Awakening Through Conversation: Creating the Context
Read the below aloud at the beginning of the session (or summarize in your own words).
Welcome everyone. Tonight, we are going to engage in a specific form of dialogue as a spiritual practice.
This is an experiment in the evolution of consciousness. It has never been done before and will never happen again. We don’t know what is possible here. There are no real limitations on the potential of this event.
We are not going to try to solve any problems. We are not going to try to get in touch with ourselves or heal our traumas. All of that has its place. But this is a different kind of experiment.
For this to work, everyone here is going to have to take a big risk.
The risk is, for the next hour and a half, to let go of the personal, let go of the familiar, let go of everything you think you know about who you are, how you operate, about what you need to feel safe or participate in a group, about the other group members, and about what groups are and how groups work. This is an invitation for us to abandon the known for this brief window in time, and to meet each other in the unknown.
This exercise is very specific. It is about experiencing a specific part of ourself that ordinarily remains hidden beneath the veils of our rigid ideas, identities, fears and desires. It is the part of ourself that was never wounded or traumatized, and that therefore does not need to be heard, acknowledged, healed, coddled, or nurtured. It is the part of the self that is already only interested in the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. It is the part of the self that doesn’t take things personally. And more importantly, it is interested in evolution. It does not want to rest, to be safe. It wants to dive into the unknown, into what is next, into what hasn’t happened yet. All that is required to express this deeper self is to be completely authentic to the deepest, truest, highest part of your experience. And to ignore everything else.
If we can do this together, a miracle can happen.
Guidelines for Awakening Through Conversation
Everyone needs to participate. There is a longing for wholeness within the group itself that can only be fully satisfied when everyone participates authentically. It’s not necessary for everyone to participate equally. But your own experience will change dramatically if you participate. And so will the experience of the entire group. This is not for spectators. You may find that you have a nice feeling just sitting and listening to the discussion but, if you participate, it will open you up to another dimension.
Be more interested in what you don’t already know than in what you do already know. This means leaving behind your preconceived ideas. Showing up empty handed, but interested. It may be scary or insecure, but it can also be thrilling.
Put your attention on what’s happening out here, in the collective. Have the guts to ignore your inner monologue and let your attention completely fall onto the whole.
Take responsibility for what’s happening in the group. Feel like the success of this event is up to you.
Listening. But not just ordinary listening. Although even that would be a good start. But ideally we listen for the deeper currents in the conversation and respond to those deeper threads. Often there can be a sense of something just glimmering on the edge of your consciousness. Something so subtle that you wouldn’t normally dare speak about it. Have the courage to express that which even you don’t yet fully understand.
Avoid the personal. Particularly for those who have done a lot of group work in a therapeutic context, this may be difficult. But our goal here is to venture into the universal, the impersonal dimension of our being.
Avoid the abstract. This is not an intellectual exercise. So, just because some insight might capture your mind, keep listening for the deeper dimensions of consciousness, beyond the intellect.