There was a time a few years ago after a vipassana retreat that I started thinking that all these healing modalities emerging in the 21st century, at their essence, went back to Jesus and Buddha (Gautama was his name) and the circles they invited where ideas were shared.

Hands-on healing of all types, meditation of nearly every sort, centering prayer…even tai chi and the many martial arts have some of their energetic wisdom and style of self-awareness in what Gautama was bringing forward.  And of course Gautama had studied the yoga of his day and found it too torturous…his influence on yoga after that was quiet and profound and led to the revolution in yoga that grew to be friendlier to oneself.

Jesus’ reliance on the ‘wind alone’ — YAHWEH — is similar to Gautama’s wisdom found through breathing, right?  And Jesus seems to be a bit different in that he uses his hands to give people a taste of the life-breath’s power and its dependability.  It is said that the later tai chi masters who harnessed the wind so well could be felt walking down the street — even heard — through the sound-vibrations that came from the palms of their hands.   Seems incredible, yes?

Jesus even offers funny little stories and wild experiments taking nothing along for a journey to wake people up to what really rules and what dependably provides — the wind alone.

Jesus and Gautama followed no gurus…and suggested we don’t either.  “You are the salt of the Earth…the spice of life!”

Jesus and Gautama were not after belief…they were inviting people to KNOW through their own experience, through their own sensation…so different from the later schools of their disciples advocating belief and ritual and reverence for the guru and all manners of sillinesses to maintain one’s standing as a disciple.

With their circles, Jesus and Buddha were bringing forward in (re)new(ed) ways what they had inherited from previous wisdom-circles.

Study the Bible and study Gautama’s story and its plain to see, these wisdom circles have been around a long, long time…much longer than Jesus and Gautama.  Biblically speaking, centuries before Jesus’ time, the prophet guilds and the prophets’ wild poetry are talked about much — though very few people today talk about those prophet communities and the supreme cleverness of their poetry.  And these prophet circles seem to allow anyone and everyone to enter, to make their home in them.

To be a ‘prophet’ all one had to do was be in relationship with the wind.  And when they did that in the ancient world and when we do that today, some pretty incredible things happen.

Who is considered the greatest storyteller of the Bible, perhaps even of all time?  A woman known to us only as J, the story crafter of most of Genesis, the origin stories of the prophets.  Who is considered the greatest poet of the Bible?  A woman known to us only as Second Isaiah, whose poems — prophetic speech — were attached onto the scroll after Isaiah of Jerusalem’s poems, sadly without her name.

There’s power in a circle who welcomes everyone, allows everyone to be named and heard and celebrated.  There’s power in friends listening to and feeling and sometimes even seeing the wind together…coming to larger and larger senses of the Whole, THE ALL.

And that’s what you and I are doing in this VITALITY circle, that’s what you and I are doing — hopefully — in any and every circle.  We share ideas with each other.  We live in ways that invite friends to an experience of themselves in order to know even more deeply their own personal wholeness and the wholeness in which we all have our being.   And the circle welcomes all ideas to be tried on, wondered about, conversed about…that each person might discover what works best for themself.

There’s wisdom in a circle — as our new Mission and Vision invite.  Click here and check it out!

Our circle meets nearly every day, in person and via Zoom.  Swim in, swim out.  Meet new friends and long-time friends.  Share ideas around the world and from around the world.

Let’s discover what’s possible!

Brian Shircliff