What Open Circle Means to Me

by Bryan Hardy, Open Circle Student

Bryan answers questions at the Open Circle display outside our “Change Room” tent where students “Try on a Spiritual Practice” during this all-day event.

Being involved in Open Circle as well as the planning of our winter retreat has been incredibly valuable to my own personal journey over the past few months. I initially got connected to the Mind, Body, and Spirit circle last fall after seeking to find a group of people with similar interests in exploring topics like consciousness and spirituality without requiring it to be tied down to a religious doctrine or dogma. Since then I have grown to love and appreciate this community that has welcomed me in with nothing but support and caring.

The process of planning the retreat was especially significant because it allowed me to push myself into unfamiliar territory and forced me to trust myself and trust the universe that everything would work out. I took on new responsibilities which allowed me to grow and expand my boundaries and break through my self-imposed limitations of what I perceived to be possible. I would never have dreamed 6 months ago that I would be sitting in a beautiful log cabin with a group of people I knew relatively little about leading a guided meditation, or facilitating a silent hike through the woods. To be able to make that a reality and witness the process leading up to it has been transformative and inspiring. Being able to see the entire process from our first meeting to the retreat itself was a clear demonstration of how we are in fact co-creating our reality in this life. What started as only an idea of “a retreat” grew through numerous meetings and then finally was mani-fested into reality over the weekend of Jan 20th -22nd of this year. After investing time and energy in the plan-ning process I was blessed with the gifts of meeting new friends, spending time to relax and reflect on life, and helping me to step out of the daily routine of school in order to pursue things of true value which, to me, are connecting with others on a deep and personal level as well as nurturing myself and connecting to my spiritual center. If it wasn’t for Open Circle I wouldn’t have had these opportunities and for that I am ex-tremely thankful.

Yashoda opens a gift during a game at December’s end of term party, a chance for community to deepen.

Open Circle to me is a space for people interested in these types of things to congregate and commune. In a society that puts little value on things of a spiritual nature it gives me renewed hope that there are still people out there who are willing to journey together on the path of inner discovery, and then striving to integrate that into our lives in order to become the change that we want to see in the world. This is only a small piece of what Open Circle means to me but in closing I would like to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to all those who support Open Circle and make this possi-ble because the impact that this group is having on people’s lives is nothing short of amazing.

Thank you,
Bryan