BHC communities have found that to function best, it is ideal for house members to practice meeting each other on a personal, emotional level, as well as working together on the practical, business side of things.

To this end, both houses implement some form of Heartsong ritual in their weekly meetings. Heartsong is an activity where each house member is invited to speak openly about what is going on for them at that moment. It could be how their week went, sharing about a current emotional state, or anything at all that their heart desires to sing. The exact format changes from group to group, but the basic principles remain the same:

  • Everyone is welcome to share and nobody is required to.
  • Questions, responses, and other interruptions are generally prohibited.

The practice of holding awareness of the personal journey of each housemate both builds intimacy and fosters skillful decision making by the group. By including both heartsong and task-oriented discussions at meetings, Chrysalis and Masala are able to operate with high degrees of personal responsibilty, mature communication, and healthy interdependance between members on many levels of their lives.