Note from Shinzen & Chris Trani: Two Optional Offerings During This Retreat

 

Over the last year we’ve been deeply exploring whether it is possible to systematically and rigorously train skills in careful thinking and careful communication as a part of mindfulness practice.  We have been referring to this as “Word Power”.

Since the initial ideas for this were first presented publicly at the March 2021 retreat hosted by CML, this retreat marks Word Power’s 1st birthday!  Experimentation with various exercises has been taking place regularly with groups during virtual retreats and through monthly Home Practice Program.  We have certainly learned a lot in this first year!  The response has been consistently positive thus we’ll again be offering optional sessions during this retreat. 

Some Important Details:

  • All sessions are 90 minutes and are scheduled simultaneous with the 90 minute sitting period before dinner.

  • You will NOT be required to sign up for these sessions at the time of retreat registration so you have ample time to think about it.

  • Please keep in mind that all sessions will involve thinking, talking and listening thus could interfere with the momentum of your retreat silence and could also be stimulating and/or triggering. 
     

Dates & Session Descriptions:

Mon & Tues, March 21-22:  Organize a Topic

Shinzen will invite you to experiment with some very new exercises related to the thinking process. A version of this was introduced for the first time at the recent year-end retreat.  If any of you attended those sessions, the exercises have been revised based our learning and direct feedback from participants.  If these exercises turn out to be effective, they will be integrated into Word Power.

 

Please note these two sessions will build on each other - NOT be the same content offered twice. If this does appeal to you, we request that you plan to attend both sessions as session 1 is a pre-requisite to session 2.

Wed & Thurs, March 23-24:  Develop a Story

Chris will invite you to experience a technique we’ve been working with over the past year that has received positive feedback from 100% of those who have tried it.  You’ll be guided to develop - in real-time - a very brief story or beginning of a story during the session. Some themes will be suggested.  You’ll then have an opportunity to tell your story to a partner in a Zoom breakout room along with some other suggested partner interaction.

Please note these two sessions will build on each other - NOT be the same content offered twice. If this does appeal to you, we request that you plan to attend both sessions as session 1 is a pre-requisite to session 2.

One more important note:

While the four consecutive days described above represent a logical progression, you are not required to participate on March 21-22 Organize a Topic in order to participate on March 23-24 Develop a Story.  

If you are intrigued but uncertain whether you might want to participate in this special offering, click on the link below to hear a 20 minute audio recording of a live Q&A session from July 2021 to get an idea for how Shinzen has been thinking about communication training.  This may help you better assess whether this content feels right for you at this time.

Shinzen’s current thinking on Communication Training