Hva er Interaktiv Meditasjon og samtale i dyader?
Samtaleformen kalles på engelsk enten Interactive Witnessing,
Enlightenment Intensive eller Clearing.
In this conversation format, the guest “unloads” her
mind by stream of consciousness thinking and talking. It is a non-censured
talking to which the philosopher is an unmoved witness. Seated
face to face, with continual eye-contact, the guest speaks in a
monologue for five minutes without the philosopher’s intervention.
The guest speaks continuously, not in the sense that each second
is filled with words, but in the sense that there is no exchange
with the conversation partner. In a Clearing session, the philosopher
initiates by asking the guest the question that the guest has chosen
to explore. This question is determined before the session starts.
For five minutes, the guest explores the question and its answers
while the philosopher is quietly witnessing her without any response.
The listening philosopher is not supposed to give any indication
of what she thinks or feels, which includes no nodding, no smiling,
not a word – just a plain open attentive face. The guest
is allowed to close her eyes, turn away and break the eye contact,
but the philosopher’s duty is to remain a witness. After
five minutes, philosopher and guest change roles.
In this next part of the Clearing, the philosopher takes a turn
in speaking for five minutes. Here, the philosopher works to answer
to her own question. It may or may not be the same question as
the guest has chosen. This part of the process – that the
philosopher expresses her own thinking – makes Clearing significantly
different from other styles of philosophical counselling dialogues.
The purpose of the philosopher taking a turn in clarifying her
own thinking around her own question in the presence of the guest,
1) to demonstrate to the guest that she too is an inquisitive
person who is also involved in a thinking process,
2) to demonstrate how an experienced person goes deeper in her
3) to give the guest a break from speaking,
4) to give the guest an opportunity to be an unmoved witness to
someone’s else’s thinking process,
5) to give the guest material for thought, and
6) to give the opportunity to the guest to switch from being a
personally moved speaker to being an impersonal unmoved witness.
Through exchanging roles, the guest learns the art of non-judgemental
listening, which I believe to be an beneficial learning for any
human being involved in interactions with others. Learning to switch
from being moved to being unmoved, being deeply personal to being
a detached witness – and be present through both phases,
is an important human skill which is commonly only learned by psychotherapists
and certain types of tantric meditation practitioners. In Clearing
and Sharing, it is learned through dialogue. Thus, the learning
that takes place through the philosophical dialogue, is on two
levels: on the level of examination of a topic/ question, and on
the level of interactive skills.
After five minutes of the philosopher answering, the roles are
again swapped, and the guest is asked to answer to her question.
The changing of roles takes place several times, so that both the
guest and the philosopher has four times five minutes each. This
provides sufficient time for both parts to go deeply into their
own question, get used to their free un-censured thinking, and
peel away layer after layer of answers to a question.
The questions used in this type of dialogue should preferably
be of existential nature, like “What does freedom mean to
you?”, “What is love?”, “Who are you?”, “What
is important to you?” Each one decides on her own question
which is asked to her by the other. If the guest wonders, “Who
am I really?”, then the philosopher asks her, “Please,
tell me, who are you?”
Although verbal expression is used, it is supposed to be an expression
that comes from the heart rather than from the mind. For many,
it requires training to distinguish the two and to speak from the
place in oneself where one is the most vulnerable and in touch
with and moved by one’s owns words. For someone who is existentially
inclined and who does not have need for privacy about one’s
inner life, this is a very rewarding form of dialogue.
If this dialogue exercise is done in groups, the participants
pair up and sit face to face. The facilitator gives the signal
for when five minutes has passed each time a change is due. This
mode of dialoguing can well be combined with meditation, a few
minutes of silence, both before and after the Clearing session.
Når kan du være med på en dyade-kveld?