3.7   Exploring the circle

Materials required

  • Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster. To view or order poster, click here.
  • A listing of the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. To access this listing, click here. To avoid printing all five available languages, select only the language you need.


    1. Prepare yourself
      Prepare yourself for meditation by any means that you find to be effective. You may want to consider Appendix 4: Tips for preparing for meditation and reflection.
    1. The Golden Rule
      In a slow and reflective fashion, read the 13 versions of the Golden Rule. Take as much time as you need with these writings.
    2. A golden image
      Spend time gazing upon the poster as an image. Allow it to speak to you. Study the visual elements of the poster – its overall design, its various shapes, lines, colours. Consider how these elements relate to one another. Reflect on the symbolic meaning of the poster image.
    3. Circles
      Note that there are a number of circles on the poster. In fact, the poster contains a circle of circles. At the centre of the poster there resides a circle-the earth. Note also that the various symbols representing the 13 spiritual traditions are contained in circles. In fact, some of the symbols are themselves circles or contain partial circles. Observe also that the poster could be conceived as a wheel with numerous spokes going out from the central hub which is the globe (and which has the words “The Golden Rule” superimposed on it).
    4. Read and reflect
      Spend a few minutes reading and reflecting upon the article “Understanding the Circle” found in Appendix 2 of this document.The circle is one of the most prevalent symbols in history and is found in every religion and culture. The circle has multiple levels of meaning; it is first of all a symbol of unity and interconnectedness – in the circle “everything is connected and everything is one.” This article examines many of the numerous levels of meaning associated with the circle.Take as much time as you need reflecting on this article.
    5. Making connections
      Having reflected on the meaning of the circle, turn again to the poster and spend time gazing at it. Take note again of the many circles on the poster. How do the circles and the pattern of circles on the poster speak to you about the deeper meaning of the Golden Rule? Jot down your thoughts.
  1. Record your thoughts
    Spend some time gathering any insights, learnings or reflections that came to you during this exercise. Jot down your thoughts in a journal or on paper. To deepen your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:

    • What was it like for me to do this meditation?
    • At what points during this meditation was I moved? Inspired? Challenged?
    • What questions or issues have been raised for me?
    • What new insights have I gained?
    • What did I learn about myself? About the circle?
    • As a result of this meditation, what aspect of my life might I consider changing?
    • As a result of this meditation, I feel moved to……
    • What did I learn about the Golden Rule?
    • What did I learn about the world we live in?
  2. A group experience
    For instructions on how to adapt this meditation for a group experience, see Appendix 3: Application to a group experience.For the plenary session of this experience, the facilitator is encouraged to have the participants sit in a circle.
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