Circles of Resilience

Creating Communities of Connection

Training in Council Facilitation &

Conflict Exploration


EnHeartening the world one circle at a time

Join our growing community of facilitators who practice speaking and listening from the heart in order to create more resilient families, workplaces and communities. 

Our bite sized relational programs provide unparalleled experiential learning and heart connection.

The 6-hour trainings are held over four weeks (90 minutes per session)
along with ‘HomePlay’ of approximately 40 – 60 minutes per week.
You’ll be ready to ‘get your feet wet’ facilitating conversations that touch the heart and soul.

For those of you who would like a taste of council before registering for a training, please join one of our Resilience Thursdays monthly drop-in councils by donation. Register here

Lori Austein

Council Trainer

Lori is a Trainer in the Way of Council, and has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and Canada for over 20 years. She was a co-coordinator of the Palms Council Project, a school based council program, and has served on circles to advance the practice of Council such as the Trainer’s Mentoring Circle, which shepherds the path and the people seeking to become facilitators and trainers.

Leon Berg

Council Trainer

Leon is a founding member of the Ojai Foundation (, an educational sanctuary in Southern California. He is a Senior Trainer of the Way of Council, and has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and abroad for over 30 years. Together with his partner, Glori Zeltzer, he teaches the Art of Intimate Conversation to couples (

“Leon and Lori are compassionate co-facilitators in the Way of Council. Both masterful trainers, they gracefully guide you through four weeks in a series of activities, prompts and games to learn how to live the four intentions of Council. I truly benefited from slowing down and connecting with others wholeheartedly.”


“Taking this course has given me the confidence to bring Way of Council to my family, my cohort in my volunteer organization and with friends. Way of Council has become a calling of sorts for me.”


“I loved how Lori and Leon gently led the council as a process teaching and content teaching. The learning was done in an embodied sacred way. I would recommend to any person who desires or is currently a facilitator/leader.”


“Learning to develop tools and skills to promote resilience, personally, professionally, and collectively, within community, is essential, especially at this time. This class provides the beginning foundation for this work, in a creative enriching format.”


“I recommend this to anyone interested in conscious connections and learning how to lead groups for better connections and forming positive bonds based on true understanding.”


“Following every gathering in Council, I felt a deep exhilaration from the peace, joy, and insight that flowed into the circle from every participant.”


“Circles of Resilience was a rich and rewarding experience in unprecedented times. Beautifully facilitated, it was profoundly satisfying to have deep and meaningful conversations with people in real time, across continents. Amazing!”


“I so appreciated the ease and skill with which Lori and Leon led us on a beautiful and inspiring voyage together. I feel ever more inspired to do this work and appreciative of the connection with my circle mates.”


“Thank you, Leon and Lori, for guiding us into the depths of the council way in such a short time. It was great to link internet and inner net in that way. Highly recommended.”


“A wonderful introduction to identifying, developing, and deepening resilience, through connection with our own unique stories, and the stories of others, in community.”

• Participate in grounding and mindfulness practices for nervous system regulation and resilience.

• Learn different circle forms, exercises, games, and ways of sharing with families, schools, colleagues and clients.

• Engage in home practice with other participants to develop your skills and find deep connection with others.

• Explore the questions we are living now in this time of global pandemic, climate crisis and polarization.

“The secret of creating peace is that when you listen to other people you have only one purpose: to offer them an opportunity to open their hearts.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh


Circles of Resilience, Part One The Basic Practice

Communication, Empathy, and Stress Reduction

An introduction to the practice of listening and speaking from the heart (Way of Council), along with social engagement activities and mindfulness processes to help build psycho-emotional resilience. All in the comfort of your home via Zoom.

Are you are tired of conversations where everybody talks and nobody listens?

We are excited to offer a 9-hour course, held over four weeks (90 minutes per session plus 40 minutes of weekly HomePlay), to those who would like to facilitate meaningful conversations with family, friends, colleagues and clients.

Heart connection is a source of resilience. Council is a deep listening practice that creates healthy communication. This practice allows everyone to feel heard which provides for healthy social engagement and happier nervous systems.

Circles of Resilience, Part Two

(Prerequisite Part 1)

Circles of Resilience, Part Two continues to build skills with the four intentions while emphasizing the formation of prompts and the  the use of different forms of council, e.g. the Fishbowl, Spiral and Response.

We expand upon the basic witnessing practice toward learning to read the interactive field of the participants and how to use that information to better serve our groups. We investigate how to ‘lean into the skid’ of council disruptions. We learn to resource ourselves in order to respond rather than react. We can turn toward the disruption in the circle and find our way through to new levels of awareness using the resilience contained within the circle. Home play will continue to be a vital part of this training.

For those completing Circles of Resilience Parts 1 and 2, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for the On-Line Way of Council Training Level 1.

Removing the Stone from the Heart - A Workshop on Healing Grief

Grief is a part of life

Don’t run away from grief, o’ soul/ Look for the remedy inside the pain/ because the rose came from the thorn/ and the ruby came from a stone....Rumi

Whether it be the loss of a beloved or the collective grief over climate chaos, war, polarizationand threats to democracy, we need to mourn, yet our culture has a difficult relationship to grief.

Grief is hushed, put out of sight and mind, and we’re encouraged to get over it. Sometimes a toxic culture of positivity suppresses the reality of the experience. In this course we befriend and tend grief, trusting that the relationship has its own time frame, its own needs, and its own grace.

• Engage in mindfulness practices to ground and support our nervous systems

• Draw upon the the power of poetry and ceremony to transform grief

• Experience the healing power of community

• Transform suffering into insight

The Healing Power of Conflict

(Prerequisite Part One)

How do you deal with challenging conversations?

Conflict is an inescapable part of our lives. It often points to opportunities for personal change and growth.  Circles of Resilience practices embody both ancient and modern wisdom about how to keep human relationships alive, open, and constructive, especially when conflicts arise. How we deal with conflict, or not, impacts the quality of our lives.  While not being therapy, sharing in a group helps transform triggers into compassion.

  • Use grounding practices to enhance resilience and prepare for challenging conversations.
  • Somatic presencing to heal conflict in the body.
  • Making conscious the archetypal forces at work in conflict.

In this course we learn ways to approach conflict while staying connected.


Circles of Resilience for Teams, Businesses and Organizations

Strong work relationships help establish and nurture a company or organizational culture that emphasizes respect, loyalty and trust, as well as cross-cultural awareness and inclusiveness. Social connection provides a sense of cohesion in the office, built on the safety that comes with co-regulation which is essential for cultivating creativity, teamwork and collaboration.

Organizations we have worked with:

  • Deep Adaptation
  • ImaginAction
  • Krotona School of Theosophy

Please contact us if you'd like to speak with us about designing a program for your team, business, or organization.

Dates and Times

Resilience Thursdays

Get a taste of our program on the third Thursday of the month

Thursdays at 5.30pm Pacific Time on July 21, August 18 & September 15

You can Register Here

Circles of Resilience Part One – The Basic Practice

Creating Communities of  Connection

4 Saturdays on August 20, 27 & September 3, 10

10:00am – 11:30am Pacific Time

19:00 – 20:30 CEST

Circles of Resilience Part Two – Going Deeper

(Prerequisite Part 1)

4 Saturdays on July 16, 23, 30 & August 6

10-12:00pm Pacific Time

19:00 – 22:30 CETdays on Aug 21, Sep 4, 11 and 18


The Healing Power of Grief

To Be Determined

Contact us with interest

The Healing Power of Conflict

(prerequisite Part One)

Four Sundays on July 17, 24, 31 and August 7

10:00 – 12:00 am Pacific Time

19:00 – 21:00 CST

Circles of Resilience for Teams, Businesses and Organizations

Please contact us if you’d like to speak with us about designing a program for your team, business, or organization.

Fridays on Aug 21, Sep 4, 11 and 18

11:00 am – 12:30 pm PT
7:00 – 8:30 pm BST