Heart Dialogues

Mari Winkelman 1 maart 2011 – Heart Dialogues

I have a feeling that as we journey into the future, heart dialogues are going to become more and more common ways of relating with each other. It's something that's completely safe to try at home and you don't need to pay a therapist! i've practiced this concept in a few different ways with a few different people in recent times. One simple structure I have learnt is to sit opposite your dialogue partner, allow eye contact as much as possible, and offer open-hearted listening to them for about 5 minutes, and then to swap over so the listener can share for 5 minutes. This can go in rounds and all that is needed is for each person to be able to listen without interrupting or giving any positive or negative judgments about what is said. Each person can say how they feel in their time of sharing but not judge the other.

Another structure is to set a time of about 30 minutes or longer and to alternate in sharing statements of awareness in the moment to each other. The sharing starts with awareness of physical sensation, then moves to feelings and images, then moves to themes in the life of the person sharing and also to awareness of changes in each moment in the way they see the relationship with the person in the dialogue with them. 
I am sure there are many other structures similar and with slightly different intentions, so that some are more suited to deepening an existing relationship, while others are more suited to working through difficult communication issues or for bringing greater or more subtle awareness to one's being in relationship.
Whilst i love general talking and sharing of ideas socially, I feel like a heart dialogue every so often can improve my capacity for for being open-hearted listening to myself, to others and bringing deeper acceptance of myself and others into my relationships.
Today in a dialogue practice, I first experienced no real feeling except tiredness, so i named that, and then i felt warmth of my heart expanding through physical tiredness and challenging the thoughts i was having about not feeling connected. My friend's awareness wove around my awareness, impacting on me and journeying with me. The awareness grew to finding a deeply peaceful and timeless connection like a vision of a valley and hills in the distance with this friend – beautiful and eternal stillness. I realise how often i'm unconsciously in judgment of myself and others, and am excited that i have a way to move beyond.

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