Saturday, April 7, 2018

Welcome to the Way of Vibrantly!

Introduction to The Way of Vibrantly…

Donna Farhi, a well-known yoga instructor suggests “spiritual fitness can be tested only in relationship to others” in her book Bringing Yoga to Life. This is because it is much much easier to deal with yourself (which is still very difficult) in a structured setting such as an ashram, monastery or even a cave. How many of those seekers who are finders have come down from the cave only to become completely overwhelmed by our society and lose themselves again?
道 Vibrantly, or The Way of Vibrantly is striving to provide explicit support for people seeking to live as their best selves in the challenging context of everyday social life. It is about bringing Life in Harmony, of Life into the Tao…or at least it is the striving to!
We do this by supporting, experiencing, creating and sharing social tools to help us, and all beings get along better and vibrantly thrive in the world.  To that end, we research existing social tools, develop our own and build on what has been done in cultures around the world supporting authentic and vibrant connection (often by exploring mindfulness practices, indigenous knowledge, and psychological advances).  We also work to bring together the community of practitioners locally in the Pacific Northwest via our gatherings and community building efforts. We hope to one day support a HUB of resources and connection for the world, we are for now though, starting in our own backyard focusing on the greater Seattle area. We offer workshops for small businesses as well as intentional communities and local collaborative groups. We present at festivals and other mindfulness related events as well. Lastly, at 道 Vibrantly we offer weekly classes in Yoga, Isonomi, Body Flow and Dialogue and also a Satsang style class focused on the philosophy the practice.
This is some of what we mean when we talk about The Way of Vibrantly. This is us, this is our way.
A big part of The Way of Vibrantly is understanding Isonomi, Compassionate Dialogue, The Way (道 ) and the “We-Space!”

Isonomi is the daily practice and philosophy of living life from the center of the wheel. As a physical practice it relates to physically moving your body in balance with your bodies core center point. As a philosophy it is an embodied experience of living in balance within yourself, with each other and with our world.
Compassionate Dialogue is a mindfulness approach to communication. It has some similarities to Compassionate Non-Violent Communication, however, it is much more…it is a way of being in the world. It is a practice of Isonomi, or living from the center of the wheel. Compassionate Dialogue is a practice exploring authentic relating and vibrant living; living in relationship with ourselves, each other and all beings (including the planet!).  Isonomi is the non-verbal branch of the practice, while Compassionate Dialogue tends to be primarily expressed verbally (though not always!). Ultimately, the two make up halves of the same whole, and the more practice that takes place, the more the divisions between the two cease to exist.
Compassionate Dialogue is practiced in three ways: small group circle sharing, in one on one conversations and as a cultural way of interacting.  Isonomi brings in the specific metaphor of moving from the center of the wheel, while Compassionate Dialogue provides specific language and psychological constructs which help us bring our practice from the mat, ashrams, and meditation caves to the more verbal world.

Compassionate Dialogue Philosophy and Practice

Just like enlightenment, it may be easiest to understand Compassionate Dialogue in terms of what it is not 😊 (Nisargadatta throwback there – see I am that).  This is especially true when juxtaposed with other existing technologies (eg NVC), heart circles (eg Radical Faerie Gatherings), and forums (eg Zegg). Compassionate Dialogue is not simply a gathering, salon or forum to discuss ideas.
Compassionate Dialogue is a holistic framework for living and relating from our most nourishing, replenishing, and inspiring parts as they expand and connect in our whole brain, where there is trust in discernment of safety. It is both a philosophy for a way of being in the world, as well as a lived practice with specific techniques associated with it.
As a framework, Compassionate Dialogue provides a lived experience of discernment around what it feels like to be in a safe space, where the people you are with actively support you in bringing out the part of you that knows what’s best for you. We choose to believe in each other, in whatever we do or don’t do. Compassionate Dialogue is an active approach for moving beyond Domination/Separation culture to a culture of compassion.
As a philosophy it relates to clearing the disconnect from healthy ego, soul, and spirit, to feel in our body a oneness with all relationship, and a joyous separateness in discovering and offering our unique gift to give the world. Similar to some of the philosophies of yoga, Compassionate Dialogue focuses on living in harmony with the self, each other, all life and all beings (human and non-human!).
The physical practice itself and specific techniques are focused on cultivating body awareness (breath, posture, heart rate etc.), emotional awareness (sensations of resonance/dissonance, specific emotions), and mental awareness (thinking mind, wise mind, monkey mind) while engaging in interactions and conversations with the self, others and in small groups. Once a sufficient level of awareness is present, we slowly bring in the philosophy of Compassionate Dialogue as a practice in consciously cultivating healthy ego (healthy self-love, empathy, management and transformation of wounded/shadow self etc.) one step at a time toward whole-being-ness.
At 道Vibrantly, we teach the physical practice (and ultimately also the philosophy) through our weekly classes called “道Vibrantly Body Flow and Dialogue.” We also teach Compassionate Dialogue by hosting specific workshops focused on introducing the framework and specific techniques.
For more information about the philosophy of Compassionate Dialogue see our Compassionate Dialogue and Isonomi Handouts in the Resources and Learning Materials Menu: https://www.thewayofvibrantly.org/compassionate-dialogue-handouts-key-concepts/

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