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Exercise 2: ...With Provocation

This time, be with your partner, but one of you now adopts the role of Coach - that is, the one who helps the other student to learn and practice the exercise. The Coach starts to say things and make expressions that the student may find hard to accept without reacting, perhaps with laughter or with mild upset. When this kind of reaction occurs, the Coach says: 'Reaction!' and repeats what he or she did before, until the students can comfortably accept it without reaction.

The student should accept (not resist) the feelings which the Coach’s provocation stirs up and let them flow through their mind and body, and maintain a ‘witness’ state of consciousness that observes the internal reactions (thoughts and emotions) without actually reacting outwardly.

Many times in everyday life, we may be put off from what we intend to communicate by our internal mental reactions and uncomfortable feelings, in response to the other person's way of being. And if we are wanting to help or counsel another person, if they say something unexpected or strange and then we react inappropriately, then trust and empathy in the relationship is broken down and may be hard to restore. Again, in a situation with your lover, child, friend or associate who is confessing something personal, to react inappropriately might cause a great deal of upset.

So there's a lot to be gained from this exercise. Practice till you feel comfortable with the Coach, whatever he or she says or does, then swap roles. When you've made good progress, continue with another partner.

Then next aspect of communication we need to be aware of is INTENTION. With sufficient intention, your words are able to reach the recipient, with whom you want to enter into communication. Without enough intention they may not reach across the distance between Source and Receiver.

Source arrow Receiver
        intention

It is a prerequisite to first obtain the attention of the Receiver. For example, you want to speak to Terry, who is not at present in communication with you. So you say, 'Terry,' to get his attention, followed by 'How are you doing?' or whatever message you want to communicate. Of course, if either 'Terry,' or 'How are you doing?' are not spoken clearly nor loudly enough to reach Terry, and perhaps to impinge through his thoughts and daydreams, the communication will not reach its target and may be ignored or misinterpreted.

Communication may also be defined by the following cycle:

Cause arrow Effect
        distance

You intend to make an effect on the other person by what you say, at the very least for the Receiver to fully comprehend and see the point of your message: to duplicate it. You would also hope for a response, an answer or an exchange of views.

If you don't receive a response to your question, you need to repeat the question, making sure you use sufficient intention. You also may need to rephrase the question, in case the receiver had not understood what you were asking - if in doubt first ask, 'Did you understand my question?'

When you do receive an answer to your question, or when the other person does finally do what you request, be sure always to ACKNOWLEDGE this clearly. An 'OK,' 'right,' 'thank you,' or even just a nod of the head - whatever is adequate to make clear to the person that he has been heard and understood. This completes the cycle of communication. It is most important, as lack of an adequate acknowledgement can cause mystery and confusion and is a frequent cause of minor upset and frustration - such emotional charge builds up in time even though it is hidden or suppressed. This 'bypassed charge' then emerges in later reactive and exaggerated outbursts.

If you have a problem, the thing to do is to communicate: find out the information you need to get the full picture, so that the solution becomes apparent. If someone doesn't understand or agree with you, clarify your own communication and ask clarifying and extending questions, until both of you begin to see each other's viewpoint.

If you're upset, you need to communicate and say how you feel, what you find frustrating. If your rights are being trampled on, say so! If you've done something wrong, again you need to communicate this.

Spot where you're backing off from what you need to do or say, and then as the saying goes, "feel the fear and do it anyway". You'll be glad you did!


Return to Contents

Continue to the next page, Exercise 3

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