened-and-embodied Being-force …is effortlessly and spontaneously communicated nonverbally …through proximity, gazing meditation, writings, focused intention, or other ways of being together’. This can be seen as similar to the way in which a tuning fork, if struck, will enliven a similar vibration in any other tuning forks nearby.
Mutuality circles can help to create a field of subtle energy in which each member’s ‘Being force’ is enlivened, leaving us refreshed and reminded of where we are going on our spiritual path, and better able to cope when the demands of day to day life challenge the full expression our true and embodied conscious nature.
1 For further exploration of terms used in this essay see the Trillium Path Glossary