Self-Connection Guided Meditation Exercise

By  NVC  trainer, Jim Manske (Radical Compassion)   .mp3
First connect with your intention. Why do you want to do this exercise. Everything about NVC, all the skills, all the components, all the little pieces of the puzzle, are all designed to gently nudge us towards the present moment. So I invite you to bring your attention to presence, this moment, right here, and right now.

And to help you do that, we will go through the four components of nonviolent communication, as an experiment to see if it helps you become more present with yourself. Beginning with this idea of observation. So just notice what you see. Even if your eyes are closed, there's something in your visual field. So notice what you see, right now.

And then notice what you hear, the symphony of sounds around you. Ever changing. Those are the two primary senses we humans use.

But we have three others. And you might just tune in for a moment to touch. Noticing how your sense of touch is giving you information about your world. Maybe you feel the weight of your body sitting on your chair. The gentle movement of air across your skin. Or even the subtle sensation of air moving in and out, in and out, through your nose and mouth. This is just about noticing, not about trying to change or control anything.

And then consider the sense of smell. Notice what aromas are available. What smells are in the room. what odors you're aware of.

And finally, the sense of taste. If you are like me, there is still a remnant of dinner in your mouth that you can still taste. And sort of notice that. And the first key distinction about nonviolent communication is to notice the difference between what you are observing, what actually is happening, and anything you are adding to it in terms of play by play commentary. So without trying to change or alter that, just notice and see if you can tell the difference between what you see, smell, taste, touch, hear and anything you add to it, in terms of thinking about, evaluating, judging. Just noticing that you might be doing that. I will be quiet for a few moments while you play with that.

So this is the stimulus of our experience. And in response to these stimuli, we have feelings arising in us. Feeling here may be composed of a few things. Physical sensations, the first just notice what physical sensation is alive in our body right now. It can be a physical sensation anywhere in your body, but especially in your gut. In the core of your body, your chest, your tummy, maybe your legs, the big muscles in your legs

And then consider emotion, what emotion is alive right now. Emotions are words like sad, glad, content, happy, bored, irritated or annoyed. Just notice what emotions are alive right now. Feelings in NVC are vital, literally vital. They help us stay alive. They are giving us key information, about the state of our needs, at any given moment. Without the feeling of hunger, we would starve. Without the feeling of loneliness, we would die of ... loneliness, a lack of connection with other human beings. Without sadness, we could not heal from our hurts. Without anger, we wouldn't know that our rights had been impeached upon by someone else. So they are giving us valuble information. Like friends. So consider right now what are your feelings telling you about the state of your needs. In general you know that if you are feeling pleasant feelings, you needs are being met in the moment. If your are feeling unpleasant feelings, your needs are not met.

So once you know whether generally feeling pleasure or pain in the moment, you can consider what need of mine is either met or unmet. Some of the universal needs we all share are survival: needs like air, food, water, shelter. We all have connection needs: to interact with one another, touch, to speak and listen, and love. We all have spiritual needs: growht, learning, transformation, transcendence. We all need to be safe. We all need communion. So consider what needs are alive in you right now. And we finish the first part of the NVC puzzle. We've answered the first question of that NVC is designed to answer. Just what is alive in you right now which open up the space to consider the second question of NVC: Which is what would make your life more wonderful right now. So when you consider the need that is alive in you right now, what could you ask of yourself, or another human being, that could lead you to fulfilling any unmet need.

Now we are almost done with this self-connection exercise. So as you continue to come back to presence in this room, and opening your eyes at your own pace, whenever you are ready, you will notice that I've put some cards out on the floor. And what I invite you to do when you are ready, just kind of wander up there, scan the cards, and pick one, one that calls to you. And on the cards are words that describe certain of our human needs. So just get up when you are ready. Pick any card. There are some blanks. If you don't see a card that calls to you, you can just make up your own card. Or you can just grab a card and scratch out whatever is there or write on the back.

OK. So now we will do a radical compassion check in. And what I like about this process is that this is really good practice with NVC right away. Which is we can practice the first part of NVC, the self-connection thing. We also will be able to practice honesty and empathy. And I guess you guys need a talking stick. And I've renamed the talking stick, for temporary purposes as Oscar, I name all my giraffes as Oscar, in honor of Oscar Arias, the current president of Costa Rica. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987, for bringing peace to Central America, and he's president of a country, the only country on the planet that I know of that does not have an army, except for a peace army. There's an NVC project down there.

So when Oscar arrives in your lap, you will have an opportunity if you like, to just say what need uh, I'd like to hear your name, what need card you picked up and why. About 40 words or less. So it might sound something like this: My name is Jim, and if I had picked up a card, it would say contribution, because that's why I came to Hawaii, was to contribute to this community, and that's what's alive in me.

Last updated 24 August 2006