Listening Circles

Building the Foundations for Change - Workshop One

Listening Circle Karme Choling Vermont


Miriam Jones

Adam Rumack

Gala Narezo

Date & Time Details:

March 2024



Program Fee:

Generosity Price - $1000

Tuition - $850

Room/Meals Fee:

This will be added in during the registration process.
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Wellness Update:

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Contact Us:

Karmê Chöling
(802) 633-2384

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Building Cultures of Safety & Trust

The first workshop of the Open Circle Training Series

As a leadership consultant and master coach with over 30 years experience, working all over the world and facilitating and leading groups, teams, and circles, I had some trepidation about going into this unknown training as a participant. Would the workshop challenge me? Would it hone my understanding of power relations as a leader? Would I learn something about myself? Would I develop new and useful skills? Would it embody a truly experiential, dialogical, improvisational and exploratory ethos? Would I find the workshop leaders mature, stimulating and inspiring? The answer to each of these questions was a resounding “YES!

Zora (Sara Boas), Master Coach and Consultant, MA, RDMP, MCC

Nothing changes minds, builds connections, and inspires new ideas like a good story

The good news is that everyone has stories worth telling and worth listening to.

In the Listening Circle Training, you’ll learn to create spaces where stories can be shared and heard to inspire change.

What is a Listening Circle?

A Listening Circle is a systematic approach to group conversation designed to enhance active listening and encourage empathetic communication within the group. It establishes a secure and safe space where individuals can freely share their thoughts, feelings, and lived experiences while others in the circle offer attentive and non-judgmental listening.

Listening Circles have been proven to increase:

  • Empathy
  • Perspective taking
  • Resilience
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision-making
  • Cultural awareness

The Listening Circle is a practice that can be used in any setting – from corporate boardrooms to school classrooms, in retreat settings and remote workplaces, in scientific working groups to intentional living communities, in prisons and in the halls of political power.

Listening Circle participants develop the skill to:

  • Incorporate vastly differing perspectives and feedback
  • Listen beyond limiting assumptions
  • Understand their colleagues and work ecosystem
  • Cultivate a growth mindset and developmental culture of innovation

Participants in the Listening Circle Training will learn to host and facilitate Listening Circles where their stories can be shared and heard to inspire and create the foundations change.

Listening Circles are foundational to change:

They self-transform organizations, preparing them to adapt to our rapidly changing world. They cultivate a growth mindset and culture of inclusion in change.

A Comprehensive Course

With Practical Experiences & Personalized Coaching

Our trainings are:

  • Fun and engaging
  • Practical and uniquely grounded in science
  • Tied to the natural world as a unique reflective tool
  • Adapted to the culture and context of the time and place it is held

The highly skilled team members at Open Circle have a range of listening and facilitation skills that span from formal to informal, inviting to challenging, easy to highly advanced. They are clearly on a mission to humanize the workplace.

Don Lubach, UC Santa Barbara Ombudsman

This comprehensive course encompasses a dynamic blend of online training, immersive practical experiences, and personalized coaching, all designed to elevate your skills and knowledge.

Listening Circle Training Overview:

  • 8 hours of prerequisite online training to be completed prior to the in-person training This comes complete with videos, exercises, checklists, and resources. Participants will complete the self-paced online component in their own time prior to the course. Completing the online component is a prerequisite for the training. We recommend giving yourself at least two days to go through the material, prior to the start date.
  • 2-day in-person training lead by Open Circle founders: This will be a deeper personal journey, including coaching and application to your specific environment. In the spirit of personalized guidance, we limit our group size to ensure every participant has ample opportunity for 1:1 interaction and personalized coaching throughout their practical training.

Listening Circle Training Details:

  • Key Elements of the Practice
    • Explore different forms of listening and how it affects the quality of our relationship, decision-making, and actions
    • Listening deeply
    • Exploring the basic elements
    • Listening Circle as a group mindfulness practice: witnessing the art-form of the group
  • Transformational Leadership
    • Practical skills in building individual and group resilience in transition and change
    • Exploring cycles of transition and transformation
    • Movement and sensory activities
    • Nature-based work that increases sensitivity, perception, and discernment
    • Social resiliency and somatic practice for nervous system regulation
  • Facilitating Collective Wisdom
    • Practicing key elements for facilitating a listening circle
    • Leading for collective wisdom in a variety of situations and groups
    • Practice and coaching in different forms
  • Making It Yours: Leading A Listening Practice In Your Work and Life
    • Apply the practice toward practical outcomes and to support resiliency
    • Balance, and transformation in work and life
    • Practical application and facilitator mentoring
    • Applying circle-based systems in different environments - invitations and the process for creation
    • Different types of circles - ongoing, work-based, one-off events, community, family, school


This is the first in a series of three workshops. There are no prerequisites to take this program. Everyone is welcomed.

Arrival/Departure Schedule:

  • Friday, March 1st: Please plan to arrive between 3-6 pm to check-in and settle into your room.
    Dinner is served at 6:30 pm
    The program will start at 7 pm and finish at 9.30 pm
  • Saturday, March 2nd, the program goes from 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Sunday, March 3rd, the program goes from 9:30 am to 2 pm
    Please plan to stay through 2pm Sunday.

Who is Open Circle?

The mission of Open Circle is to transform organizations and communities into thriving ecosystems for the greater good of humanity.

Open Circle has an integrated approach to personal, professional and organisational development which is adaptive depending on the current challenges and environment.

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Karmê Chöling values its commitment to making programs affordable and available to all who wish to study with us. To support this commitment we provide two program price options.

Generosity Price: $1,000.00
You're able to help us with this commitment by choosing the "Generosity Price". The money above the basic tuition cost goes into a scholarship fund for those who might not be able to attend a program otherwise.

Tuition: $850.00
This is the price of the program, it does not include housing options or material fees.

Please Note:
Price does not include accommodations, which will be added during the registration process.


Payment Policies:
Please read the payment policy before proceeding with registration.

Financial Aid:
Karmê Chöling offers full-time student discounts, scholarships and other financial aid.

Program Credit:
If using existing program credit to pay for a program, you must pre-register for this program at least two weeks prior to the program start date by calling the front desk (802-633-2384 x3000). Program credit may not be used to pay for housing or practice materials and may not be used on or after arrival day.


Miriam Jones
Miriam Jones

Co-Founder Open Circle and Open Circle Foundation
LinkedIn Profile

Miriam is known as a thought leader in the area of transformational education, cultural change, and leadership. After developing a dual interest in business and education, Miriam began designing and delivering leadership programs and change efforts for organizations across the globe. Miriam is an experienced entrepreneur who has founded and led several organizations, from not-for-profits to corporations to co-operatives.

In efforts to look for new forms that could inform her organizational work and the changes she was witnessing in the world, Miriam turned her focus to learning forms influenced by indigenous nature-based cultures and societies: circle listening and healing practices, circle governance and rite of passage, and nature-based rituals.

Miriam has worked with clients across industries and right across the Globe, including The Ojai Foundation, Esalen, PWC, Bank of America, Snapchat, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Coates, Coca-Cola Amatil, Ernst & Young, PWC and Westpac.

Adam Rumack
Adam Rumack

Co-Founder Open Circle and Open Circle Foundation
LinkedIn Profile

Adam is an entrepreneur, wilderness guide, educator, facilitator, and organizational consultant with a background in executive leadership. He is passionate about creating communities and organizations that thrive through the wisdom of the natural world (both human and more-than-human)

He has worked widely in California State prisons, training group facilitators; helped develop an on-boarding and wellness program for Snapchat and Sunny & 72 in Los Angeles; has offered training for Canva, The Rites of Passage Institute, and the Centre for Men in Australia; and worked on a wide variety of cultural change projects for organizations including: Bluegreen, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Illuman, Born and Bred Brands, Wilderness Torah, Kalmiopsis Wild, and Kinfolk Properties.

He has a strong business development focus with a MBA focused in International Leadership and Management from Monterey Institute of International Studies, Fisher Graduate School of International Business. He is a Minds at Work Certified Coach candidate, National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Responder. He volunteers as a Curry County Search and Rescue Team Member and as Vice-chair of the Curry Watersheds Council Non-profit.

Gala Narezo
Gala Narezo

Consultant & Facilitator
Gala Narezo is a facilitator, educator, activist and mindfulness instructor who is committed to mindful change-making. In her groups she uses storytelling, mindfulness, art and circle practice as guiding principles. She has collaborated with a variety of amazing partners on transformational education through awareness campaigns, public art, curricula and transformational media. She has degrees from Yale University and Art Center College of Design. She recently completed an M.A. in Art Education at City College of New York CUNY. She has done extensive training and practice in circle based facilitation running weekly groups online and live retreats in the USA and Mexico.

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