Becoming one mind: Constellation as a meditative walk
From the moment we decide to join a constellation workshop in any capacity, as witnesses, representatives, clients or facilitators, we are part of a collective movement, the group is already taking shape before we meet in person. I enjoy feeling the movements that happen the days before a particular gathering: every group energy is different, some people register early, some come on board at the last moment, others contact me several times before taking the plunge, there are sometimes late cancellations. I am always in awe of newcomers to this work who decide to join without knowing exactly what to expect.
These movements leading up to our constellation gatherings remind me of the importance of preparation in Indigenous ceremonies before they have a yarn around the fire. “By the time you sit down for a yarn, you are already one mind” says Tyson Yunkaporta. When we feel the call to attend a constellation workshop, with the intention to see something in our life that was hidden before, we connect to others who are taken by the same movement. The workshop wants to happen. Days before the workshop Life is already weaving a new tapestry with the colorful threads of each participant. When the day comes, we arrive at the setting from different places, from our personal lives, without being yet fully aware of our interconnection. The group will need some time to get familiar, feel safe and become one mind.
In his book The Roots of Love, Svagito Liebermeister argues that constellations are more related to meditation than to therapy. While therapy may try to find the root of our problems and solve them, meditation is more interested in increasing our self-awareness, self-acceptance and wholeness through presence and witnessing. When we meditate and observe our mind, we start to become less identified with our thoughts, and we become more aware of our own inner being.
This resonates deeply with me. Creating a constellation space means for me to be present, in contact with our body, our breath and our heart space. Letting go of our stories, which keep us trapped in the past. When someone brings something that is alive for them in that moment into the circle, an issue that “is burning”, the whole group can feel it, it is genuine, it brings us all to the here and now, connected through our hearts.
We then open the field and someone starts representing the client’s family system, with no intention to fix anything, rather a curiosity to see what the field reveals, which aspects of their family system emerge to the surface that will bring more awareness and understanding. Allowing ourselves to be impacted by what happens in the constellation, letting the image sink in us, “acknowledging what is”, acknowledging how I am connected to others. This process is similar to meditation, when we notice and acknowledge feelings, tensions, emotions, thoughts, without judgment or intention.
Often we realise in a constellation that we were entangled with someone in our family who was not seen, or that we merged with one of our parents, carrying burdens that don’t belong to us. When we can see the other person, the perpetrator, the victim, a parent with a difficult fate, as someone separate from us, and we honor their destiny, we can stop identifying with them in a similar way we stop identifying with our thoughts in meditation. We can more easily access our essence, the truth of who we are.
This work connects us with our biological roots and our natural and unique place in life. Feeling gratitude for our parents and ancestors and for the gift of life we received through them nurtures self-acceptance and wholeness, both benefits of sitting in meditation. Seeing ourselves as part of our family systems also connects us to something larger than us. Suddenly a glimpse of truth, the mystery of existence, shines through.
We can look at constellations as a meditative walk, a catalyst for life, an opportunity to be in the here and now, see, acknowledge, feel gratitude, include and honor what is. We gather, we become one mind, and in the midst of silence, we are met by Life.