A Learning Community for People with Cancer and Those Who Care for Them
What is healing? We have explored this question throughout 30 years of facilitating the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, decades of work in The Institute for Health and Illness, and in the Healing Kitchens Institute and the Healing Yoga Foundation.
Healing Circles was born out of the desire to expand the circle of conversation to a larger group of patients and caregivers, serving more people and empowering others to serve as well. Our goal is to provide training, resources, conversation, and community that address four needs of people with cancer:
- Finding meaning and community in life with cancer
- Strengthening health and healing practices
- Navigating medical and integrative cancer therapies
- Facing suffering, death and dying.
Our Healing Circles program deepens slowly but surely across the United States and Canada. Healing Circles Langley, guided by Diana Lindsay, offers more than 70 circles a month. Healing Circles Houston, guided by David Spaw and Susan Rafte, is developing deep partnerships and serving a diverse inner-city community. Our CCHP alumni Circles in the East, North, and South Bay are our close-in Healing Circles. Now, a Nursing Leadership for Healing Circles initiative is emerging as a new Commonweal Healing Circles initiative, guided by Gretchen Schodde and a national group of her colleagues. A new Healing Circles outpost in Jerusalem was founded by the husband of Odelia, a CCHP alumna who dreamt of a similar program in Israel—and he is now leading residential retreats in a 300-year-old monastery outside of Jerusalem. Other founding Healing Circles partners include Janie Brown at Callanish in British Columbia, Jennifer Bires at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC.