Guidelines For Mindful & Multicultural Dialogue

Confidentiality. When you take home learnings, don’t identify anyone other than yourself, now or later.

Commitment to curiosity. Be willing to try on new ideas or ways of doing things.

Right to pass. Sharing is optional. Say “pass” if you don’t wish to speak.

Presence & self-focus. Speak from the heart about what’s alive for you in this moment, instead of intellectual sharing or storytelling. Avoid speaking for a whole group or expressing assumptions about the experience of others.

Trusting everyone’s capacity to grow. Offer advice only when asked, or after getting permission. If you want to follow up with someone regarding something they said in this session, ask first if they want to reopen the subject.

Multiple realities. Substitute “and” for “but” to acknowledge and honor multiple realities.

Spacious silence. Let there be a pause before you and others speak. By slowing down, notice what is arising in you and in others.

Equal participation. Take note of who is speaking and who is not. If you tend to speak often, consider allowing others, and if you speak less, consider speaking more.

Listening with your whole self. When listening, avoid planning what you will say. If your attention drifts, bring it back. When it is your turn to speak, you may ask for a moment to collect your thoughts.

Intent and impact. There may be impact, even if everyone had good intentions. If there is impact, express your observations, emotions, needs, requests, instead of blaming or shaming yourself or others.

Adapted from “Agreements for Multicultural Interactions at EBMC”, “Awareness Training Institute Guidelines for Mindful Dialogue”, and “A Clinician’s Guide To Teaching Mindfulness”.