The Personal Growth Circuit
I have been on the Personal Growth circuit since the last century. You know the drill. People gather for a weekend or week, usually with some sort of facilitation, to be liberated, or to explore the good life, or to experience a better way of being.
My first experience of sharing circles was with Community Building in Britain, whose most successful event, Facilitating Ourselves, has been running for eleven years. It is based on the work of Scott Peck, who wrote “The Road Less Travelled” and “The Different Drum”, and who introduced me to the idea of a particular path for growth into maturity which still makes a lot of sense to me. He had an idea of how a circle could reach Community, cycling through pseudo-community or café-culture, where we are all nice to each other; Chaos, where the conflicts rise to the surface; Emptiness, where we surrender our demands on other people, the world and ourselves, and finally Community, togetherness and acceptance. In 1999, it worked for me.
I did the Hoffman process when I did not know what was wrong but knew something was, when I read that I could do three years of psychotherapy or do it all in one week with the Hoffman. It is transformational. It seems expensive, but that is because they do a lot in London, Dublin and by phone, for free, to explain it to potential users, and it gave me tools to access my unconscious which I have not yet exploited fully.
I do not recommend any of this: it may not be what you need right now. I have also had a powerful, liberating sense of being with people like me with the Scottish Episcopal Church, and then later the Quakers, with Mensa and with the Sibyls. There is a huge amount out there.