Council is unique to THG’s Parkhill’s Middle and Lower grades. The tradition of Council is ancient. On this continent, it can be traced to the League of the Iroquois (who had great influence on shaping our form of government) and the native peoples of the Plains and Southwestern Pueblos. Participating in Council teaches us how to let go of personal expectations and become fully attentive to others. The practice fosters compassionate response and provides a continuing source of wisdom. Compassion arises naturally when we listen with respect and express ourselves honestly with an open heart, whether it be in words, song, movement, or silence. The expression of the “truth of council” can come through any individual in the circle, or through the profound silence. Listening to the voice of council teaches the participant that the circle’s knowledge is greater than the totality of its members’ individual knowing.
In this state of collective awareness, diversity and disagreement lead to exploration of issues and harmony of existence, rather than polarization and hostility. Learning to hear the voice of council can help one transcend even the most deeply ensconced cultural, racial, and personal identification. Feeling part of the circle’s wholeness reduces the fear and despair of isolation, which can allow disagreement to become the bridge to greater mutual understanding. Students are given the opportunity to participate in this amazing experience through several groups offered throughout the week.