The following is my experience of speaking meditation during Module 2 of the Zen Coaching training in June 2018:
I am sitting across from Jannicke (I have permission to share), our eyes connect and we smile. I remind myself to keep 60% of my attention in myself, in my body, 40% in connection with Jannicke. I feel my entire being relax.
I have always intensely looked into the eyes of people I meet, looking for connection. It is only during this week that I have realised how much disconnection this habit creates. It is almost as if I pour all my attention ‘out there’, leaving little or nothing ‘in here’. Which creates a feeling of nervousness, of lack, which means I search ever more intensely ‘out there’.
No matter how many times I have heard about the treasure within – seek that – I still didn’t embody it.
Now, again I feel myself leaning forward (its a habit!), gazing intensely into Jannicke’s eyes. I become aware that it almost feels greedy – what can I get from you? How can you fill my lack, my longing for wholeness and ‘home’?
Again I remember, 60% of my awareness on myself when connecting with the other. I share this with Jannicke and again lean back.
Speaking meditation is about speaking from the heart. It is about breaking the habit of mindless chit chat and gossip. About making connection and speaking. Or not. As your essence, and your heart desire. It is about the fullness that exists within silence.
If you want to practice this, find a friend who is interested, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes – one person listens while the other speaks.
The listener just listens, practices awareness and presence. No need to nod, encourage or do anything. Just remain curious and listen. Notice what happens in you, and listen.
The speaker speaks from the heart. This means settling into your body, awareness of the heart space and allowing the words to come. Or not.
Then swap roles. At the end both share your experience.
As I lean back and feel myself return, home within my body, I relax and my heart bursts open. Jannicke is surrounded by light, she looks like she is emanating light.
This is not a compliment I say, but you are absolutely, incredibly beautiful. I am so filled with love for you. Welcome.
Silence. Full, incredibly full silence.
Tears well up in Jannicke’s eyes.
Welcome, I say, I feel I have known you for ever. I feel our souls’ connection. Welcome home. It is as if our souls’ are coming home.
Silence. Full, beautiful silence.
I cannot recall all that came through my mouth, I do recall the recurring them. Welcome home.
10 minutes passed in clock time, no time and all time in our connection. And this is the first time that we have ever met.
The bell rings, we pause. Close our eyes, breathe, reconnect and switch roles.
After the exercise Kåre speaks about the wounds of childhood, about essence (essence – that what we are all searching for consciously or not). About seeing our coping mechanisms as scabs: during childhood experiences happen where we felt our entire existence was threatened. We felt like we would die. So we shut down a part of ourselves – parts like trust of life, spontaneous joy, intrinsic self worth – and we put a ‘scab’ on our wound. A layer of protection. These scabs kept us from ‘bleeding to death’. They ‘saved our life’. So then we move through life with our essence of self-worth at a minimum, we need others to tell us we are ok. We create relationships to feel (note well, this means relationships challenge us) and heal these wounds. Except that mostly we do not feel and heal, we go round and round the merry go round. Blaming the other and life and running away from our pain. And our passion for living dries up, our joy gets less and less and we need more and more to fulfil us. More yoga, more therapy, more meditation, more sex, more cars, more holidays, more stuff, more t.v., more gaming, more drugs, more alchohol, more more more.
Because these scabs can only dissolve when we again acknowledge our essence, our true selves.
After this very profound explanation it was time for lunch.
I turned to Jannicke and we hugged and spontaneously I started to stroke her hair, like a baby. And she shared her birthing story.
She was born cesarean, medical emergency. She remembered the abruptness of the birth, of being taken away. Of not being welcomed into this world. No mother to welcome her, of the coldness she experienced.
Of how the speaking meditation felt like the healing of this wound. Of being welcomed into the world. Of coming home.
This is the power of Speaking Meditation, stepping aside from all the personal ideas and opinions and allowing essence to speak. Then miracles start to happen all around. All we need to do is allow them.
Essence is gradually lost or covered up (veiled from our perception) as the personality develops. We tend to identify more and more with the personality that develops in response to our environment. By the end we forget that we even had essence. We end with the experience that there is only our personality, and that we are that personality, as if it always had been thus. This gives us the hint that in order to allow our essence to emerge again, we need to learn to disidentify from the personality and the sense of ego identity. This, in fact, is the main method that most systems of inner development employ. This disidentification, which can culminate in the experience technically termed ego death, is the main requirement necessary for the discovery of essence.