Author Topic: What we should pay attention in a conversation?  (Read 2324 times)


  • Member
What we should pay attention in a conversation?
« on: July 28, 2010, 01:43:51 PM »
Hi everybody,
Few months ago I asked myself a question about, what to do in a conversation? I read this fragment on the book: Mindfulness in plain english:
If you are meditating at that moment, then your focus will be the formal object of meditation. If you are not in formal meditation, it will be just a pure application of bare attention itself, just a pure noticing of whatever comes up without getting involved -- "Ah, this comes up...and now this, and now this... and now this".
If I only notice whatever comes up I can't establish a conversation with anybody, and a lot of times people are talking about the past or future, the question is: Should we only hear or we have to get involved in this conversation noticing what feelings are arising?


  • Guest
Re: What we should pay attention in a conversation?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 04:26:42 PM »

Outside of meditation Goenka, for example, recommends to give attention just to the task at hand. And if opportunities arise (for example in front of a red traffic light) to some body sensations or the breath.

Personally I find it difficult noticing feelings during conversations. However, it's especially worthwhile if it gets emotional. Sometimes there really is no choice and one has to engage in conversations, which often even might be of the unwholesome kind.

In such cases having to get involved isn't a question, but how one involves and relates becomes very important. To the person listened to, as well as to the feelings in one's own body/mind. If that relationship is of a frienly, interrested kind, one's words will be a reflection of that attitude and any unwholesomeness very likely will only melt away. This applies also to authentic not so wholesome emotions, like anger or fear, as long as you're able to give your friendly attention to these feelings too.

But as I said, this is very difficult 24/7, but very worthwhile to pursue. It's called 'right speech', a factor of the 8-fold path and one of the unavoidable preliminaries to vipassana. Just keeping silent is an option on retreats or as a monk only.


  • Member
Re: What we should pay attention in a conversation?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 07:40:51 AM »
The root that needs pulling, is the voice that is saying "oh god, here we go again"..... "what is it I'm supposed to be doing?".... "maybe I should just listen"......."what the hell are they talking about anyway"..."oh no, that's not working".... "egits"... "they are just following there minds"......... "Am I enlightened?".

That's the subtlety of the voice in your head, it leaves through the front door, only to climb in through the back window.

Step back and see this voice as a process, come into the non-conceptual present moment. You cant do it thinking, you can only feel it.

Please try this:
During speech anchor yourself in the present moment by pausing momentarily before speaking, then when you are speaking talk at a slightly slower pace than you would do normally. Not really s-l-o-w-l-y, just slow enough that you notice it. It's a very small thing to do, but giving yourself this bit of space has profound consequences.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 08:21:40 AM by Joe »


  • Guest
Re: What we should pay attention in a conversation?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 03:44:51 PM »
Maybe this helps:

lecture: skillful communication

In this lecture he presents a model (based on suttas) where during conversation you are aware of:

(during listening)
- the intention of wanting to really listen
- the content of what the other is saying
- the feeling tone of what other is saying
- what feelings arise in you (for instance conflicting with your intention, like wanting to prepare a response)
- the context/surroundings in which this is taking place
- what is skillful and what is unskillful, focusing on the first and ignoring the latter

(during talking)
- the intention of wanting to speak with lovingkindness
- content of what you are saying
- what arises in you as a reaction to what you are saying
- being truthful and kind at the same time
- being helpful but at the right time

Talk about multi-tasking!  ;D


  • Member
Re: What we should pay attention in a conversation?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 04:02:01 PM »
Oh, great! A lot of tools to use in my day-by-day practice..
Thanks very much!

Joe: Yes, I have thought that. They were following their minds. I thought I was above them. Subtle Pride?. May be it didn't allow me to participate on that conversations.

Elliberto:Very detailed information. I am going to hear and learn. Thanks!


  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: What we should pay attention in a conversation?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 11:49:54 PM »
You have two ears and one mouth - use them in that proportion. Being a meditator means always being mindful. practice is practice - just that. It teaches you how to be more and more mindful off the cushion.

Warm regards, In the Dhamma,

~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


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