Insight Dialogue expert, Jan Surrey, kindly suggested that I try out my idea for combining sharing tea with dialogue at a Sunday Sangha that meets monthly for Relational Meditation/ Insight Dialogue practice in Cambridge MA at Art and Soul Yoga. We jointly agreed the theme for the tea sharing would be “Dana, the experience of offering and receiving.”
I will also demonstrate a simplified version of a formal Japanese tea ceremony practice that uses a tray, Ryakubon, and will provide a brief talk sharing my thoughts on how the giving and receiving of tea and Insight Dialogue cultivate generosity and gratitude (See Tea & Dialogue & Generosity).
For this tea and dialogue practice, participants will arrange themselves into dyads and simple small cups on square paper plates will be brought to them. I suggested to the volunteers who will be helping me, “This process should be natural and like a slow stream flowing if possible. We should be aware of each other, and as much as possible convey dignity and warm open generosity.” I decided to use powdered decaffeinated green tea. Traditional Japanese tea bowls and matcha tea are also available online.
The plans are for each dyad partner to swirl the thermal carafe before pouring tea for the other. Bowing will be used to indicate respect. Drinking tea in silence then provides an opportunity to practice the guidelines of Pause, Relax, and Open even before the spoken dialogue begins. The spoken dialogue makes use of all the dialogue guidelines developed by Gregory Kramer as first one person Trusts Emergence and Speaks the Truth while the other Listens Deeply, and then the roles are reversed.
I fully expect everything will not go as expected. That provides an opportunity to practice generosity and compassion in the moment in keeping with the theme.
This post is an example of using a blog post to share information with participants who meet in live interaction. In this case, I have the major benefit of knowledge of my intended audience which can certainly make for more mindful blogging.
Jan – leads overall session and Insight Dialogue
Kathy – leads tea aspects
Annie – leads movement
Peg & Edna – help with tea equipment logistics
9:00-9:20 Introduction (Silent sit / ID Guidelines / say name & bow / introduces Kathy)
9:20-9:30 Formal Tea Demonstration (Kathy serves Jan)
9:30-9:35 Talk on Tea & Dialogue & Generosity
9:35-9:40 Arrange into dyads
9:40-9:42 Tea Sharing Logistics Explained (Swirl thermal carafe, pour for each other, bow)
9:42-9:50 Distribute cups and plates
9:50-9:55 Each person in dyad pours tea for the other (bell times)
9:55-10:00 All drink tea (bell times)
(Supported by contemplation to pay attention to senses
and all that went into the tea / getting it here
then silent drinking maintaining mutual awareness)
10:00-10:05 Clear away tea things (no bowing)
10:05-10:35 Dialogue (“Truth of the experience” bell times)
10:35-10:40 Arrange into position for movement
11:10-11:30 Second dyad dialogue practice (“Refuge” bell times)
11:30-Noon Large circle sharing (pass tea cup to one who will speak) and Closing