The Heart Circle Book

Waking Up With everyone Around Us by Tej Steiner

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Waking Up With everyone Around Us is a practical step-by-step guide, a personal

memoir, and a clear vision of how circle dynamics can transform our culture; all of

this blended together to form an alive manuscript that gives you all you need to

know about the purpose and power of Heart Circle.


From The Author:

In the past, only a handful of people awakened out of separation and into heart-connection during any given era. We still know the names and revere some of these saints and sages from our past. But today, instead of a handful, there are now millions of people awakening all at once.

This is new. Something else is new. You and I are included in the millions of people awakening! It’s our time to shine. Literally. The timing for our collective bloom couldn’t be better. Along with many other reasons, our planet is warming and requires unprecedented heart-centered cooperation to bring her temperature down. Our very survival depends upon our awakening in connection together. 

This book is about heart-awakening, but not in the way you might expect. While I’m interested in ways we can awaken individually, it’s not my primary interest. There are thousands of other teachers and teachings that offer that. I am not that kind of teacher. My life work centers around a far different question.

I’m interested in how we can transform our existing friendships, families, schools, businesses and organizations so that they support us in heart-awakening rather being what they often are today; social environments that discourage heart-awakening.

Instead of having to go to yet another weekend workshop, to an ashram or self-help teacher for heart-awakening support, I want us to be able to go to work, to school, to meetings or just stay at home for that same support. I’m interested in how we can transform all of the social groups in our culture so that the culture itself supports our individual transformation.

Doing this can accelerate individual heart-awakening considerably. But how do we do this? The idea may sound good, but practically speaking, where would we even start with this kind of social make-over?

This book is about one way we can do this. It comes out my spending forty years facilitating thousands of support circles where I’ve directly experienced the power and wisdom that arises when people sit together with the simple intention to be present and attentive to one another. It’s a way to make any group heart-supportive. It’s called Heart Circle.

Through this book, I want to share with you how Heart Circle works and how you can create and sustain your own Heart Circle.

Waking Up With Everyone Around Us is timely. We are leaving the old pyramidal social structures of hierarchy and dominance and creating new circle structures of cooperation and community. Heart Circle is a contribution to this movement.

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A passage from the book:

The coming times are already here. The old ways are collapsing to make room for the new. The breakdown in the trends and patterns that have defined our lives can easily produce instability and fear. To truly meet these times, we need the wisdom of several million saints.

Fortunately, plenty of saints have signed up for this—more than enough to handle the job. What we really need now are circles for the saints to sit in: supportive environments to greet and meet each other: places to huddle together so we can come up with the next play.

A poem from the book:

Your Time of Hiding

We found the crown
You had hidden so well
And we placed it on your head today.
Your time of hiding is over.
Those countless years
Spent in the crowded market place
Posing as a buyer
Of day-old bread
And spoiled fruit
Have passed.
It’s time to sit upon your throne again.
You have suffered enough.
You have died more times
Than you can remember.
Your heart is ready to rule.
We’re not asking for your opinion about this.

Book Reviews :

This a timely well-crafted, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book on small group dynamics and honest heartfelt communication. I recommend it to any and all interested in small groups and greater personal self-awareness, self-acceptance, and compassion for others. It's a very practical guide to forming and experiencing "heart circles," and it's subtly and powerfully spiritual without being at all religious or dogmatic. Tej Steiner has been a leader and facilitator of small groups for over 40 years, in the US and abroad. He knows whereof he speaks. He writes clearly, honestly, and with humility. "Waking Up with everyone around us" should be a valued part of any sociology, social psychology, counseling, seminary, or social work library. It's a valued part of mine. - C. S.

Love this book, the poems, and the kindness and love with which Tej writes the book. He feels so honest and truthful, and his ideas he expresses are life changing if we implement them. I love the title and the idea of waking up in community, together with others and not alone. - Elizabeth Smith

I've been a part of a Heart Circle for 4 years that Tej helped construct. I know no better way to understand and create a Heart Circle then by reading this Book. - Jennifer Morrow

A totally inspiring book for a way to bring real connection with each other, no matter where we live on this planet of ours.  - Hilary Reading

I recommend this book to everyone who longs for heart filled purpose in their life, who feels the pain of existing in today’s society and wants to find a way to heal. - Maureen Torres

The most important book of our time. I learned so much about Life, Love, and my and our purpose for being here on this planet. Thank you for sharing your great wisdom, heart, and art with all and for translating that into a pleasurable and delightful read. I'm enlivened and inspired to continue to deepen in the ways I and we can live this and to explore how to share it with the world in ways that serve all of us. At this juncture in history, our survival as a species literally depends on waking up with everyone around us. I feel a great alignment happening with my purpose in my personal life and in what I want to offer the world through reading the book. It's a gorgeous work of art, heart-fully moving (I cried several times), funny ( I also laughed out loud many times), clever, insightful, and is so practical, grounded, and clear! A manual for how to awaken our hearts in community. There is nothing more critical. - Jill S.

A brilliant book that eloquently describes the principles that allow us to awaken in the "we" space no matter the purpose of the group. A mix of poignant stories, ageless wisdom and a step by step guide, Tej Steiner's book is an essential practical map for all of us in these times of disconnection. This book is for anyone desiring to elevate the coherence and effectiveness of their organization. I am grateful for Tej Steiner's inspired and refreshing contribution to heart-intelligent governance.  -T. J.

Written with great heart and great insight, I love this book. It took me on a journey through Tej's own awakening process, entertainingly. It is written in a light-hearted and poetic spirit. And I love the premise that we are in a time of mass awakening - so hopeful in our stressful political environments.  - Pamela

Very thought provoking as well as practical conversation around how we can form deeper group dynamics and connections. At times it read as though Tej was writing what I was thinking in my mind. I also enjoyed that the ideas and paradigms in the book were 'offered' vs. prescribed. Thank you for bringing this conversation into the world! - T. Melberg

This book rates with one of my very favorites on this subject. Coming from his uniquely experiential perspective, Tej took me on his journey, while also giving me his deep insights into the human condition...which catalyzed in me a deeper understanding of concepts I have been reading about for years. This book felt GOOD!  - Gordon Hopkins

Tej Steiner's insight into the bigger picture of what it means to be human and heart centered in a rapidly changing world culture is grounded and enlightening on many levels... He has a special way of communicating what we all know is the imperative of our time. - Richard Gannaway

Incredibly insightful and intuitive. A road map for sanity and serenity....   - David Smith

The primary basis for my five-star rating is the content and the importance of the information for humanity in this book. It is a short book, yet contains the most relevant content to actually ignite a real transformation in the world, as it does not look to outside authorities, but right at ourselves and our caged-in hearts. Steiner implies that there is no need for perfection, just our willingness to commit to practicing the five ways of being with others. - Adam Rose


Each nourishing page breathes living, vibrant space into me, beautifully illuminating the separation and murky recesses I had been unable to see. -Marc Adams

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