I have been reading a book by Krista Tippett titled “Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living”. It has caused me to contemplate what has unfolded for me in my conversations with others about life, Buddhism, spirituality and the possibility of living fully. I value greatly the opportunity for discussion especially after the time that I spend in Germany. Living here involves longer periods of solitude.
It’s not in an absolute way that I value conversing and it’s not what I can discover in terms of more data and knowledge but more how it can help facilitate awareness of my self and others. What arises in communication with others is often, so very revealing and expanding although I always find it challenging to express an experience while at the same time not offending others in that attempt. I’m not sure whether or not it is something that people in general are comfortable doing or not. It’s hard work at times. Conversation can get mired in attachment to conceptualizations that don’t allow for expanded and creative notions and envisioning. I know that at times I have walked away from discussions feeling quite vulnerable albeit possibly more open. But there are those times when, in a way that awareness has not penetrated, I become trapped.
Krista Tippett has been conducting wonderful interviews, on a program titled “On Being” and in her book she discusses the value of questioning and conversing. I wonder if there is a place for this kind of conversing in Buddhism and other spiritual forums.
She writes that “An alternative involves a different orientation to the point of conversing in the first place: to invite searching—not on who is right and who is wrong and the arguments on every side; not on whether we can agree; but on what is at stake in human terms for us all. There is value in learning to speak together honestly and relate to each other with dignity, without rushing to common ground that would leave all the hard questions hanging.”