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An invitation

Judith Fein

September 30, 2001

For years, an eclectic group of Jewish people in Santa Fe had been getting together informally, and had developed bonds of friendship. I am part of that group.

But after September 11th, we felt that the reason for getting together should change dramatically. We felt an urgent need to meet with people from OTHER countries, other cultures, other faiths.

There was the feeling that we are all hearing the same voices, on TV, radio, in the major media. They are, by and large, American voices, with quick sound-bites from people from other countries.

So we created what came to be called the Wisdom Circles, which first met in my home and then met in a local coffee shop.

Word about these Wisdom Circles spread rapidly in Santa Fe, and people who were born in other countries heard about them and felt safe enough to come. It was an opportunity for all of us to meet people from other places and other perspectives, and to find what connected us, our commonalities rather than our differences. Everyone spoke from the heart.

The notes here are from the first of these small, informal and extraordinary meetings in which we all attempted to try to understand and make sense of September 11 and its aftermath.

For these meetings, we set a few guidelines. The most important is that there would be no debate, no dialogue--just LISTENING to the wisdom, the feelings, the spiritual traditions, the intelligence that comes from our hearts.

So we created what came to be called the Wisdom Circles.

People showed up and stayed and talked--because it was an emotionally safe environment.

We all felt each meeting brought new depths of understanding, and in that spirit we share these notes with you.

We have been contacted by people in other cities and other countries who are starting Wisdom Circles. It is an empowering, healing experience for all involved.

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