Sunday, February 13, 2011

Extra posting, Valentine's day treat

This is the revised chapter 58 of my 108 day/ way Tao of Now,
for sale as Ebook, see link above

Think of “habitual talking.”

You have a partner, and they say a bit, and you say a bit. Usually people say no more than one or two sentences at a time, and then the next person has to chime in with their Very Important Thing to Say.

Sometimes this comes as an interruption, sometimes as just shoveling in the words at the first hint of slowing down or silence on the other person’s part.

Which means the talker has to rush ahead without any gaps, or their “air time” will be taken away. Which means: no time to pause, sense the moment, discover inside what we really want to say.

Most tragic: no time to wait for something besides our bundle of automatic speaking tapes.

Just like in movement: if we speak/ move fast, we have to do what we’ve always done. It’s the way the brain works. So, “normal conversation” almost guarantees two people’s robots spouting back and forth at each other.

Any way we cut it, we don’t have much time to say our bit, and we don’t give much time to the other. And what is said is the same old, same old, as if talking is some mental equivalent of taking a poop.

And another habitual process that contributes to the automatic/ robot nature of most talking is that when we are supposedly “listening,” we are most often formulating our next Very Important Thing to Say.

And it’s a wonder that the divorce rate isn’t any higher, because this description only hints as to how poorly we communicate when the “fur starts to fly” and our talking gets defensive/ offensive, when the couples of life go on the “warpath” / “argument trail” with the one(s) they supposedly love.

Grand if you want to be a robot. But what if you want to wake up?
Perhaps a little something different could come in handy. Like what?

Like this:

Find someone willing to spend some time talking with you in a way very different than “habitual” talking.

With this person, sit down with a kitchen timer, and set that timer to 2 or 3 minutes.

Take turns, so first one talks, the other listens, no interrupting, or face making. The talker can talk about present awareness, or likes and dislikes in their life, but not any either likes or dislikes about the one that is listening. When the timer goes off, the talker stops, and both people follow their breathing for a little while.

Then it’s the listener’s turn to talk and be heard without interruptions. Start the timer again, look into each other’s eyes, and begin, the second person now, to talk.

And how’s this for non-habitual: when we take our turn talking we don’t comment on the other person’s stuff. No advice, suggestions, one ups, theories, explanations.

Just speaking from what comes up in us when we leave the other person’s words and actions and ideas, problems and insights and successes and plans and failures alone.

No feedback, no advice, no criticism. Just staying with yourself for two or three minutes. Being listened to. Being witnessed. But not being helped, cured, fixed, one upped., questioned.

Each person gets to talk without having to live up to anything.

They just get to be. To pause. To explore within. To find out what if means to be present while talking.

This is good. This is big. This is huge, actually, and you’ll know that if you’ve tried to be awake while talking. And if you haven’t, this is your chance.


Back and forth. Maybe go for 4 minutes or 5, once you get the hang of it.

Back and forth and being present while you talk and present while you speak.

See if this is a kind of food, a kind of “intercourse” in a sweet and everyday meaning of that perhaps overloaded word.


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