Insight Dialogue Book Cover Insight Dialogue
Gregory Kramer
Religion
Shambhala Publications
2007-01
293

Insight Dialogue is a way of bringing the tranquility and insight attained in meditation directly into your interactions with other people. It’s a practice that involves interacting with a partner in a retreat setting or on your own, as a way of accessing a profound kind of insight. Then, you take that insight on into the grind of everyday human interactions. Gregory Kramer has been teaching the practice (which he originated) for more than a decade in retreats around the world. It’s something strikingly new in the world of Buddhist practice—yet it’s completely grounded in traditional Buddhist teaching. Kramer begins with a detailed presentation of the central Buddhist teaching of the Four Noble Truths seen through an interpersonal lens. Because dukkha (suffering or unsatisfactoriness) is often most forcefully felt in our relations with others, interpersonal relationships are a wonderfully useful place to practice. He breaks the Noble Truths down into component parts to observe how they manifest particularly in relationship to others, using examples from his own life and practice, as well as from his students’. He then goes on to present the practice as it’s taught in his workshops and retreats. There are a few basic steps to the practice, deceptively simple to describe: (1) pause, (2) relax, (3) open, (4) trust emergence, (5) listen deeply, and (6) speak the truth. The sequence begins following a period of meditation, and includes periods of speaking, listening, and mutual silence. Kramer includes numerous examples of people’s experience with the practice from his retreats, and shows how the insight gained from the techniques can be brought into real life. More than just testimonials for how well the practice “works,” the personal stories demonstrate the problems that arise, the different routes the practice can follow, and the sometimes surprising insights that are gained. To learn more about the author, Gregory Kramer, go to www.metta.org.

MY TAKE:

A concept that changed my life forever!!!  I can't say enough about this practice.  It brings together the mind, body and heart into everyday life like no other form of meditation has for me.  Wisdom, Relationality and Meditation become one at the center enriching everything in my life.  It is not an easy read in my opinion but worth the read if that makes sense.  It has taken me a bit to get through this book despite the many retreats I have attended on the same subject. It is dense and yet every word matters so you cna not just skim or jump around.  One theme builds on another.  I love the excerpts from real life situations that seem so simple and ordinary yet so true.  If you pick up one book this year, this is the one!! Just dont excpect it to be a breezy read as it needs to be read with alot of reflection and real time contemplation.

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