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From the inception of Karuna Talk, the creation of support groups within the Shambhala sangha has been one of the important goals.  Recently, a number of members of Karuna Talk have suggested that it may be time for us to come together in local or regional groups to meet each other, to listen and to explore what it means to create an environment of trust and caring.

In April 2004, a Karuna Reflection Circle began to meet monthly in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.  The group worked with a very simple but powerful format for communication.  This form was inspired by those practiced at the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership in Halifax, especially the practices of deep listening, and the council or talking circle approach.  In the fall of 2006, a Karuna Reflection Circle was established in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  In 2007, some members of the Fredericton, New Brunswick Shambhala community created a Karuna Reflection Circle.

The reflection circle experience can be very intimate and powerful.  There is no agenda other than listening with one's full attention, and trusting the basic goodness of the situation to see what arises in oneself and in others.  People do not have to be ill or have a disability to join the circle.  Anyone working with adversity is welcomed.  In our reflection circle in Halifax, not everyone is chronically ill.  People are dealing with many different challenges in their lives.  Within the reflection circle, whatever participants chose to share is respected and valued.

People interested in joining a reflection circle do not have to be members of the Shambhala center.  They might simply have an interest in mindfulness practice and in working with their personal difficulties in a more open and exploratory way.

Following is a link to a detailed description of the reflection circle that meets in Halifax. Karuna Talk members, sangha and friends might wish to experiment with this form as well as other methods of group communication.  As you determine what works best for you and your group, please share your experiences and suggestions with the Karuna Talk list. Your comments will be added to this web page, as a journal of the evolution of the group process within Karuna Talk.