Episode 125 :: Gregory Kramer :: Insight Dialogue

| July 5, 2012 | 7 Comments

Gregory Kramer

Gregory Kramer speaks with us about his book Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom, and his work at Metta.org.

The wonderful thing about our practice is that it isn’t dependent on a particular ideological point of view. One can do the practice within or without the context of a religous setting. We’re seeing more and more that traditional ways of

describing the overall engagement with the present moment, and its implications for social engagement, are being put into language that may be more approachable to a contemporary Western audience.

Take for example the high level view of Insight Dialogue: there are a few basic steps to the practice. (1) pause, (2) relax, (3) open, (4) trust emergence, (5) listen deeply, and (6) speak the truth. Simple to say, filled with a fascinating

depth of ongoing examination of our interpersonal experiences. It’s how we use this not just in our own minds, but in our outward interactions, that really impacts our lives and the lives of others.

Gregory Kramer has taught Vipassana and Metta practice since 1980. He has studied with esteemed teachers, including Anagarika Dhammadina, Ven. Ananda Maitreya, Achan Sobin Namto, and Ven. Punnaji Maha Thero. Gregory

is the author of Insight Dialogue: the Interpersonal Path to Freedom; Seeding the Heart: Practicing Lovingkindness with Children; and Meditating Together, Speaking from Silence: the Practice of Insight Dialogue. He is also the

founder and director of the non-profit Metta Foundation. Gregory travels extensively sharing Insight Dialogue and Dharma Contemplation, he holds a Ph.D. in Learning and Change in Human Systems, and is a visiting teacher at the

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. I would also like to thank Lenore Lambert of the Secular Buddhism Australia website for her introductions, which made today’s episode possible.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Earl Green tea.

 

:: Discuss this episode ::

 

Quotes

“I’ve never been troubled by having integrity to my culture.” — Gregory Kramer

Books

Web Links

Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

 

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Eleven Waterfalls” from his CD, The Shakuhachi.

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Category: Book Reviews, The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA's official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. His background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted works at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society doing community development and teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

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  1. Mark Knickelbine says:

    Great episode, Ted! I’m anxious to read Gregory’s book and check out the Metta.Org website.

    I liked how Gregory framed the discussion with the concept of “secular reverence” — what inspires us in a secular practice, what brings us to awe and reverence, and where do we get the “juice” to motivate our continued practice? For me, this is coming increasingly from sharing that empty, open space of mindful relatedness with others. Gregory does a good job of taking the classical Buddhist meditation concepts and applying them to the practice of mindful dialog (although in a mindfulness context the same practice is taught without the Sanskrit terms). While it’s wonderful for two people to engage in mindful dialog together, it’s also something each of us can do anytime we’re in relationship with someone — pausing, relaxing, opening, listening, responding from the heart, and trusting in reality to reveal itself in its own good time. I hope there’s an Insight Dialogue retreat in my neighborhood sometime soon!

  2. Mark Knickelbine says:

    . . . ask and ye shall receive! Next week I start a four-week Insight Dialogue class based on Gregory Kramer’s work. I’m very excited about it and hope I’ll be able to do some blogging about it here.

  3. Ted Meissner Ted Meissner says:

    That would be awesome, Mark. We just went through that part in the MBSR program, it would be valuable to have your posts on it.

  4. Ron Stillman Ron Stillman says:

    Mark, I’m somewhat familiar with Insight Dialogue. You may find that it would be something we could do in a Practice Circle. You’ll know soon enough. I look forward to your blogging about it.

  5. Mark Knickelbine says:

    Ron, I’ve had a taste of practices like this in my mindfulness group, and I’ve read Kramer, so I have a little familiarity. One of the reasons we picked Adobe Connect was its capability of breaking the big group into smaller groups for exercises like this. When we have the technical kinks worked out (which seems like it will require me to get a beefier laptop) we will definitely be doing mindful sharing exercises at Practice Circle.

  6. Ron Stillman Ron Stillman says:

    Sounds great! See you Sunday evening.

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