In studying to give a talk on Noble Conversation in December, I came across a practice defeloped by Gregory Kramer of the Metta Sangha. It’s called Insight Dialogue: Together, Speaking From Silence. There are three meditation instructions that form the core of the practice: Pause-Relax-Open,Trust Emergence, and Speak the Truth-Listen Deeply. The following instructions are taken from Mr. Kramer’s study guide about the practice.
Pause-Relax-Open: When we pause, we stop our habitual or “Knee-jerk” reactions. This is really what we do every time we sit down to meditate. First, we let go of our thinking. For just that moment. And if we’re present and, in the body, we notice that awareness naturally arises. This is what it means to be mindful… Relax, the second element in the instruction Pause-Relax-Open, offers us the opportunity to notice the tensions in the body, the turmoil in the mind. It offers the opportunity to settle down and give ourselves time to release habitual thoughts, to loosen the grip of tensed muscles… Indeed, not stopping there,one becomes open and available to the natural environment and to all beings. In this extension the individual sense of self, the small, skin-encapsulated “me,” is softened—and even, at moments, disappears.
Then after this beginning practice of Pause-Relax-Open, we open our “awareness wider, to encompass all that is around us, and to meet the other with a mindful, accepting heart. In that moment of meeting, we trust emergence. In that moment we realize we don’t know what’s going to come up next. We don’t know we’re going to say, or what someone else may say or do. We step into that not knowing with acceptance, and trust in the unfolding of things.”
Finally, “the simple guideline Speak the Truth-Listen Deeply invites us to re-examine verbal communication. To speak the truth we must know the truth. We are referring to the subjective truth, the truth of our experience. Therefore, we must listen internally in order to discern this truth. Speaking the truth is based upon mindfulness. Clarity arises when the mind is energetic, mindful, calm (Pause-Relax-Open) and unattached (Trust Emergence). This clarity is the source of discernment; the guideline Speak the Truth-Listen Deeply reminds us to cultivate this clarity.”
We will practice Insight Dialogue at both the Monday and Thursday sits. Please join us for this exploration.