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Level 1: The Listening Circle in Santa Cruz, CA

  • Land of Medicine Buddha 5800 Prescott Road Soquel, CA, 95073 United States (map)

Level 1 The Listening Circle: leading a transformational practice in life and work

How are we listening to each other, the world, and ourselves? 

How might this affect our action and relationships?

This training will teach you how to facilitate a listening circle practice at home, work, and within a community. A deep listening practice strengthens relationships and supports any individual or group working with transition and change. 

The Listening Circle reveals the power of story to connect us to each other, our common humanity, and ourselves. It is this connection that is the foundation for resilience — our ability to move with the ups and downs of life and circumstances we cannot control.

In this practice we create the intention to listen and speak from our whole selves - not just our heads. 

We expand awareness into how we listen, hear, and communicate to ourselves, to each other and to the world with discernment, respect and care.

What does this mean for the decisions we are making? The transformation we want to create?

Together we will create a place free from dogma, right answers, or convincing each other of our opinions. 

We will learn the conditions from which this space can be created and the nuances of a practice that can support it in your lives – both personally and professionally.  


Join us as we practice deep listening, learn how to facilitate listening circles, initiate transformation, and share the stories of our lives. 


“This is a different way of thinking about human beings…..Individuals aren't really individuals. They're more like musicians in a jazz quartet, forming a web of unconscious actions and reactions to complement others in the group. You don't look at the informational content of the messages; you look at patterns that show how the message is being sent. Those patterns contain many signals that tell us about the relationship and what's really going on beneath the surface.” 

― Daniel CoyleThe Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

Learning Outcomes:

  • Deeper ability to listen for a more related and compassionate approach

  • Understanding key elements, competencies and forms of a listening circle 

  • Practice in facilitation of a listening circle and how the practice can benefit different situations within work and life

  • Techniques for building resiliency in transition and transformation - both individually and in groups

  • Applying circle-based systems in different environments: school, prison, community, business, government – for deeper connection, meaning and productivity


We have chosen to follow in the spirit of the Dana  - that is not paying for goods or services but giving from the heart. This means that we only charge for the direct expenses of the program - this is for retreat accommodation, food and the expenses of the marketing, teachers materials, food and accommodation. Food is vegetarian and includes gluten free options. Accommodation includes access to the grounds with hikes, sauna, pool and spa. Massage available on request.

We urge you to consider the value of your experience with WE ARE OPEN CIRCLE and to help us offer a similar service to others by giving a donation below or at the retreat. Many who are not familiar with the Dana tradition ask for guidance and so we suggest you first consider giving as much as you can. A typical rule of thumb is $50 per teacher per day. In the end, this is your gift of generosity and should resonate with you on a personal level. We can provide tax receipts for all payments.

Dana is a precious gift. It allows us to open our hearts and step out of the consumer mentality that governs our society. We strongly invite you to share in this practice.

Thank you!


ARRIVAL:                      4pm - 530pm
DINNER:                       6pm - 7pm
PROGRAM:                  7pm - 9pm

BREAKFAST:               830am - 930am
PROGRAM:                10am - 12.30pm
LUNCH:                      12.30pm - 1.30pm
PROGRAM:                 1.30pm - 5pm
DINNER:                      6pm - 7pm  
PROGRAM:                 7pm - 9pm


BREAKFAST:              830am - 9.30am
PROGRAM:                10 am - 12.30pm
LUNCH:                      12.30pm - 1.30pm


o If you would like to book a massage, please advise them to do so as soon as possible. They use on-call massage therapists and need to give them 24 hours’ notice.

o There is a sauna, swimming pool and hiking trails for you to enjoy.

o There is no cell phone service at LMB unless they have Verizon (we have a booster). We do have a pay phone for emergencies.