Pause, Relax, Open, Trust …

March 25, 2009

A couple of months ago I downloaded all of the Buddhist Geeks‘ podcasts and began walking my way through them (yeah, I listen while I walk my very lovable, but old and creaky, Lab around the block each night).

One episode that has really connected was Episode 56: Insight Dialogue: Extending Meditation into Mutuality with Gregory Kramer. Meditating isn’t a social activity by any means (even though it helps to do it with a group) and Kramer makes a number of interesting points about Buddhism and interpersonal relationships.

However, the thing that really caught my attention was when Kramer said Insight Dialog was based on 6 steps and he was going to list them. My immediate thought was “oh no!” I can’t remember 6 of anything these days, especially while walking the dog, so I waited expectantly for the Geeks to cut him off (note to listeners: the BG podcasts run about 15 minutes and the Geeks rarely encourage guests to go into technical details, which is too bad).

Somehow, this time, the Geeks missed their chance, and Kramer launched into a short lecture/explanation of the 6 steps. They are:

  1. Pause
  2. Relax
  3. Open
  4. Trust emergence
  5. Listen deeply
  6. Speak the truth

Terrific! I saw immediately how they made sense for better communication. I could also see how steps 1-4 would fit into my personal meditation practice. Lost in thought? Pause that thought, relax, and open to the experience of breathing by trusting the physical sensation that emerges. I have started using “pause-relax-…” interchangably with “release-relax-return”, a useful sequence taught by a local Zen monk.

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