Thursday, June 29, 2006

More on Insight Dialogue

It's been too long since I've posted, but the SeattleIntegral list, which I moderate and administer, just exploded this month! We've had over twice the postings from any previous month, and the quality of the various discussions has been exceptionally high. There are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which, we're 135 strong and growing, and perhaps I'll touch on that in a future blog.

The SeattleIntegral ITP/ILP Insight Dialogue event with Terri O'Fallon, was this last Saturday. We had a full house, and for the first time we sold out an event prior to the event! All of the proceeds from the event were donated to Pacific Integral's "Generating transformative Change" International Travel Fund.

From Terri:
"I am humbled by the possibility of having you folks sponsor our international people. Right now we have a young woman from Palestine who is in our program, and she is struggling with no electricity no wages, and is having a terrible time over there. She is only 23 years old and yet has completed her legal degree and has already passed the bar, and is working on the equality and child laws over there in Palestine. Her mom passed away and she is raising her younger siblings. She waited for an entire year to save enough money to pay for her first ticket here to be in the GTC program - an amazing young woman. We aren’t sure she can even make it even if she has the money right now, but we will do what we can to bring her back over here, and you would be one of her sponsors with these donations. I am truly grateful for any offerings you would lend.”

I wasn't able to attend, as I was in Boise for a long overdue visit to my youngest daughter and two of my three grandkids. However, I've been through an extended ID session with Terri before, and that's why I was so excited to bring this to the group.

The feedback from the event has been excellent. The one complaint seems to be that there wasn't enough time to really get into the process....and that's part of the point. I want to encourage those who attended to take the excellent handouts Terri provided, get more familiar with the process, and take it out to the various sub groups we work with. As an example of that, our ITP/ILP group used the process last night at our regular meeting, instead of the usual "check in" we've used for the last year and a half. I lead a brief Insight Dialogue induction after our regular meditation. The feeling of an altered state with the group was palpable. We then went on to have one of the most open and heartfelt discussions we've had to date.

It's easy to see that ID can open up the participants to deeper conversations. The check in we've been doing sometimes feels forced, as everyone is "expected" to check in. With ID, interaction comes from a deeper space, and the conversation is much more intimate and real.

This process can be used in a multitude of ways. Jay Allen talks about some of them on his excellent
blog, and I'd like to support Terri's proposal that the process can be used with online discussion groups, as well.

Again, from Terri: "It is an engaged practice of deeply mindful interchange involving a natural resting in intrinsic awareness in which all phenomena arise and fall within oneself and within the community.

"The inclination towards mindfulness while speaking and writing that is fostered in ID supports the practice of awareness during the complex tasks and social interchanges of day to day living and allows individuals practicing ID without other dialogic meditators to develop their own intrinsic awareness and to foster it in the people around them by example.”

This is exactly the kind of paradigm-producing practice that can take the Integral Life Practice Starter Kit and turn it into a group process, and exactly the outcome we wanted, and anticipated.

Well done, everyone, and special thanks to Elle for all her hard work!

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