The pule can be a powerful and positive way to open a meeting; it does not, in any way, need to be religious. An effective pule tends to contain certain elements:
- A call to separate from the events of the day and things that occur before and after the meeting
- A call for a focus on the event or process
- An expression of appreciation for the presence of everyone gathered to work on whatever is the subject of the meeting
“Let us all take a moment to reflect on this evening’s meeting. Let us put aside the worries and thoughts of our day and of what we’ll do after the meeting. Let us focus on the reason why we have gathered. We are here to help our community work on the very important issue of ______. We need to gather all of our collective energies and bring all of our best thinking to bear in order to make things better for our community. As we look around, let us be very grateful that so many of us care and are willing to give up our time and energy to work together. We are part of something truly special tonight. And now let us begin.”
It’s a good idea to ask the eldest and/or most respected person in the room if he/she would like to offer the pule or designate someone to do so. In a pinch, the facilitator could do it as well.