Aligning with the Circle – Ayşe Yayla

What is a circle?

This is a multi-layered question, there are many kinds of circles, and from the point of view, every relationship in life, birth-death-birth, is also a circle. It would be more appropriate for me to answer this with a piece from dear Filiz Telek’s book about the circle where I did my apprenticeship. At the same time, the circle section of the book ”Kadınlar Şifadır”  on the website available as a gift in pdf form. It can also be read in detail from there.

“Circle practice is a ritual. The beginning and the end are obvious; when we open the circle, we undertake to stand out from our daily life and consciousness and present our existence to the mother and to each other with a higher awareness, unity consciousness. In this ritual, we intend to comprehend the great mystery in the testimony of each other, listen with our ears, witness with the eyes of the heart, speak with the language of the heart, search for relationship and truth beyond right and wrong. When practiced properly, the circle is a compassionate embrace that heals everyone and everything, a womb that makes it possible for us to contact the deep wisdom within us, and sometimes a mirror that allows us to see what we need to face.” Filiz Telek Kadınlar Şifadır, p. 342.

At this point, I will be changing the question and answering, what is the circle for Ayşe. For me, the circle is a playground without boundaries. It is a place where I deeply feel that I live and where I meet the beauty of life. When I practice deep listening and get together with people in a circle, it is both deep and old, and fresh and new acquaintance for me.  

There is a wide variety of circle practice, I learn new ones day by day, I discover and have a chance to experience. The circle I’ve enjoyed the most lately is sitting in a circle with nature. Sometimes I sit in a circle with a tree, sometimes with a chair in my house, sometimes with a cloud that I watch, and this opens up completely different doors in my daily life practice. I mean, it’s kind of like a playground for me.

On the other hand, I had the chance to get acquainted with the prerequisites and basic principles of the Nature Council during a study retreat we held this summer. I’m in a period where I’m trying to internalize these things, which are making me very excited. Without going into the basic principles that express the heart of the Council, let me mention a few of the prerequisites:

Personal dedication to learning, knowing, growing. 

To be willing to fail on the path of learning. 

Dedication to cooperation, partnership, community as a way of meaning.

To be willing to question basic assumptions and beliefs and to approach them in the spirit of research. 

Why do you think people have started sitting in circles lately? As a result of what need does this arise?

I think people are needing to listen and to be heard. As far as I have seen and experienced, being able to share this with other people who witness it in full presence, expressing this original voice in the way they wish in an unprejudiced space, deciphering their own original voice after coming together in a circle, is a great treasure in this world where everything is very fast. On the other hand, something we are very familiar with, if you ask when people started sitting in circles, I would say with the discovery of fire. Stories come to the circles, and these stories, personal or not, change the perception of time and space. While we are making the idea of ”being connected with the invisible ties visible” with the circle, we also make a close contact with the great spirit behind everything, the creator, emptiness, nothing; on behalf of whatever we say, and this can nourish a person very much. Of course, when you do it with manners, it becomes even better.

How was your first circle experience that you organized? 

This question is a contradictory one, when we meet in a circle, each of us turns into equivalent units sitting at equal distances from the center. Because of this, I was also a circle participant. If you ask what was the experience of giving a circle invitation or preparing before the circle, it is very exciting, very curious, panicking in some places, and in general, it is an extremely satisfying, questioning process. Why am I doing this, what does it serve to, what kind of impact does it have, it is a process that I am investigating and questioning these matters. On the other hand, while apprenticing to the circle, I was surrounded by very beautiful comrades. I have many beautiful friends who have given many years and effort to this path. The most precious part of the preparation process for me is to knock on their door and get them witness my extremely excited states mixed with panic, and it is tremendous that they share their experiences, knowledge with me and show me the way.

Where can we reach the circles? What do we need to sit in a circle?

First of all, you just need to be willing to sit in the circle. Other than that, I don’t think you need anything. Those who sit in the circle understand this. Those who are not have yet sit will understand when they do so.

First of all, there are circle announcements especially for women on Filiz Telek’s website and instagram account.
Aliye Burcu Ertunç opens very beautiful circle areas that are different from each other, she announces them from her instagram account.
Aybike Savaşır Serdar again, she opens very beautiful areas that she announces via Instagram.
Aysu Erdoğdu Miskbay both from Cadıların Bilgeliği and from her own web site, makes very festive circle invitations.
Emre Ertegün is opening circles in different areas, as far as I know, he is also announcing it on instagram. 

Many of my friends I work with on the Kadınlar Şifadır Platform are also opening circles and there are many more who give different invitations in different areas, this list goes on and on… Some of these invitations can be followed from the Instagram account of Kadınlar Şifadır .  

From time to time I give invitations and announce them on instagram for now. On the one hand, I am preparing a website, and I will be announcing them from there also.

Links about circles






Ayşe Yayla

Interview: Ilgın Nehir Akfırat