Affinity Group Process
The purpose: to give and receive unconditional love, acceptance and support,
to create a safe, loving, non-judgmental space
in which we can open our hearts and move through our fears.
Greater understanding, compassion, respect, and better communication
are all natural outcomes of the Affinity Process.
The Affinity Group Guidelines The guidelines are presented and described in depth in Paul Ferrini’s book Living in the Heart. This book is designed to prepare you to facilitate an affinity group in your home community. Please contact us about opportunities to experience the Affinity Process by phone with other serious students and teachers of Paul Ferrini’s transformational work.
The Affinity Group Guidelines
The Purpose of the Affinity Group
The purpose of the Affinity Group Process is: to give and receive unconditional love, acceptance and support. To create a safe, loving, non-judgmental space in which we can open our hearts and move through our fears..
The Group Guidelines
1. Remember our Purpose: We are here to love and accept one another, not to judge, analyze, rescue or try to fix one another.
2. We agree to share from our hearts and be honest about what we are thinking and feeling.
3. When our Judgments come up about someone, we will be aware of them and gently bring our attention back to the person speaking.
4. We will not interrupt anyone's process. We will give the person sharing our undivided attention. We will not engage in cross-talk.
5. We will take thirty seconds in silence to acknowledge each person's sharing.
6. We will not monopolize the group's time and attention. We will yield the floor to others in the group who have shared less than we have.
7. We will make "I" Statements, not "You" statements. We will take responsibility for our own experiences and respect the experience of others. We will not assign "our" meaning to something someone else has said.
8. We will not hide our hurt or angry feelings. We will share them honestly, without trying to make others responsible for how we feel.
9. If someone shares a hurt or angry feeling with us, we will acknowledge how s/he feels. We will not defend ourselves or try to justify our words or actions. We will share any feelings that come up for us.
10. We will stay in the present moment. We will not bring up the past or future, unless they are happening for us here and now.
11. We will keep everything that is said in the group confidential.
12. We will honor the silence, knowing that it offers us an opportunity to become more deeply present to ourselves and others.
13. If we feel that the group is going "off-purpose," we will ask for a moment of silence, during which our group can re-center and remember its purpose.
14. Remembering that we won't do this process perfectly, we will be gentle with ourselves. We will use whatever transpires in the group as an opportunity to practice forgiveness.
The Group Agreements
1. We agree to honor the purpose of the group.
2. We agree to practice the guidelines.
3. We agree to be on time for every group meeting.
4. We agree to attend every meeting of the group
Affinity Groups by Telephone
Affinity Groups seek to provide an in-depth experience of Paul’s work for devoted readers and students from across the world.
Affinity groups meet on an ongoing basis is our Virtual Community. Click here for more information.
A Message from Paul
The Affinity Process is simple to understand and I have written a book entitled Living in the Heart that describes the process step by step. If you read this book, you will be prepared to facilitate a group.
It is also a good idea to have other potential group members read the book so that they understand clearly what they would be committing to.
To help you find other people in your area who might be interested in joining your group, I am willing to share my mailing list with you. Just send me the zip code range for communities within a 30 square mile area around you. If you want to list your group on my website, please email your contact and meeting information to us and we will put it up on this page.
Each year offer we two or more Spiritual Mastery Retreats. These retreats are intimate and offer an in-depth experience of the Affinity Process. During the retreat, some participants commit to the Affinity Group practice and related practices in the Spiritual Mastery Work. For more information about the Mastery Process, click here.
We thank you for your interest in the Affinities Process. You are about to embark on an experience that will help you open to the presence of unconditional love and learn to extend that love to others. Progress in this area requires patience and commitment, but I assure you that if you are faithful to the process, it will bear fruit.
What is an Affinity Group?
The purpose of the Affinity Group Process is: to give and receive unconditional love, acceptance and support. To create a safe, loving, non-judgmental space in which we can open our hearts and move through our fears. Better understanding, more compassion, increased respect, better communication are all natural outcomes of the Affinity Process. Individual members learn how to take more responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and experiences; they also learn to refrain from taking inappropriate responsibility for the thoughts, feelings and experiences of others. The Affinity Process helps people develop a healthy sense of boundaries.
The Affinity Group Process is not outcome-oriented. The group does not try to solve problems or reach consensus. It may lead to clarity and consensus, but this is not its purpose. Its purpose is to provide each person with an experience of giving and receiving unconditional love and support.
The Affinity Process is also an At-one-ment Process. It provides us with a safe place to express our confusion, our pain, our remorse and our judgments so that they are not buried inside us. Because nobody tries to fix us, we learn to hold our own sharing with acceptance and compassion.
The greatest gift of the Affinity Process is self-acceptance. As we learn to accept all the dichotomous aspects of self, we experience greater wholeness, greater confidence, greater creative freedom. With self-acceptance also comes the capacity to accept others as they are, to respect their experience, and to encourage them to be honest and authentic.