Insight Dialogue and Insight Dialogic Inquiry

Dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies (1997)
Insight Dialogue is a meditation practice developed by the authors which merges Buddhist Insight meditation, Vipassana, and the dialogue practice propounded by David Bohm. In this dissertation Insight Dialogue is presented as an unlikely encounter between some usually distinct activities. The typically silent Eastern meditation is cojoined with a Western word-based practice; the usually individual meditation is brought into relation with others; and this meditation is brought fully into a networked environment. This meeting of cultures is reflected in its philosophical basis: Postmodern Western thought and Eastern philosophy participate in a common understanding that it is our own minds that we confront as we construct knowledge. The connecting threads between Buddhist and Bohmian thought are explored and it is shown how the complimentary features and common paradoxes contribute to Insight Dialogue. Insight Dialogue practice guidelines are presented, along with explanations and a detailed description of the mechanics of synchronous and asynchronous online Insight Dialogue and a brief view of face-to-face practice. Insight Dialogue bridges the gap between thought and bare attention. This characteristic made it possible for us to develop a meditative, collaborative research methodology for use in this study. This methodology, Insight Dialogic Inquiry, is described and situated under a proposed research paradigm called deconception. Adapted from and positioned within the transpersonal worldview, deconception posits no knower or known, as there is no stable self recognized, only ever-changing process. Based on this paradigm, the question "What emerges in Insight Dialogue as elucidated by Insight Dialogic Inquiry?" was addressed. A seven month Insight Dialogic Inquiry was conducted involving a group comprised of four experienced online Insight Dialogue practitioners, including the two authors of this fully collaborative dissertation. An account of this study is presented as a richly annotated "narrative portrait." The participants all report changes in their lives, meditation practice, and indeed their conception of meditation. The researchers note the transformative nature of the research itself. The discussion of the ramifications of the meditation practice, spiritual research methodology, and deconception research paradigm point towards a meeting of the active Western intellect and contemplative Eastern practices
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