I almost always use a check-in and check-out flow when I'm with a group, and sometimes also weave in the practice of a start point.
From PeerSpirit: check-in helps people into a frame of mind, where the verbal sharing weaves the interpersonal net. It helps us land in the present moment, tuning into ourselves and the others present. Welcome or start-point: Once people have gathered, it is helpful for the host, or a volunteer participant, to begin the circle with a gesture that shifts people's attention from social space to council space. This gesture of welcome may be a moment of silence, reading a poem, or listening to a song– whatever invites centering.
The other night I was searching for a poem to use as a start-point and got curious about what other people had as favourite poems or quotes to use at the start or end of a gathering. Here is what they suggested:
Shared from Jasenka Gojsic:
…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903 in Letters to a Young Poet
Shared from Bonnie Koenig – If by Rudyard Kipling
Shared from Kara Pecknold – I Go Among Things and Sit Still by Wendell Berry
Shared from Chris Corrigan – a whole treasure trove of poems
Nice to add these to the harvest in our online community.
What poem would you add to this list?