In a typical Insight Dialogue practice session, people begin with a period of silent sitting meditation and are then invited into pairs or larger groups to practice together.
Six meditation instructions, or guidelines, form the core of Insight Dialogue practice—Pause, Relax, Open, Attune to Emergence, Listen Deeply and Speak the Truth. The guidelines serve as the foundation for bringing meditative qualities of mind to the practice.
As practitioners meditate together, supported by the guidelines, they reflect on topics that encourage a direct and intimate inquiry into the nature, causes, and release of human suffering.
Contemplation topics in Insight Dialogue range from direct noting of sensory experience (e.g., pleasant and unpleasant sensations in the body) to more content-rich teachings such as the three characteristics (suffering, impermanence, and not-self) or the “divine abodes” of lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. These teachings are not discussed in the abstract, but rather explored in present moment experience. In this way, relational contact and meditative qualities of the mind help bring root wisdom teachings into lived experience, here and now.
Insight Dialogue is taught and practiced in a variety of contexts—residential retreats, daylong workshops, community practice groups, and online via videoconference.