DECEMBER 5 - 9, 2019


The Circle Way Advanced Practicum is a residential retreat that expands on the teachings and practices found in the book The Circle Way: A Leader In Every Chair (Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea), and further nuances circle as a way of being and as a discipline of engagement. The Advanced Practicum is designed to apply to all layers of system — self, team, organization, and community.

Listening through the center of the circle allows us to received people’s thoughts, feelings, and stories and stay separate from them, stay curious, look for the essence, seek a place to connect even when there is surface disagreement. Attentive listening is a kind of spiritual practice that shifts us out of reactivity and into deep inquiry.
— Christina Baldwin, Ann Linnea, The Circle Way
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Teaching — Exploring further and in more depth teachings that Amanda and Tenneson bring forward as current insights, challenges, and potentials from applied circle practice. 

Co-Learning — Engaging with all participants having requisite background and substantial applied hosting practice. Expect learning with peers based on the questions and circumstances you bring.

Paradigm Grounding — Uncovering further underlaying individual and communal stances so needed to strengthen circle practice in amplified and intensified contexts.

Beautiful Surrounding — Enjoying Aldermarsh, the home teaching space for Ann and Christina for 20 years. Amanda and Tenneson are happy to continue a tradition on land that inspires. 



The Circle Way Advanced Practicum is for practitioners who are:

  • Already steeped in circle practice (The Circle Way or other circle traditions), experienced enough to share stories of transformation and shakiness;

  • In big projects or initiatives and want help to operationalize circle in both organizations and communities;

  • Carrying complex and current questions best encountered together and to be faced with courage;

  • Learning to stand grounded while many around us react.

The Circle Way Advanced Practicum is deliberately designed for intimacy and integration. We will cap participants at 14 to encourage depth of teaching, engagement, and harvest.

Previous participation in an in-person The Circle Way practicum or online class isn't a pre-requisite for the Advanced Practicum, as we know that everyone's path as a practitioner is different. The Advanced Practicum is for those who are already steeped in circle practice (either The Circle Way or other traditions) and are experienced enough to share circle stories of transformation and shakiness; as well as those in big projects or initiatives and want help to operationalize circle in both organizations and communities.

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This learning experience will be held at the unique and beautiful Aldermarsh of Whidbey Island, Washington, USA. 

Located 30 miles north of Seattle, Whidbey Island provides a delightful retreat setting for this practicum. We will be housed in the lush green stillness of the Maxwelton valley in a facility of gardens, nooks and crannies, great food and the support of tall trees. Full travel information is available upon registration.

The Aldermarsh grounds include three houses, two cabins, and The Marsh House (the meditation hall, which we will use as our main learning space). There is also a cordwood sweat lodge/Kiva, outdoor Japanese soaking tub, beautifully maintained gardens, and acres of wetlands.

Aldermarsh is a relaxed, creative, and comfortable environment with shared occupancy and bath. There is space for solitude as well as interaction. Please note this venue is not wheelchair accessible.


Our learning experience begins Thursday, December 5 with supper and an opening circle after dinner.

From Friday to Sunday our program runs the full day as well as some of the evenings. On Monday, December 9 we will end shortly before noon (1/2 day session).

The number of days is deliberately chosen to encourage retreat, deep learning, and an acceleration of circle applied to your respective work.

Julie Gersten, a wonderfully skilled massage therapist, will be available for massage in the free time during the workshop. Sessions are self-pay. You’ll get a chance to meet her, and there will be a signup sheet for massage sessions.



Honing practice means active and paced learning. It means learning communally. It means connecting important stories into strengthened use of circle in a world with much need. Inspired from hearing our stories of practice, together we will create a map of topics to guide our attention, and the range of topics may include:

  • Teaching through story / inviting learning through story.

  • Cultivating perpetual curiosity and translating experience to inviting questions.

  • Invoking wise-action choices informed by center.

  • Activating circle in a moment’s notice.

  • Discovering practices that can support our circles in disrupting patterns of privilege and oppression, and contribute to more equitable spaces.

  • Working with our stressful thoughts and limiting beliefs to host difficult situations with greater awareness and skill.

  • Using circle as container for clarity to clear miscommunications.

  • How the concept of “brave space” shift or strengthen our circle practice.

  • Introducing circle into resistant yet reeling systems.

  • Navigating contexts of tension, conflict, sabotage, and trauma.

  • Invoking non-appropriative ceremony or contemporary ritual to create deeper layer shift. 

  • Working with energetics and the unseen.

  • Sharpening our circle practice to improve awareness of power differences and help equalize power.

The Circle Way Advanced Practicum was a way for me to check in with peers from various areas of the globe. By spending a few days together in this practice and exploring our growth edges together, I strengthened the understanding I have of circle and let it steep into my bones. Being able to access this experience for several days at the Advanced Practicum is what allowed the learning to deepen and become part of me in a more permanent way.
— Lori Sortino, Advanced Practicum participant