Dharma Dialogues are a different kind of practice opportunity and a wonderful way to get to know and be known by fellow community members. These are lightly structured, lightly moderated informal discussions of life and practice. Drop-ins welcome!
At least one senior Zen practioner will be present as the discussion leader for each session.
These discussions take place on the second Thursday of the month between October and June. The start times for these discussions vary, but are typically 6:30, 7:00 or 7:30 pm, and are announced via email in the GBZC Weekly Digest.
Dates: 10/11, 11/8, 12/13, 1/10, 2/7, 3/7, 5/9
Suggested donation: $5-10 for GBZC
DHARMA DIALOGUE GUIDELINES
- Use the discussion as a way of practicing with what arises in the moment. Become aware of patterns of talking a lot, not talking and withdrawing, interrupting. Notice what happens in the body, heart, and mind before speaking and after speaking. This is an opportunity to let go of ideas about how others might perceive you, to cease managing others' impressions of you and just speak as yourself.
- Keep comments close to the heart. Spend less time in the intellect and more in making observations that are related to your personal practice life and your own experience. We take off the teacher hat and the student hat. We are just people, offering our own experiences of the moment.
- Stop and breathe before speaking and after speaking. Let this be a practice of loving attentiveness, Buddha speaking with and listening to Buddha.
- We can also participate by being silent, looking at our reactions to what has been said, or just by being here, participating in the gathering of this energy of looking and listening together as one.
- We hold what is spoken during the Dharma Dialogues in confidence, if you find yourself having said something that you want kept confidential, please feel free to remind the group of that, either before or after speaking.
- Although a topic is suggested, it may evolve in another direction altogether.
- The facilitator may sometimes interrupt if deemed necessary.
- Dialogue is not group therapy, not an effort to change anyone or tell them opinions on what to do or analyze and fix problems. It is an opportunity to listen deeply to what others say and to what arises for each of us in response, without evaluating.