Recent Description of Resonant Sensing for Peace
From time to time, I share my understanding of the
Resonant Sensing for Peace process, including the intentions that Eric and I
shared when we started this work, and how it has evolved over time.
Resonant Sensing for Peace has some similarities with
traditional Focusing and with some kinds of circle gatherings, and, there are
also some differences. This can create some confusion at times.
Several people have mentioned that they would like more
clarity around, “what are we doing here?” I hope these clarifications are
1. What is the purpose of "Resonant
Sensing for Peace"?
Resonant Sensing for Peace is an ongoing experiment in
creating a collective healing space. It
might also be described as developing a ‘collective nervous system’ or
‘We-space.’ Given all of the isolation, trauma, fear, and stress in the world,
some of us are feeling the need to develop collective ways of holding
that can help us ground, center, and transform distress.
The more we experience ourselves as connected, as
not-so-separate, the more this can inform our living and acting in the world. The
more we feel part of something larger, something that includes our individual
perspectives yet also goes beyond them, the more grounded and empowered we
feel. We can begin to speak from a larger and deeper voice….
RSP is a small step toward reclaiming the profound healing
power of ‘tribe’ that has been atrophied in our culture, and has left us more
vulnerable to being manipulated by fear. As we gather together to experience one
another in a connected way, we can better hold that which is difficult in
ourselves and in the larger world. We can also share and amplify those lovely energies
that offer strength and serve as resources for ourselves and for the larger
What is “Resonant Sensing”?
"Resonant sensing" is a way in which we can
connect with and feel one another, to enter into a felt experience of deeper connection.
Here are some of the assumptions that this process is based upon:
We assume that all of us, and the planet, are already interconnected.
As Thomas Hubl says, “We think we are 7 billion individual
laptops, but actually, we are one big supercomputer."
That electronic analogy may not be to everyone's taste;
you are welcome to envision different metaphors. For example, we can imagine
ourselves as individual organs that are part of Gaia, a larger planetary being.
We assume that we can feel one another,
and the larger world, through our sensing capacities.
This includes our felt sensing, as well as our mirror
neurons and Social Engagement circuitry. As Kosha Joubert of Global EcoVillage
acknowledge this beautiful instrument of our human body, that has been refined
over a million years to be able to
sense in very refined ways……
are aware of how our bodies are part of the planet…”
With the above assumptions as our foundation, we make the
intention to create an energetic container with one another, and to be open to
what wants to show up. Each of us is holding the circle and holding the larger
world. And, each of us is also being held by the circle and by the larger
We offer our attention and care to ourselves, to one another,
and to the planet, and we welcome and "be with" what comes.
We can see this as “opening a Collective Guest House”: we open to the lovely and/or challenging
‘guests’ that show up in our midst, in a way that affirms and explores our
One key element of
this practice, is that whatever is shared, is shared into the center of the
3. What are the steps of the process?
RSP has some qualities of ceremony or ritual space. It is a kind of ‘practice’, a
group felt meditation. The format used for sharing has parallels to dialogue,
and to Quaker Worship Sharing.
a) There is a guide who opens the process, keeping
it on track and aligned with the above intentions. As participants feel moved,
they are welcome to make suggestions, to take some initiative for the well-being
of the group. At the same time, emergent processes need some kind of stewarding
– so far, that has been one of my roles.
b) -There is a
lead-in, which serves to intentionally call the circle, to welcome in
different energies that support it, and to invite each of us to remember our
connection to the larger dimensions of existence.
c) We each sense into ‘what is alive for us’.
d) Whatever we have
to share, is generally offered into the center of the circle, as if the
circle itself were "the listener". Of course, each of us is "the
listener" as well.
e) Questions are
also shared into the middle of the circle. Unless you are simply asking
someone to repeat themselves because you can’t hear, questions are allowed to
float in the space, and rarely directly answered. The reason for this is that back-and-forth
conversation, as well as direct questions, tend to encourage beta brain waves
and rational processing. These are not the best support for going deeper into
resonation and shared holding.
f) Pausing between sharings
is also encouraged. Reason being that quick
responses tend to speed up the process, and going too quickly results in a loss
of depth and energy within the group space.
During the pauses, we resonate with what has been shared,
take it into our bodies, and receive the speaker and their energies, in
whatever way works for us. This helps to deepen the process.
If something is weighing on someone, with regard to
distress that is happening in the world, we make space for it, welcome it,
allow it to be held in the circle.
If something is weighing on someone, that feels
"personal", we make space and welcome it as well. We assume that
nothing is "only personal"; one person may feel it, and, it is also part
of the larger system. So, if someone feels as if they don’t belong, or are
disconnected, or feeling 'nothing' - we welcome that energy in, as well.
That person is acting as a conduit to bring in these common
experiences in the world at large, that can use some accompanying.
If what comes for someone is relaxing or alive or buoyant,
that is also welcomed and ‘hosted’ (taken in, received, and resonated with).
4. What RSP is not
RSP is not a conversation, nor is it a discussion group
for topics of mutual interest. Those are wonderful ways to connect and share
space, yet that is not our intention here.
All of the participants In RSP are delightful and
fascinating people. It would be wonderful to have opportunities to get to know one
another better in informal ways. So it's understandable that having RSP be ‘not-a-conversation’
can be frustrating at times.
There is often some conversation as people gather, before
we begin. You are welcome to arrive a few minutes early if you wish to chat before
we start. You are also warmly welcome to set up times outside of the RSP
process to connect with participants and explore other kinds of group
interaction, or to simply enjoy informal connection. The only request is to
please keep us posted as to what you are doing and learning in the process!
5. Some additional comments:
RSP can be seen from the perspective of interpersonal
neurobiology. Most of us are familiar with individual ways to build resilience
through personal practices such as yoga, meditation, and prayer. The intention
here is to engage in a group practice,
where we are harnessing the power of our Social Engagement System in an online/group
The Social Engagement System (the Ventral Vagal system in
the Polyvagal Theory) is designed for engaging in resonant interconnection with
others. When we do so, it helps us relax, move out of a fear state, and engage
higher brain centers. In turn, this leads to creativity, well-being, increased
intuitive capacities, and increased sense of openness and more constructive
action. Here is a insightful chart about this: http://rubyjowalker.com/PVchart6HD.pdf
RSP is an experiment, so we learn from each other.
Each time the process is different. It depends on who is
present and what arises.
I continually seek to make the process more powerful and
user-friendly at the same time. Please let me know what does, and doesn’t, work
Take good care, and thank you for your interest,
information about Resonant Sensing for Peace (an older orientation letter),
and some details
about participation are at