Communication exercises are not generally thought of as a meditation practice. This one is. Meditation is a sustained and one pointed focus on what you put your attention on. In this exercise your attention is either on your partner when you are listening to them or on yourself, when you are self reflecting. This is an active meditation and one that engages you to enter into life and living. It has profound beneficial effects on your well being.
The Communication Meditation exercise, also known as a ‘relating dyad,’ is normally done with a partner and is not meant to be a solo self-reflective activity. The other person can be a total stranger, your best friend or your spouse. The two people sit opposite each other. One person gives the other a specific instruction such as, “Tell me how you want to be loved” or Tell me a problem you’re having in life” Or “Tell me who you are.” After giving the instruction the person listens without interrupting for a prearranged amount of time, usually 5 minutes. At the end of five minutes the listener acknowledges the speaker by saying “Thank you” and the roles reverse. This goes on back and forth for usually forty minutes. It is a very simple but extremely effective exercise that relieves the burdens of emotional and mental stress accumulating from ineffective and poor relating habits. People really like the dyad process even though some find it personally confronting because they feel listened to and understood. They feel safe and supported by the formal dyad structure and guidelines in which one can speak honestly without being interrupted or challenged. People experience expanded states of consciousness with respect to the topic they are contemplating upon and they develop functional communication habits and listening skills at the same time.
The dyad process is a modern Western communication exercise that embraces the Eastern principles of complementariness, the yin and yang union of opposites. It combines the principles of Eastern self reflection and the Western psychological approaches of honest communication and effective listening skills. It is both a meditation that dives deep into silence and solitude and an expressive communication exercise that supports you to reach out to another in order to bring about understanding between yourself and another.