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Holding a Heartcircle?

On this page, we will give you an insight and take you step by step through how to hold a Humanistic Heart circle. Have this guide in front of you as you hold the circle

1. Setting up the space

Remember to buy fruit and tea that can be served to those who come. Take a picture of the receipt and send it to Samaj (48400182) and you will be vippsed.


Unlock the venue, put the sign (if available) outside so it's easy to find your way around. Hang up the vipps sign at the entrance.

  • Registration takes place at the front door, where they hang off their coats.


  • Light candles, incense and create an atmosphere with music. Preferably soothing music. 

The Humanists have a separate place where a speaker, Vipps sign, tape and incense are located.


What does it cost?

If you are a member of Humanistene, where membership is free, it costs nothing. If you are not, it is donation-based with 50,-, and this goes directly to the rent of the space. 



Use of time

We end the circle when everyone has shared, and there will be mingling with tea and fruit afterwards. The heart circle room is held from 17:00 to 19:30.



2. Welcome the guests

Many people may be a little scared or withdrawn as it's their first time. Remember to see the people and try to make them comfortable.  Welcome them and register check-in at the door.

Divide the tasks between the circle leaders.


Remember to give guests tasks to get the space ready. This also gives them a sense that they are helping to create the space.

3.Start the circle

We usually wait 10 minutes before the circle starts to bring in the last participants. We use this manual regularly, so remember to have it in front of you when you give the introduction. Make sure that you do not take on a role as a circle holder, but that you are yourself. This is to maintain the principle of authenticity.  


This is how we proceed when we hold a Heart Circle:

4. Rules for the circle

  • Introduction of you and Heart Circle
    For example: "Hi, my name is X, and I am a volunteer circle holder who is helping to create this Humanistic Heart Circle.  This is my experience with heart circles from before/ this is why I joined..." Heart circles originally come from tribal culture, and were used earlier in alternative environments, and are now framed and integrated into society through the Humanists.

  • Why is this needed?
    Here you can talk a little about why it's important to you. Loneliness has become the new pandemic as we share everything on social media, but often struggle to be vulnerable with each other in real life. Relationships become superficial and we lack intimacy and feeling real deep connections with other people.

  • Explanation of how a circle works
    Example:  A heart circle is a conversation circle, where we sincerely share how we feel and what's in our hearts. We have a "Talking object" we use, which we pass around clockwise.

  • It is not mandatory to share. When you get the "Talking object" in your hand, you can also choose not to say anything and sit in silence, or to pass it on.

  • When you share you can close you eyes if you feel like it. This makes it easier for some people. 

  • The person holding the object can talk, while the rest of us actively listen. Active listening means that we give our attention with respect and empathy. We do not judge.  Be present when others share. Imagine what it would be like to tell someone something and then they are not interested.

  • We don't comment on what the person is saying. We don't want to fix something, but to hold space for it. Commenting or responding is strictly forbidden. 

  • If something resonates, we can either stay on the heart to show solidarity or make a sound of "mmm" to give the person feedback that this is something you recognize. 

  • Shared responsibility: It's not just the circle leader who creates the circle, everyone has an active responsibility to co-create the circle. Your honesty and vulnerability sets the standard for how deep we go.  

  • Vulnerability and authenticity. Remember this is a practice space for speaking from the heart. We practice

  • Speak from the HEART. Not intellectualizing everything, but from your feelings. How you really feel? This is where you can practice vulnerability and being transparent. Share from how you feel, right now. To speak from an "I"-based perspective without going to the macro level or generalizing your existence.

  • This is not a therapy room, and heavy material that can open up and activate trauma is better suited to a therapeutic space. Avoid describing detailed events, "she/he said, did...". Each person must feel this for themselves. Cry, laugh and feel what you need to feel. 

  • We take a collective breath with a sigh after each sharing.

  • If you are used to spending a lot of time, pay attention to how long you talk. If you find it challenging to take up space, take longer.

  • No cell phones or distractions allowed.

  • Respect the space as if it is sacred.

  • Toilet visits can happen subtly between sharing, not while someone is sharing. All circles have their own toilet

  • If someone does not respect the space, you as a circle leader must protect it. We set boundaries, and if it is not respected, the person must leave.

  • Somatic Touch:
    When someone shares, the sharer can ask for support. We ask when we see a strong emotional activation. Here are 2 different ways to ask for support:
    Sit closer to the person
    Hold a hand between the shoulder blades

  • After the circle, create a Nurturespace, where you can be taken care of. We create it with blankets and pillows. Here we need someone who would like to be caretakers. Here the tasks will be to make some tea, spread a blanket on the person, maybe stroke their back. The aim is to make them feel cared for.

We begin the circle by putting on a "Heart Circle intro meditation" to create presence and focus. Then the circle begins. The circle holder always begins with the sharing. 


The meditations can be found in both English and Norwegian here:

5. Intro meditation

Tropical Palm Leaf
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