Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts

Musing on Mindfulness Circles


Reflections on Calmer Choice's newest mindfulness program offering.

Seated together in a circle of chairs a group of people previously unknow to one another gather. Beginning with friendly introductions and responses to a question of the day, we start to get a sense of who is in the room - one from Sandwich, two from Yarmouth, someone else from Brewster. New names, new faces, we share unexpected sources of joy, and familiar experiences of challenge or sadness. During this time that we gather for a Mindfulness Circles people courageously step into a new experience and do their best to stay open to what arises.

After a guided practice of mindful awareness, we share in the reading of an article regarding compassion. Taking time to offer reflections or impressions of what we heard, one participant who was particularly moved by the writing affirmed, “well, this was just what I needed to hear today”. He shared how the sentiment of the piece echoed of a conversation he had just had that morning with a loved one. He had been struggling with a challenging experience and giving himself a bit of a hard time about it. In our shared experience of mindfulness practice and reading in community, he was reminded that bringing that same quality of kindness that he so freely shares with others was important for him to also apply to himself.

By the time we wrap up our Circle, a sense of community has developed and there is a general sentiment of contentment. Some words are offered to close this time together…”at ease”, “relaxed”, “satisfied”, “grateful”, “surprised”, “supported”, “sleepy”. These words fill my heart each and every time a Mindfulness Circle gathers, little gifts that we can carry away with us into the rest of the day and week ahead. These experiences reinforce for me the power and impact that these times together have on a person. They can add a bit of ease, opportunity for growth, and time for contemplation in community. Mindfulness Circles support our self-care, heighten our awareness to the present, and offer a chance to see the world just a little bit more clearly.

Forest Malatesta is the Lead Facilitator at Calmer Choice. In her role, she works to design, develop, and facilitate engaging mindfulness programming, mentorship opportunities, and experiences, particularly for adults. Click here to learn more about our Mindfulness Circle offerings