Circles of Trust

a hidden wholenessStrumming my pain with his fingers

Singing my life with his words

Killing me softly with his song

Killing me softly with his song

Telling my whole life with his words

Killing me softly with his song


There are some songs that embed deep in your consciousness. I didn’t know this Roberta Flack song, which I have not heard in over 30 years, would surface this week (no, I did not turn the car radio on and it was playing) as a way to understand one of the most confirming experiences of my life.


The story starts with a student, Susan Kaplan, who suggested I might be of help to her in applying Kabbalah specifically to one of her interests (and expertise); compassionate communication. She was kind enough to bring me a number of books and videos including a book by Parker Palmer. The title of this volume is “A Hidden Wholeness” with the following two subtitles: “The Journey Toward an Undivided Life” and then: “Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World.” I started to read late one night and began to feel that he (Parker Palmer) was singing my song—he was strumming my fate with his words. This book was written in 2003 at the same time I started to teach Kabbalah to small groups of people in their homes.


Palmer lays out a methodology for “supporting the inner journey of each person (in a circle of trust) by making each soul feel safe enough to show up and speak its truth, to help each person listen to his or her inner teacher.”


As I read and re-read his book (I misplaced my first copy and Peggy Brody, another student, heard my passing comment and went out of her way to get me another copy!) each concept Palmer presents are lyrics to the song I did not know I was singing as Kabbalah Experience developed.


In this 10th year of its development, KE has evolved in its own way with a good deal of content driven learning and in some classes the circle of trust method is central to the spiritual work undertaken. Where we will continue to evolve is a product of our teachers, our Board of Directors and most importantly, each of you.


In the meantime, whatever structure we pursue together in our spiritual learning, it has been suggested that we find a round table, with enough width to seat 14 (it needs to have a leaf or two so that we can store it) to manifest how we invite each other into community—seeing each other as equals taking our place around the table.


P.S. We have a donor who has pledged to purchase the table. Your suggestions on locating such a table are welcome.



Judy · November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

David, There is a series of white heavy duty non-wood tables which come in various sizes and are sold at places like Costco, Office Depot & Home Depot. I have purchased a number of the rectangular tables for workshops, art projects,etc.. I do know that they make large round tables that fold in the middle for storage but I have not seen them in the past few years. I would suspect they are still available though. I’m not sure how many can be seated. Maybe someone else knows where they can be purchased. I’ll see if I can get the name of a company who distributes them.

PS I share your admiration of Parker Palmer’s writings.


Susan Kaplan · November 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

David –

I appreciated this lovely song metaphor, as Parker Palmer’s work does echo within me, “singing my life with his words”. Beautiful imagery with the song!

Just a quick clarification – I offer two distinct types of work. Parker Palmer’s writing is the inspiration and base for Courage & Renewal Work. I offer this work as part of my private practice, Listening & Leading from Within and as a member of Colorado Courage Collaborative. There are over 200 international facilitators that are supported through The Center for Courage & Renewal.

The second area is Compassionate Communication, which is based on Nonviolent
Communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg.

Both of the these bodies of work share similar intentions of creating a more authentic life and to access the inner life.

And now I have Roberta’s song playing in my head….a great song indeed….

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