Small-Group Session (1 of 2)
Before the session starts, the leader should set chairs in a circle, with a chalice and matches on a small table in the middle, or somewhere visible to participants. Make sure the strips of paper for “Readings from the Common Bowl” are in the bowl. Welcome people, and allow folks to settle before lighting the chali
Chalice Lighting and Opening Words
The group leader lights the chalice (or asks someone else to) and then, with the intent of creating sacred space, reads the following words:
This flame of inspiration
Cast for us vision
Dancing against the walls of this room
In the hearts of a people
Invite each person, in turn, to share a brief answer to the check-in question. The check-in question is: “What has inspired you lately?”
Readings from the common bowl
The leader passes around the bowl, with strips of paper that have quotes on them. Invites each person to take one strip/quote out of the bowl. Then, invites each to read the quotes. They don’t have to read in order, one right next to the last one. But instead, invite them to allow some silence after every quote, and then to see if the quote they picked out of the bowl should go next or not. (See additional section below for quotes; these are the quotes that will be torn into separate strips, and put in the bowl before the meeting)
After everyone has read the different statements, the leader asks the central question that will guide the session’s discussion: “Where do you experience creativity in your life? How are you creative?”
Leader invites attendees to take no more than 2 minutes to share a response to the question. Find a way to gently hold the group to the no-more-than-2-minute limit. Also, let people know there’s no cross-talk to the responses: group-members don’t answer the statements people make. One person speaks for oneself, then the next person does the same. It’s not a conversation, so much as a series of statements. Again, each with some silence or space between. And, again, voices don’t need to go in order, with people sitting beside each other speaking—just as the Spirit moves.
After hearing everyone’s statements, the leader invites the group to sit in silence for 2-3 minutes. This is not time for them to plan what they’ll say. It’s time to sit and be present, to let whatever comes up, come up.
Second round, reflections on what was heard, with additional thoughts
Whereas in the first round, attendees were encouraged to stick to their own thoughts, here in the second round, people can respond to some of what they heard. Again, encourage brevity—whether a formal 2-minute limit is enforced or not, encourage the conversation to move from one place to another in the circle, not getting dragged down to one or two voices who speak at length. It’s OK for people to respond to each other’s comments.
Likes and wishes
The leader asks for people to share, as they’re moved, what they liked about the session, and what they wish for next time, that they may or may not have experienced this time.
Closing Words & Extinguishing the Chalice
I once knew a writer who at least once a week would take a different route home, even if it meant getting a little lost. He said it helped him see the world from a new perspective—
A world that he otherwise could take for granted.
As we extinguish the flame of our chalice,
Let us go forth searching for new worlds
And new paths home
Guided by a light that sparks the possible,
Quotes for The Common Bowl
Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.
Creativity is wild mind and a disciplined eye.
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.
Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.
Creativity—like human life itself—begins in darkness.