To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups. Join HERE to explore the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI, and visit here for a full list of these groups. Following is an introduction to CircleZen Hub–KreisZENtrum, of Bonn, Germany. The group is led by council facilitator and author Kathleen Battke, who has helped lead online councils for ZPI membership for several years.
CircleZen Hub–KreisZENtrum leader Kathleen Battke with project partner Thomas Bebiolka
What is your mission?
– To explore, experience, reflect, and share the resources and potential of the Circle Way.
– To identify, open, and co-create fields of action that spring from the center of the Circle, and
– To take care of the legacy and co-cultivate the Circle Way and Council practice within the mandala of the Zen Peacemakers.
Where is your organization based?
In Bonn, Germany
How many regular members do you serve?
Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?
To explain the above number: as this group has no legal status, it has no members. There are about 50 people in the scope of this work. Over a couple of years, I perceived how the energy of Circle work informs a lot of groups I am part of or lead (like the ZPI facilitators group out of which I offered monthly online Councils for some three years now). People interested in the potential and practice of the Circle as a part of their spiritual pathway respective of their social action don’t have a Hub where they can meet and share. This is what this affiliate wants to offer.
Tell us about one exciting project, program, retreat or other offering you are currently working on?
End of March we had a weekend workshop with Council practitioners from eco-villages and other communities, exploring different forms of Council (also an open-air deep ecology circle), and worked on the concerns of participants in a combination of constellation work and the Circle. Next, we are planning a short circle practice during the Vesakh Feast of Buddhist groups here in Bonn on May 18, a book lecture with Council sharing on the Festival of Religions in Cologne in June, and a climate action Circle during the inter-religious environmental week in September, also in Cologne. In April 2020, we will have our second Days of Peace in concentration camp memorial Buchenwald in the East of Germany, where Council is the main practice of sharing. Apart from this, I will go on offering Zoom online Councils for Zen Peacemakers and others interested.
How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement?
Circles themselves are a basic form of Bearing Witness out of Not-Knowing (deep listening without pre-assumptions and concepts about others). What I want to focus on is how action may spring from this form of celebrating the first two Tenets – individually, and collectively.
What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?
a) To help surface the conscience that a circle of all-leaders can be a solution to hierarchy, competition, disconnection, and the challenges of climate-change.
b) To cultivate the legacy of Bernie and others when they found it time to go circular instead of – or beyond, or alongside with – the hierarchy of traditional Zen. We see this as a precious impulse that is worthwhile to tend and enhance.
Your main website URL
Your main contact email address for members