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Hva er Interaktiv Meditasjon og samtale i dyader?

Samtaleformen kalles på engelsk enten Interactive Witnessing, Enlightenment Intensive eller Clearing.

“Interactive Witnessing”

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, is

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 thinking process,

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?