Listen, Loop And Dip: The Art Of Mindful Conversation

You can practice mindfulness with a simple framework. You can apply this framework to almost anything in life. The essence of the framework is intention, attention, meta-attention and detachment.

Intention is to practice this way of living. Attention is non-judgmental, non-reactive awareness. Metaattention is awareness of losing attention. Detachment is letting everything go, not getting caught up in judgment, reaction or emotions. Have expectations before mindfulness meditation, but no expectations during meditation.

We talk everyday. Often, we are engrossed in our own thoughts and fantasies. Mindful conversation can improve on this and help bring mindfulness into everyday life.Mindful conversation is listening, looping and dipping. The theory of the process is simple but it is not easy and needs practice. Start small.

Mindful listening is giving your full moment-to-moment attention to another person with a nonjudgmental mind, and every time your attention wanders away, gently bring it back. It is applying the framework of mindfulness to listening. Listening this way will make an unknown person known and into a friend.

And the faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention over and over again is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is compos sui if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.- William James



Looping is checking back with the person to see if they have listened and understood the other person correctly.

Let’s say there are two people involved in this conversation—Allen and Becky—and it is Allen’s turn to speak. Allen speaks for a while, and after he is done speaking, Becky (the listener) loops back by saying what she thought she heard Allen say. After that, Allen gives feedback on what he thought was missing or misrepresented in Becky’s characterization of his original monologue. And they go back and forth until Allen (the original speaker) feels satisfied that he is correctly understood by Becky (the original listener). Looping is a collaborative project in which both people work together to help Becky (the listener) fully understand Allen (the speaker).

Listening is magic: it turns a person from an object outside, opaque or dimly threatening, into an intimate experience, and therefore into a friend. In this way, listening softens and transforms the listener.” – Norman Fischer

Dipping is checking in with ourselves. We do not listen to others because we get distracted by our own feelings and internal chatter, often in reaction to what the other person said. Just notice and acknowledge them. Know that they are there, try not to judge them, and let them go if they are willing to go. If feelings or other internal distracters decide to stay around, let them be and just be aware of how they may affect your listening. You can think of dipping as self-directed mindfulness during listening. Dipping is also useful when we speak. We can see what feelings arise as we speak. We may talk about them, or if we prefer, simply acknowledge them, try not to judge them, and let them go if they are willing to go.

So we listen and dip and then loop. Listen, dip and loop. To listen and dip at the same we need develop the skill of what is similar to central and peripheral vision. Focus on the listening( central vision) and be aware of your feelings and internal chatter.( peripheral vision)

Central and peripheral vision


We shall end with these gentle words:

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.- Thich Nhat Hanh

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh


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