What we're about


If you sometimes find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the demands and pace of life today, this group offers you the chance to step off the treadmill for a short time to rest and reflect on your life, and the things that matter deeply to you.

Based on the work of writer/teacher/activist Parker J. Palmer (http://www.couragerenewal.org/parker/), the Circle of Trust (http://www.couragerenewal.org/approach/) approach creates space for you to (re)connect your inner truth with how you show up in your outer life and work. For those who work in the caring professions, this work offers an opportunity to explore your sense of vocation or calling to your work. It offers a unique approach to professional development, as it is based on the idea that the most important thing we bring to our work is ourselves. It blends personal and professional development. You can find out more about the approach at http://www.couragerenewal.org

I am looking to organise meetups with people interested to learn more about this work, to offer them the opportunity to experience the approach for themselves. From time-to-time I will organise programs and retreats, which may include book clubs, one-day and weekend retreats.

In a Circle of Trust we draw on insights from poems, images and other evocative things to help us in our reflections, and so I offer this poem by Mark Nepo ….

An Open Hand

The mind is not a storeroom

with mirrors where we retreat

to convince ourselves

that we exist.

The mind is a livingroom with

windows and more than one chair,

so friends can come and look out

and discuss what they see.

Not a fortress where we frisk and

strip others of what they believe

in order to share our secrets.

More a porch with birdfeeders

and coffee or tea where before

hello, you have to share a story.

Pull the curtains! Open the

windows! Brew the coffee!

Put out a sign: Other Views


Mark Nepo

Upcoming events (1)

The Courage Way: How to listen deeply & question well

When we learn how to listen more deeply to others, we can listen more deeply to ourselves. – Parker J. Palmer – Mindful listening lays the foundation for authentic leadership and building trustworthy relationships. To listen deeply to another is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. And deeper listening comes from asking deeper questions. When we listen to each other, and to the stories of our own lives, we discover something new in the other person, perhaps in ourselves. We connect. In this one-day retreat, we will be exploring one of the fundamental aspects of the Circle of Trust approach. We will develop our capacity to ask honest, open questions, and to listen deeply to one another, practices which we can use beyond the retreat space to help build trustworthy, caring and effective relationships in our personal and professional lives. The Circle of Trust approach is based on the work of writer, teacher and activist Parker J. Palmer. It offers safe space for self-reflection and shared exploration. This retreat is for you if you are looking to develop your capacity and courage to lead a more authentic, meaningful and engaged life that is aligned with your inner values. “Listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload.” — Seth S. Horowitz, ‘The Science and Art of Listening,’ New York Times. About the venue: The retreat venue is the private and peaceful harbourside home of Mennie and Bill Scapens at Te Puna, a short drive from Tauranga city. The gentle rhythm of the changing tides and the beauty of the estuary bird life are all part of the magic of this lovely retreat space. Program Fee: $85.00 per day (Early bird: $75.00 before 4 April 2019) Includes materials, morning and afternoon tea. Please BYO lunch. Payment by cash, cheque or online to: Bank Account: 12 – 3263 –[masked] – 02 To register: Numbers are limited in a Circle of Trust, so please register early to secure your place. Payment with registration please. For more information, please contact Mennie on[masked] or by email at [masked]

Past events (32)

Finding Hope in Heartbreak

Mennie's Home

Photos (57)