The Infinite Circle program consists of three modules spread out over two years. In this way, the program is designed to encourage sustained spiritual friendships and for choice: people can choose to continue through all three modules or decide to engage in something less than the full two years.
Module 1: Collective Learning. In this six-month module, you will delve into personal and societal examinations of our relationship to money and the role of money in social, structural, and environmental suffering. We will define “Community Engaged Buddhism,” practice with the non-separation of action and contemplation, and take a close look at issues like personal intention, morality, justice, and prophetic witnessing.
Each month consists of a reading, a personal reflection on the theme of the month, a large group seminar, and a small “buddy group” meeting. Module 1 starts in January and ends in June: we ask people to commit to the full six months after the first monthly session. At the end of the six months, there will be an opportunity to participate in a street retreat. While this is an optional offering, it is a requirement for those wishing to continue on through the Infinite Circle.
Module 2: Personal Discernment. In this three-month module, we explore systems thinking, skillful means, and ministry of presence. We will continue to use the monthly cadence of readings, reflections, seminars, and buddy groups to enter into discernment about whether you would like to pursue continuing with the program in the following year. Module 2 begins in August and ends in October. There will be another opportunity for street retreat or another Bearing Witness plunge after this module.
Module 3: Path Making. In this year-long module, we move from reflection and study, through discernment, into practice-action. We will build up and practice our ministry skills while we develop tangible projects and skills that manifest in concrete ministries. Students will choose a specific path of service according to their situations and interests, and learn how to apply ministry skills and the teachings. Module 3 spans the whole year starting the January following Module 2. Participants in Module 3 are required to participate in bearing witness plunges as they are offered to the wider community throughout the year.