Questions and answers about the women's circle filmed in BeComing
What is the name of the woman's circle being filmed?
The circle's name is Chakra - which means 'circle' in Hindi. When Sarita, born in Delhi, created a folder for e-mail correspondence on her computer and named it Chakra, the name stuck for our circle.
Who is Chakra?
Chakra members have a lifelong commitment to each other. We have remained a circle of ten women since our convening in the Spring of 1997. Chakra is diverse in both age (thirties to eighties), and ethnicity (African American, British, Caucasian, Filipino, German and Indian). Meet the women of Chakra
How often do we meet?
Different circles have different rhythms, Chakra gathers for long weekends 3-4 times a year in each other’s homes. Not everyone can meet each time, but we often say, when four or more are gathered in her name.
What happens when we gather?
When we come together we check-in, sensing what is current for each of us, a theme from our collective check-in often emerges in the form of a few questions that carry us into dialogue. At times, we share silence and typically create space for a ritual for one or many members of the circle. At the end, we close with a check-out when a member might ask us to hold an intention with them until we meet again. Two women agree to take responsibility for hosting, tending to food, sleeping arrangements and handling logisitics of travel or finance.
What does it mean to have an elder?
In many traditions, elders are considered to be the holders of wisdom. They tend to the ‘whole’, to the long term, They are felt as a presence, often without a personal agenda. They remind us of who we are and what it means to be humans. When Chakra began, our elder was Anne. She has a way of “being with” us, listening us into ourselves and tending to the whole of what we have come to refer to as the Chakra being, reminding us that while there is each of us, there is also the voice of Chakra and reminding us gently to listen for it.
Over the years, we all have come to a space of sensing the Chakra Being. We wonder: If there were one voice speaking in the circle, what would it be saying? Over the last decade Anne has begun to refer to herself as “Ancestor in the Making” and as three of our other members enter their 60th year, they have been stepping into their eldering role in our circle.
How was Chakra convened?
Chakra was convened by Sarita and Stephanie and inspired by the Circle of Seven, of which Anne our elder and other friends had formed. Joining the Circle of Seven wasn’t an option so we needed to take the initiative to start our own. We convened Chakra with the intention that it be a life long circle, which would be diverse in both age and ethnicity. We imagined having the circle hold us through the passages of our lives, the enduring questions, struggles, celebrations of marriages, births, and deaths. We each invited women we knew and wanted to share our lives with, women who were self-reflective, willing to learn from diverse perspectives and capable of celebrating the success of other women. In some cases, one of us barely knew the others. We weren’t clear on how many women we wanted, we went back and forth on whether we could include any others beyond the initial 10 invited, when all accepted we realized we were already a full circle. As it turns out, not everyone is able to make it each time so our number is usually around seven in attendance.
What do we talk about?
The underlying questions that come up in dialogue time and time again include: What does it mean to be a woman? What is the story we are telling ourselves about who we are and who we are becoming? Is there another story emerging at both the individual and collective level? It is interesting to note that as our circle matures over time, we find ourselves moving from more of the personal to the universal. We are more able to find the deeply personal within the universal. The state of our country, the planet, the future of our children, politics, sustainability, service, spirituality are increasingly important to us. Most recently, we have been engaged in a dialogue around resources, literally re-source; what does it mean to return to source in our relationships with time, money, each other and all our judgments and assumptions that bind us.