At its best, dialogue leads to a common understanding as people with different gifts, points of view and values grow in capacity and willingness to think creatively together. The practice of Contemplative Dialogue supports building a shared approach that is effective, practical, and better allows us to bring our best selves together and to participate in cultivating a creative common ground.
The roots of the word dialogue come from the Greek words dia and logos. Dia means “through”; logos translates to “word” or “meaning.” In essence, a dialogue is a flow of meaning.
Contemplative Dialogue is about listening to your own thinking in the silence and to others’ thinking when they are speaking
Listening is difficult because we are always projecting our opinions, ideas, and prejudices- when they dominate there is no listening at all! Small or large, we all live in a community of some type, and sometimes in many different communities throughout our days and weeks. If we learn to truly dialogue with one another on a local scale, we can effect change on a global scale. Homes, boardrooms and national conversations would all benefit from the principles of Contemplative Dialogue, sometimes called Respectful Conversation.
By practicing the principles of Contemplative Dialogue the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart strive to enhance our mutual understanding of each other and improve the quality of our Congregational relationships. It helps us to live our Chapter Directive “Cultivate relational integrity in all our interactions.”
“The dialogue isn’t over until sometime after we all leave.” –Doug Ross, A Tao of Dialogue
Pope Benedict on effective communication
Interfaith organization which teaches and promotes contemplative dialogue
The Center for Contemplative Dialogue
Quaker based Center for the Contemplative mind in Society