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The Way of Council

“When you find your place inside the circle, you are surrounded by a community that practices a willingness to provide you with a patient, loving, compassionate understanding of who you are, and the circle is committed to a relationship with you, and with each other, that will help you on your life’s journey”.
~Jeanette Acosta, California Traditional

I have inhabited a world of straight lines.

Our modern healthcare mind has been constructed with the straight lines that have literally confined our experience of what is possible. My profession is organized around hierarchical organizational charts that describe straight lines of authority and leave no space for the cross-currents that generate true creativity, and true healing. I have been trained to think in the straight lines of a scientific method that abhors and ignores too many inconvenient variables. Taught that the only real truth is to be found in the mechanics of a rational mind organized around the principle of linear cause and effect. Scientism has taught me that I should disregard any non-linear perspective as being ignorant and inferior. The arrogance of our rational symbols has lost its capacity to experience awe and the irrational and vital exuberance of beauty and love.  The relationships within this mindset cannot be anything other than transactional, isolating and ultimately scarce and emotionally disconnected. The simple fact is that human beings, like all sentient beings, experience relationships as pattern, and not straight lines.

The Healers Council is organized around the principles of “The Way of Council” that invites us to experience ourselves, each other, and our world as the manifestation of emergent vibrant patterns, and not stagnant dogmas. We welcome unfamiliar perspectives that challenge us to expand our experience of our work as healers, and human beings. The Healers Council brings together a tapestry of wisdom weaved with the colors of the rainbow path that has been trod by diverse and remarkable healing lineages across time and space.

“Council is an ancient way and modern practice whose roots are within the natural world, spanning diverse cultures and religions. This practice elicits an experience of true community, recognizing that each voice needs to be heard, that every person has a gift, a story to share, a piece of the whole. How do we remember all our relations, embrace differences, and find our own voices, while opening to others? It seems more than ever an essential time in our nation and around the world, to awaken this deep relational heart-mind. (Exerted from

The Four Principles of the Way of Council are to:

  • Listen from the Heart. (Not listening in order to respond.)
  • Share from the Heart (Not to impress or to know.)
  • Be lean of speech (Practicing generosity and allowing space for others.)
  • Spontaneity (Responding in the present moment, not pre-scripting.)

Michael Murphy, the founder of Esalen often said that one of the founding principles of the institute has been “No one captures the flag”. The Healers Council shares this intention. It is not organized around any one perspective, philosophy, guru, or group. We create space for exploration, discernment, respect, reverence, humility, and an optimism born out of abundance.

Welcome to the Circle of The Healers Council.

(The Way of Council model was developed by Roshi Joan Halifax for the Ojai Foundation. The book, The Way of Council by Jack Zimmerman and Sarah Coyle (2009) provides a comprehensive overview of the model and its application.

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