Key aspects of the conversational methodology we are promoting and espousing. Notes about personal reflection and graceful conversation are complemented by advice about gathering and facilitating groups.
SIFTING YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
Personal Reflection is an active process of paying attention to and sifting your own experience. It is to deliberately take a step back and observe what is happening to you and the way you are responding to it. As such, it can be done in the midst of an activity or as an activity in itself, but its primary purpose is to learn from experience and to explore it in greater depth.
SHARING TRUTH IN LOVE
Properly understood and given expression, this graceful way of communicating allows people to share their truth in love. Maturing in a climate of non-judgemental acceptance it holds the capacity to transform lives and build communities for the benefit of all. A good conversation is an interpersonal journey undertaken by friends who are prepared to be changed by what they may subsequently discover.
PREPARING THE SPACE
Finding or creating a suitable context for graceful conversation is highly significant… While the experience itself can be surprising and spontaneous, spiritual conversation in groups is an intentional activity, requiring boundaries and shared commitments – many of which need to be negotiated in advance.
Experience suggests that in small groups gathered for the purpose, conversation is a fragile plant, which needs a good deal of care and attention. It is a time for sensitive leadership by someone who models the best way of operating, manages the interaction and looks after the developing needs of participants, particularly if they are in conflict with one another. This type of leadership is often referred to as facilitation – a term which comes from its Latin root, ‘facilis’ meaning ‘easy’. A facilitator is someone who tries to make it easy for others to successfully accomplish what they set out to do. In conversation groups it is the task of the facilitator to help those involved find ease in relating, so that the truth they each possess may be expressed, appreciated and explored.