Art of Witnessing: Post ECN Gathering – Portugal

Event Category: Council Trainings

  • Profile

    WITH Gigi Coyle with Rob Dreaming and Team;
    Win Phelps, Marie de Beauvoir & Tina Kansy

    Aspiring always to be of service to the particular council and the council of all beings, we come together to access and develop our ability to witness. This training will focus on the advanced practice and role in council of the witness, a seat that necessarily courts awareness, deepens presence, and enhances a path of service not only in council but in our everyday world.

    What IS witnessing, its importance and value and why have a witness seat? And how might we learn to deepen our ability to be a witness in council, with ourselves, our communities and this world?

    Beyond tools and techniques, council is a personal practice and a communitarian way of life. When we open to the many voices and different expressions within council, we have an opportunity to access and live more fully in the multi-dimensionality of our world. Whilst the responsibility of a facilitator is to set an inclusive field for all that can emerge, the witness sits fully involved in the circle, both as participant and as an ally, tracking tone, overall content, weaving of viewpoints, perhaps even deeper truths that enhance or hone a bigger picture unseen by the focus of the group.

    In this time of both personal work and practice, we will explore when, how, and in what context the witness serves. To enable such perspective, we will work with awareness of one’s own story to liberate ‘charge’, give attention to keen observation and peripheral vision, and the ability of us to express what may serve in a heartful way so that it may be heard. We all will have the opportunity to travel further down the council path to a more committed, aware and engaged life wherein being a witness is a full time ‘job’, we need not wait to be hired for.

    Who is invited to participate?
    As this training is a more advanced experience of Council Practice, please note that there are prerequisites:
    • have already taken Introduction to Council and preferably another training.
    • have at least one year of experience working with council in various forms and venues,
    • have read The Way of Council. (Now available in both English,German & Czech)
    • have reviewed the Ways of Council web site

    : Start – Monday 5th @ 4pm
    Finish – Thursday 8th @ 1pm followed by lunch

    Where: Karuna Buddhist Retreat Centre, Monchique, Algarve, Portugal

    Costs: Sliding scale €300 – 450* | plus board and lodging €25 (camping) or €35 /night (room)
    includes 3 meals per day

    *suggested to support travel and time of the guides. No one will be turned away because of finances and we ask for all to participate in the gifting economy


    Virginia “Gigi” Coyle has served as a community activist wherever she is, a council trainer wherever called, and a rites-of-passage guide, trainer and mentor with many individuals and organizations. She is learning to be an elder, and serving on such councils, for the Ojai Foundation, Youth Passageways, European Council Network, and Weaving Earth … She has contributed extensively in the area of citizen diplomacy, relational education, women’s empowerment, and the healing ways with money. Founder of the alliance, Beyond Boundaries, she is devoted to inter-generational projects of prayer, action and service. She is a co-founder of the pilgrimage Walking Water, co-author of The Way of Council, and The Box, Remembering the Gift.

    Rob Dreaming found Council in 2002 in the KaliKalos project in Greece and has been an active Carrier, Facilitator and Trainer in regular practice since under the mentorship and care of Ojai Foundation trainers and elders, Gigi Coyle and Marlow Hotchkiss. More recently he trained in Vision fast guiding with the School of Lost Borders. A soul purpose in this life to work with communication, he is currently on walkabout internationally, seeding, watering, mentoring others and supporting Council where it is called. He has over 16 years experience in facilitating groups, coaching individuals, designing and running trainings in the areas of consciousness and communication, UK & EU.