Wisdom Sessions are peer support based on deep listening for connecting to innate wisdom. They can done one-to-one and in groups.
Deep listening is hearing, beyond the intellect, what is being shared by another from a space of being and openness. The intention is to be present and open, which fosters clarity and insight.
How It Works
Our life experience comes from thoughts living on many levels of our body, emotions, and mind. Habitual thoughts lead to stuck experiences.
Through the conscious expression of thoughts and energies within the space supported by a deep listening partner, we free habitual patterns and open to the greater wisdom that is always present.
We call the two roles Explorer and Listener, understanding that session partners are equal peers.
The basic Wisdom Session involves the Listener simply deep listening, without overt response. The presence and space created are centering and powerful for both partners.
The basic session provides essential beneficial qualities and is the foundation for all variations. Beginners are encouraged to practice the basic session for a while before trying variations below.
Participants meditate silently or just become present, as best they know how. This time typically lasts from a few moments to a minute. The explorer starts expressing when he or she feels ready.
To free habitual thoughts and open to a new stream of wisdom, the Explorer expresses what’s present through speaking, moving, sounding, and silence. Follow the flow as feels right to you.
As much as possible, the Listener gives full attention to the Explorer. Do your best to stay present, letting go of personal thoughts and feelings. If strong personal feelings arise for you, again do your best to return to quiet mind and just witness.
Participants meditate silently and become present, as best they can. This time typically lasts from a few moments to a minute. The Explorer decides when there's been enough closing silence and says so by saying something like "OK, thank you".
How Was It?
After each session, take a few minutes to share how the process was for you. How was it exploring or listening? Did you feel present? Were there any challenges? Do you notice any shifts in how you feel after the session? The Explorer shares first.
By agreement, sessions may also include responses from the Listener such as questions or reflections. These may be offered spontaneously or by request of the Explorer, either during the sharing time or after.
Experiment with the variations to find out what works best for you and your session partners.
A few agreements create a supportive framework for a Wisdom Session.
Partners agree to keep anything shared in Wisdom Sessions confidential.
Type of Session
Before a session, come to agreement with your partner about whether you will be doing a basic session or variation. If a variation, be clear on how it will be structured.
Two or One-Way
In a two-way session, the two partners each take time being the Explorer. A one-way session can also work well. It may be reciprocated at another time or not, depending on the preferences of the partners.
Agree on total time available. For a 2-way session, decide how the time will be divided. Usually, the sessions will be of equal length. Occasionally, it may be mutually agreeable that one person takes a longer session than the other.
Wisdom Sessions have generally been beneficial with time lengths from 10-30 minutes for each partner.
Timekeeping may be done by either or both partners, as they agree. A loosely-timed notice of 1 - 2 minutes before the end is generally helpful.
If Listener Cannot Remain Present
Occasionally, the Listener may find that it is not possible to remain present with the Explorer due to intense feelings arising.
In that case, it is the Listener's responsibility to let the Explorer know and request a two-minute meditative pause. The two-minute meditative pause is a time for both session partners to silently let their thoughts and feelings settle down.
At the end of the meditative pause, the Listener checks-in with self. If the Listener is still not ready to return to deep listening, the partners have the following choices:
continue meditative pause and then check-in again
switch roles for an agreed-upon length of time
end session and try again another time