In several groups I am presently attending there is a scheduled moment of silence. It is usually preceded by a bit of praise of a quiet mind, and a generalized quest for a better relationship with the world in general and ourselves in particular. This is a wonderful experience, and it takes a planned quiet moment and makes it more real, and more quiet.
I think it would be beneficial to expand these special organized moments into a practice of experiencing more than emotional quiet; we could choose to explore and expand every one of the potential types of human experience. It’s not in silence alone that we can live deeply, but potentially in every moment and in every state of mind, in every emotion, in every action. By using this technique we can practice approaching each of these multitudes of potential states of mind-action with a little forethought about how we might experience them more effectively.
This self-programing is most easily done in a group, with some appropriate preparation and then a challenge to the group by a director, and then each of us would simultaneously do their personal expression. It would sound like chaos, and it would be chaos, but in the midst of that chaos each person would have their private space where they could explore their own soul. It is similar to the usual quiet meditative minute where everyone sits quietly, but it would be exploring different qualities, more than just silence, and externally expressing these qualities, where the person alone could see them. This would go on for about a minute, or perhaps two, and after that there would be a sentence or two by the director, of seeking a better relationship and a complete relationship with ourselves and then a minute or two of group silence, and silent personal meditation thinking about what just happened to them. We would do the same confrontation again, but each person would have the personal experience of the few minutes before, and their thoughts of how effective that was, and then on the second try, do a better presentation of self. After these two cycles we would calm down by singing a song relevant to the challenges, and a quiet song.
The intended effect is to think for a moment about how we might better cope with specific situations, and then practice a newly thought-out personal response. After this event we could have individual input as to what each one personally experienced and what they learned, and how they will respond the next time this type of challenge arises. We can all learn from –
A moment of forethought, a moment of action, and a moment of meditation.