Tara Brach’s guidelines on mindful sharing.
For many who participate in meditation groups, a rich part of the gathering is having the opportunity to share experiences with each other. The following guidelines can help to create a safe and supportive container for mindful sharing.
Appropriate themes include the joys and insights experienced in meditation practice and the multitude of ways to bring mindfulness alive in relationships, work and daily life.
Members should feel free to share at any time, but should never be obligated to do so.
The group might choose some kind of signal for members to use to let the group know when they have something to share and when they have finished sharing. This might be a bow, a hand raise, or passing a talking stick…whatever method works best to minimize accidental interrupting or talking over one another.
Let there be a pause between shares. Slowing down the process promotes awareness of what is arising within.
Speak about what’s alive for you in this moment, from your heart and your own direct experience. Refrain from intellectual/philosophical discussion or long storytelling.
Be lean of expression – it helps everyone who is listening and leaves time for others to be heard. If you’ve already spoken, give others a spacious opportunity to share a first time before you share again.
Listen deeply to the speaker, noticing what arises within you as you listen – and what arises as you speak.
Refrain from offering unsolicited advice.
From Tara Brach: https://www.tarabrach.com/starting-meditation-group/
Also from Parker Palmer, Circles of Trust:
No fixing, saving, advising or correcting each other. This is one of the hardest guidelines for those of us who like to “help.” But it is vital to making space for the inner teacher.