At the wrap-up of the Village Zendo Members’ Meeting on Saturday , we were offering one-sentence summations of our experience and one member said she’d found hosting a conversation both –˜terrifying and marvelous.’
I perfectly understood the part that was terrifying: would she be jeered or supported for sharing her concerns?
But what made it marvelous? I also happen to know that others hadn’t fared so well. And what made the difference? And why does it matter?
It matters, I think, because how we conduct ourselves in a conversation is how we save all sentient beings: by staying awake. To our fears. Our reactivity. And it’s a lot easier to practice that on the cushion counting our breath. Expressing ourselves in a gathering, we tend to forget.
So what’s it like for us to come from that place of oneness – the salve of silence – to enter into dialogue and encounter our differences?
I recall my own experience in a particular group at the meeting. I was giving what I thought were creative solutions to a problem, when one by one I saw folks getting up to leave. Weren’t they as enthralled as I was with what I had to say? At that moment I realized it wouldn’t hurt if I tried to listen a little more.
So I’m curious to hear about others’ experiences. We’ll read in the Members Meeting Report what the content of those conversations was. But for now I’m more interested in hearing about what it was like to listen and speak to one other about what we care about? What were the joys? The challenges?