Introducing the Guidelines

In Insight Dialogue, we’re supported by six guidelines. You can do this guided meditation with another person or alone simply imagining the presence of another. This exercise doesn't require speaking and can be done by knowing internally the choice of words.



Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.
If you’re with another, sit face to face.
Rest naturally, knowing the breath or the sense of the body sitting.
If you hear any sounds, simply notice that there is hearing.
Come back to the breath or body.
If thinking arises, know it as it is, and let it fall away.
Come back to the breath or the body.
This knowing is mindfulness. It’s a pause out of the stream of habit.
We stop and simply know how things are. The breath presents itself and it is known.
A sound arises and passes, and it too is known.
We might experience some form of emotion; worry or agitation. Judgement.
We can know these as well as passing occurrences of the mind.
We can pause out of the the stream of habit and allow whatever arises to pass on its own accord.



When we pause we can actively inquire into how things are.
With contact at the sense doors, there's stimulation and we have a tendency to be drawn into desire and aversion.
Pleasant feelings…I want more of that.
Unpleasant feeling…aversion arises.
When we pause and look to the body-mind, we might notice that there’s some form of tension present.
We can actively seek to relax the tension and bring ease.
Our efforts to bring ease to the body-mind supports us in not responding or acting out of reactivity.
Pause-relax. These guidelines can work in tandem with one another.
Sometimes we might find that there is tension that can’t be released. We can meet this with another form of relax—acceptance.
We’re unable to always control if there’s tension in the body-mind. But we can avoid layering judgment on top of it.
We can see, with clarity, that this is how things are right now. Wanting it to be different than it is simply compounds the difficulty by adding resistance.
Just meet the moment with as little tension as possible. You might notice in that very act is love, compassion, and joy.



At this point you’re invited to open your eyes.
If you’re alone, imagine you’re with another.
What’s it like to meet the eyes of another for the first time?
You might notice some visceral reaction in the body-mind.
Come back to pause. Step out of any habit or story that arises.
If you notice tension inquire into whether or not you can bring ease to it or not.
If not, simply notice it as it is, and try and meet it with acceptance.
Notice that there’s contact at the sense door. Your body, sitting, meets the floor. There’s air against your skin.
Your eyes see colors and shapes.
This contact depends on the external. This is open.
There is not simply our own internal world, but a process that is inherently dependent upon this contact.
The eyes to see, need an object.
The person looking back at us, is also seeing.
We can even broaden our experience. The other person is processing experience in the same way we are.
There are sights, and they are known by the eye. Based on personal history and biology, there is the sense of pleasant and unpleasant.
It’s like this for all of us. We might touch upon a response that includes compassion or empathy.
There is the recognition of sounds, tastes, and sights.
We can look internally, externally, and both internally and externally. Moving back and forth between what is known, and how it is being known.


trust emergence

From this open space, we can get a sense of the myriad phenomenon arising and passing in the relational space.
Body sensations, emotions, thoughts, intentions…occurring both internally and in the other person.
In trust emergence we inquire into the impermanent and dependent nature of all these phenomenon.
We don’t seek to control how things are, but to simply see into the true nature of things. All that arises, passes.
In trust emergence we also set aside views and opinions. We don’t seek to change the other, but inquire into what can be mutually known.
We inquire into how what unfolds might be influenced by the conditions present in these individuals.
Your life experience is different than mine. What might your voice illuminate for me?
It was said that the conditions for Right View were wise attention and the voice of another.
With intention can we allow any voice to be the voice to light the way for us?
In this moment, there’s nothing to control. This dialogue doesn’t have to feel a particular way. We simply are using this container to see how things are.
How are they?


speak the truth

The guideline speak the truth is an invitation to speak.
Right now we’re going to just use our imagination.
We won’t actually speak words.
Speak the truth has as its basis in right speech. Virtue. Speech that is true, kind, beneficial, timely, and spoken with a heart of kindness.
That our speech and our relational containers are anchored by this understanding is an important support. Our habits run deep.
We want to continually pause and inquire into what, how, and why we’re speaking.
The Buddha instructed his own son to pause before, during, and after speech.
We can also, once we establish the ethical foundation of our speech, inquire even deeper. Is what I’m saying simply an urge to be seen?
I am creating a self for another to be seen?
Pause here for a moment.
Rest again in the breath or body.
How are things?
If you were to speak something that you knew to be true from the here and now, what would it be?


listen deeply

Once spoken can you set it aside? Can it be dropped fully so you can listen deeply and receive what the other offers you?
When we listen deeply, we can set aside the relational conventions we might lean on.
We don’t need to nod or to voice resonance.
We can simply pause, and receive the words of the other. A mirror for the reflection of their sharing.
You might notice, in listening, the habits of processing. You might find that you’re thinking of responses, or internally commentating on what you’re hearing.
Pause, relax, open.
Notice that it fell away.
What is it like to simply rest in the presence of the speaker.
Notice the impact of the words on the body-mind.
Moment by moment. There is changing tapestry of experience.
The voice of the speaker is guiding you to relational presence.
Relational understanding of change.
Relational understanding that this moment is co-created.
It is not personal.
It is mutual. Shared.