- Sit facing your practice partner, approximately two feet away from one another. Sit in meditation with your eyes closed, to centre oneself for about five minuets.
- Open your eyes, and gaze silently into the eyes of your practice partner, in a sustained meditative manner for approximately 3 minuets. (If you open your eyes first, wait for your practice partner to open their eyes.) During this time notice any urge to avert your gaze.
- Close your eyes again and meditate on any feelings you notice for a few minuets. (If your practice partner closes their eyes first, then you close yours.)
- Re-open your eyes and re-establish a sustained meditative contact with your eyes.
- One practice partner should begin expressing verbally sharing what they felt during the silent sustained eye contact, paying particular attention on any reluctance and urges to keep the eye-contact sustained. The silent partner should endeavour to 'listen deeply' to not only the words, but also the meaning, feeling, and emotions, the speaker are trying to convey. (This verbal communication does not need rushed and a meditative approach is favourable for engaging in this practice.)
- After a few minuets the other partner shares verbally what they felt during the silent sustained eye contact period, paying particular attention on any reluctance and urge's to keep the eye-contact sustained.
- Once both practice partners have shared their experiences both can converse on the shared experiences. (Allow each other the space, and time, to share their thoughts with the other.)
- To end, spend a few minutes practising directional metta meditation focusing on 'oneself', and 'another'. Then to end the session, thank each other either verbally, physically, or in both ways.
- Be present, setting aside thoughts, ideas, plans, and concerns and focus more intently during the first three or four minutes of any conversation.
- Try not to formulate responses while the other person is still speaking. And if your mind wanders away from what is being said, simply re-establish your attention on the speaker’s words.
- Paraphrase what you have heard helps ensure you understood the other person. As does asking what is meant by a word or phrase.
- Non-verbal communication responses (such as nodding, or changes in facial expressions) help the speaker understand they are being listened too.
- In difficult communications, connect with the breath, or the sensations of the body as a way of grounding yourself, while trying to stay balanced and open to the other person’s words.
- Sometimes People just want to be heard, so it is good to ask for permission to give any advice you may wish to give.