Deep Conversations

“Some time ago there was an anthropologist who lived a long while with a North American tribe. It was a small group of (forty people). Now, from time to time that tribe met in a circle. They just talked and talked and talked, apparently to no purpose. They made no decisions. There was no leader. And everybody could participate. There may have been wise men or wise women who were listened to a bit more – the older ones – but everybody could talk. The meeting went on and on, until it finally seemed to stop for no reason at all and the group dispersed. Yet after that, everybody seemed to know what to do, because they understood one another so well. Then they could get together in smaller groups and do something or decide things.”
~Physicist David Bohm describing the dialog process.


sptlt091Groups have always fascinated me. I am always amazed at the energy generated by people joining together, especially when they join together in conversation.  There is something powerful that happens when we are truly heard, when we truly listen, when we realize that we are not alone.

Scientist now tell us that the brain can actually grow during conversation with others, that being part of a group or community can bring us greater
health and happiness.

What’s missing in most conversations is what’s deep, what’s important to us. We seldom talk about our core values, our deep connection to each other, or to our world, though we may hunger for it.  Imagine a place to simply be with the question and not worry about the answers, to inquire, to ask, to follow our curiosity. In such a place we know we don’t know, we enter a process of discovery, discovering our own voice as well as the voice of each other. Deep conversation changes us, it gives us new perspectives, and changes the way we see the world. We take what we learn from ourselves and each other back into our daily life and we are richer for it.

There are lots of ways to start such conversations yourself. Below are some ideas on having meaningful conversations as well as possible questions. I’m sure you’ll think of more.

Here are a couple ideas to start your own conversations:
~ Suggest a meeting with a couple friends (or just one!) over coffee to have a discussion on topics that matter.
~ Start or join a life makeover group at
~ Put a number of questions in a bowl and pick one at dinner time for the family to discuss.
~ Have a special time and place for you and your partner to discuss life questions. Make it a special date.
~ Begin to ask meaningful questions when you’re with people you care about.

A couple of questions to get you started:
What is happiness?
How would life be different if we lived by our values?
What is the relationship I want with my world?
What is the power of gratitude in life?
What is the power of forgiveness?
What one thing would you want for the world if it was up to you?

Having deep conversations enriches life for all of us. It takes courage sometimes to be the one who starts them, but the rewards make it worth it.

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