Silent Meditation at the start of a dialogue

I wonder how others feel about 5 minute meditations at the beginning of an open group dialogue session?

I personally enjoy them and find it to set the right tone before speech. I also find silence in-between monologues beneficial for the same reason.


I find it very beneficial.

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Its like a micro-siesta, after a hard day’s pursuit of success, I milk it. :sweat_smile:

I have noticed that silences have been encouraged by the facilitator when debate gets a bit heated; and also naturally occuring silences when someone says something really peculiar, or akin to a stream of consciousness narrative - that leaves the listener’s brain in a moment of cotton wool/off mode.
Also maybe heavy handed preaching can provoke silence from the listeners - either silence or rebellion.

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Good points about the various ways that silence is encouraged and which may give rise to something else in the mind that opposes or accepts it.

I find the cotton wool brain analogy really original, and can sense I don’t capture it fully.

Its nothing special, I’m comparing it to when the brain just gives up trying, during a high fever for example.

During the dialogue depending on the person speaking (who I feel is non-threatening, nor actually demanding anything of me) and what they say (something that doesn’t seem to require a response) my brain just seems to have nothing to say - which I suppose feels weird to me.

The human brain is usually always dealing with issues.

Compassion, You brought up silence at the start of dialogue. I feel it’s a chance to begin a watching one’s own mind, a watching that can be continued when the conversing begins.

Silence amidst talking or even noise.

But you all are talking about other aspects of silence too. I wanted to throw this one out too. It’s the patient silence of backing off what I want to say to give someone a chance to finish the “second speaking”. I’ve noticed that sometimes someone speaks and then goes quiet for a minute, then begins speaking again. I’ve noticed that this second speaking is often when the important part is said. It seems important that plenty of silent space be given for each other.

It’s hard for me to do when these urges to speak are arising so strongly. When I allow the urges to predominate, afterwards I usually don’t feel good about it. But even this can be observed from silence.

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Damn! It might be worth reminding evryone about this? I mean to try not to jump in with all the really important stuff that I feel I have to say?

Maybe not every dialogue, but every so often, maybe hardly anyone will get a chance to keep speaking after their silence, but at least some of us might remember to shut up :sweat_smile: ?

Tricky stuff John - may the force be with you

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Thank you for bringing out the nuances that you did. It inspired some further questions:

“Watching one’s own mind” – Is watching oneself continuous or does it turn to self-forgetfulness?

What is the gap/space between awareness and thinking? Awareness being watching one’s own mind.

Does something pull one away from being aware or is there only Thinking in various forms?

If the former, is that something a maker of one’s own doing? Psychologically. Is it a default of one’s humanness (evolutionarily)?

Can it be changed? If so, how? How, as in: where’s the evidence? Is it valid?

Thanks again for furthering the conversation on Silence.


Waoh! So much to look into.

It certainly doesn’t feel like I’m watching myself all the time. I could say that there are tiny fleeting moments when I suddenly realise that I’m no longer listening to what is being said, that I’m actually reacting or thinking about some trigger word that I heard earlier for example.
Dialogue is an opportunity to leave a door open for awareness, rather than a conscious effort of concentration that one tries to hold continuously.
If it was an effort on my part, the first thing to be aware of would be the state of mind or motivation that is causing me to make this effort. Non?

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