Dharma Sharing

Usually after sitting we take time to share our joys, difficulties, successes in the practice. This practice is called Dharma Sharing (or Dharma Discussion). Sometimes it is started with a reading or some sharing offered by the facilitator. Each person shares from their heart, from their own personal experience. We try to avoid intellectualizing or cross-talk. When we want to speak we join our palms and bow (or make any other gesture), and then we share what is in our heart. We take our time, exercising loving speech. When we feel we have shared what we wanted to share, we join our palms again and bow. This allows everyone to give the speaker their full attention and practice deep listening.

Deep listening means that we pay our full attention to what is being said (both verbally and energetically), and we let go of wanting to respond, or answer anything. We are simply listening, being in the moment and what is being said. When the speaker has “bowed out,” we enjoy three in-and-out breaths, and then another person might bow in to share. This is a true training, a true practice in deep listening and speaking from the heart, re-training our common habit energy of interrupting, formulating responses, or otherwise “not being there.”  What helps us to be there, both as speaker and listener is our conscious breathing.

The Four Immeasurables

May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
May we not be separated from the great happiness that is devoid of suffering.
May we dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, aggression and prejudice.