Ω Group 2 Zoom Dialogue #1 and expert's forum

The call was on 9/19/18, with participants: Heather, Daniel T, Penelope, Marco, Geoff, Tom

Recording of Group 2 call 1 Zoom meeting (2 hr 15 min)

Audio only version


I just want to share that I found @Penelope’s thoughts about yawning, toward the end of the call, to say a lot about how we can show up naturally in these kinds of deep dialogues.

It was great that she brought it up, because only a few minutes before I had noticed her yawning, even at the same time that I was stifling (or ‘transumting’) my own yawn, so as not to appear impolite on camera. I did wonder if she was feeling tired or bored, which would have been fine if she was, of course, just another bit of feedback on the moment.

But I found her reframing as yawning as a way of exchanging energy to be something I could work with—and maybe part of a bigger question about how energy circulates during these virtual exchanges.

Anyway, just to get the ball rolling…I really appreciated that point, and the meeting overall.


I will come back with more articulate thoughts on our call after Tuesday this week. In the meantime, I wanted to share this poem that came up for me when Tom gave us the instruction to speak from dream language at the bottom of the U. Really, just the first few lines were intoned in my head, but I thought the whole poem might be worth sharing:

by Jeremy Reed

The ancients said that poetry is a dream letter to God.
My work lacked that directive.
But, I knew it that day you spoke through me
up there in a flock of summit clouds and goats,
bursting out of a ditch to [crop] blackthorn and wiregrass
and the opposing faces of sun and moon
fused in one mirror.
The car had broken down.
And, an arrow of blood on a boulder
Pointed the way to Aleppo.

David Whyte in When the Heart Break: A Journey Through Requited and Unrequited Love


You know what would be interesting? To have a call where we talk for the first half, then spend the second half yawning. A little like laughter yoga, where someone starts it off, but then it catches, and with a little bit of intention, it just keeps going organically.

I think there’s also an element of fill-and-release with yawning. When energy exceeds the capacity of the container (i.e., the person), yawning simultaneously expands the container so it can hold more and releases some of the energy in that process. But I’m just speculating.

And what’s really hilarious is that as I typed this, I just yawned!


I left the conversation with an appreciation of the experience of the dropping away of ‘digital dualism’ while also appreciating how limited these digital spaces are with regards to embodiment and fidelity.

My sense is that we can plumb the depths of what these mediums can afford if we are willing to do both – to cut through the dualism of the digital space being somehow other or less than the ‘real world’ while also holding a clarity of critique and awareness of the limitations of the medium. Oscillating between these two perspectives pushes the exploration further for me, I think.


This is the first time I’ve heard the term “digital dualism,” but I like it (the term, not digital dualism). And yes, I totally agree.

The conversation about yawning takes me back to when I studied RC co-counseling. They had an elaborate theory of emotional “discharge” that included, of course, crying and yelling and pounding, but also yawning (and shaking) as signs that the body was releasing stuck stuff. So under that theory healing is contagious! – at least for the yawning.

Shit I just yawned too!

What I am liking in this moment is how easy it is to bring you all to mind as I type. So interesting what can get built in just a couple hours. Not that it does not fade if not tended, but its got a decent half-life.


Did the U work?

I’m interested in hearing y’alls thoughts on the structure, i.e. the movement from regular discussion about ideas, to focusing on “we” (group, process, and relationships), to silent personal reflection (“now”) with the invitation to let it all go and see what arises from the dream world of the unconscious, or just the immediacy of moment-to-moment presence. And then back out into sharing (that is a short version of a 6 part structure I have). ----- Did it detract from the flow of things? Did it create anything that seemed new, fresh, deep, or surprising for you? What about the experience might seem applicable in general outside of that specific process structure?

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Hi everyone. Just finished listening (more than watching – I like to paint while I listen to these things)… @Tom_Murray, I wanted to note that your insight about speaking other people’s dreams was so delightful. I want to point out that this is what I mean by awakened perception as insight-- that we are actually in physical relationships and postures aned gestures that are perceptual signs that generate insight. Signs, not signifiers. It’s not semiotics. It’s never semiotics. It’s participation!


Hi Tom, thanks for the question. Honestly, I wasn’t so aware of the arc of the process while it was happening. I knew that you had a multi-part U process in mind, but I didn’t know ahead of time the parts of that process. I think the thread that kept the conversation alive for me was an interest in the other participants. In particular, I had never spoken with Penelope, Geoff, or Daniel before so I was extra curious about what they had to say and what might they light up in me. Whereas, with Heather there (whom I’ve spoken with a number of times before) there was a little more instant comfort and security. So that was my experience: the mix of individuals was important.

Insofar as your process let us share and receive different aspects of ourselves, from ideas to we-space to dream-space arisings, then I think it worked. It was a good mix of people, and you held the space in a loose but structured enough way to let us have some meaningful interactions. I definitely would want to talk with this group again—although I think in the future, it would be good to deepen or focus the content of the discussion, give us more to chew on. This was mentioned in the Group 1 session as well. If we could do that, I think the dreamier and we-ier parts of the U would be amplified in some way too.


I was relieved when we moved at the end to silence and more spontaneous speaking. It did strike me as we began to open into more novel space and I think the thread picked up from the comments on yawning seems to be some evidence of it. But I can’t speak to if it ‘worked’ or not or if this movement was not wholly dependent on everything that came before it. I would say ‘interrupting the flow’ is not necessarily negative. Sometimes it is just what’s needed. It felt like it interrupted the flow of dialog and allowed us to soften a bit our particularized vantage points.


Hi, Tom,

Interesting U-Process that you led. It felt very familiar to me. I was part of a coaching training (Unique Self Coaching Collective, led by Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard, both Master Coaches and Trainers in the Integral Coaching Canada world), and we used a U meditation as part of our prototyping and imago process with clients. In that practice there was a bit more process to dropping down the U–suspend thinking mind, suspend emotions, suspend the will (when I lead this meditation, I usually mention to those who aren’t familiar with meditation that these things will be there when the meditation is complete and they can return to them–the point is to drop “beneath/beyond” them for a little while at the bottom of the U.

In this process, we would let an imago (a symbol for facilitating the client’s mission statement/goal) come to us for the process our clients were working with at the bottom of the U. Then, the prototypes (practiced sequenced for the client in the coaching process) were methods for helping concretize their mission statement/goal on the way up the U. We also would sometimes plant seeds at the bottom of the U and water them or attend to them in our imaginations–another interesting variation.

I really enjoyed the creative flow of our call–especially in the second half–maybe for some of the reasons or in some of the ways @geofffitch decribes above) . I don’t think I realized we were mapping the U until the intentional dropping into the bottom of the U. After that, there was a quality of openness and a little more familiarity and even silliness seemed to ensue–of course, the silliness might have been from crossing a threshold of amount of time spent together. But, I think the U process (and the show and tell) did facilitate a refreshing shift. Fresh is a good word for it–maybe a better word than deep. I feel like we were still finding our grooves and hadn’t yet gone “deeper” per se. (I notice a persistent craving for “depth” in relationship to that call and am curious about how that could be facilitated.) The show and tell was “surprising.” And, the shift felt palpable to me after the U and show and tell (forgetting the order of those right now), so it did interrupt or shift the flow as it felt to me, but maybe not in a disintegrating way.

I like the idea of expanding the dimensions (new possibilities of connecting given constraints of space and time–maybe Gebser’s “amensionality”?) of an online meeting–such as the show and tell allowed. What other ideas like that could we start to implement as facilitators?

Please pardon typos or nonsense sentences–post-teaching brain today has left me a bit foggy.

Thanks Heather. Yes, many people have adopted variations on the U from Otto Scharmer’s work (downloading, seeing, sensing, presencing; open mind, open heart, open will). Its most often used for longer spans of project work or group development, and not as often for dialogue, so its cool to hear of your related experience.

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