I came across this recently:
‘When you are taking a shower, check and see if you are in the shower. You may already be in a meeting at work. Maybe the whole meeting is in the shower with you.’ Jon Kabat-Zinn
It made me smile – it is an elegant way to bring to our attention, to our lack of attention. Not only is this a personal challenge for me, but it strikes me that as we resume work this year, many of us need to keep our meetings out of the shower and maintain simple presence and attention as much as we can.
Supervision at its best, creates a container for conversation which allows both parties to ‘land’, to attend, to be spacious. It cultivates deep presence. In this way, thinking is clear, ideas and solutions emerge more easily and the relational space is uncluttered by haste or the turbulence of too much internal chatter. Martin Buber wrote about making such relationships, firstly with ourselves and then with each other.
Here is how Aubrey Hodes experienced his meetings with Buber and how their conversations began:
“He would meet me at the door and lead me into his study. Neither of us spent much time on the usual social preliminaries. Our minds were already on the coming talk. After sitting down there was always a silence – not a tense silence, uneasy as between two people who were not sure of each other, but a silence of expectation. This was not consciously agreed between us. It was a flow of peace and trust forming a prelude to speech. The silence was the silence of communication.
Hodes, A. (1972) Encounter with Martin Buber, London: Allen Lane/Penguin. 245 pages. (Also published as Martin Buber: An Intimate Portrait, Viking Press, New York, I971).
So we can start the day, by practising being present in the shower!
Edna Murdoch January, 2014