The Ethics of Dialogue: Conversation as a Spiritual Practice

What happens when we bring some of the same principles of a meditation or mindfulness practice into our conversations with each other? That is to say, what becomes possible when we become fully present and engaged in the experience of listening, speaking, and relating to others as a dialogical practice?

What forms of communion—and even shared purpose—emerge when, yes, we recognize, honor, and work with our differences, yet also go beyond our personal identities to experience presence and meaning through the art of conversation? How could a practice such as “generative dialogue” help people of the different faiths or worldviews reach new levels of intimacy—and how could we experience this sort of intimacy in other cultural contexts, including our social activism as well as our everyday lives?

Marco and Trevor discuss Trevor’s recent paper “The Ethics of Presence: New Paths in Interfaith Dialogue.”

Mentioned in this Episode


Olen Gunnlaugson
Bruce Sanguin
Otto Scharmer
Francisco Varela
Andrew Cohen
TJ Dawe
Rupert Sheldrake
Thomas Merton
Greg Thomas
Slavoj Zizek
Terry Eagleton
Jean Gebser
Alain Badiou
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
Bruce Alderman
Dustin DiPerna
Andrew Venezia
David Foster Wallace
Emmanuel Levinas
Jacques Lacan
Jiddu Krishnamurti
David Bohm


Next Step Integral
Vancouver School of Theology


On Dialogue – by David Bohm
Theory U – by C. Otto Scharmer
Presence – by Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers
The Ever-Present Origin – by Jean Gebser
The Foundations of Universalism – by Alain Badiou


Beams and Struts


generative dialogue, Bohmian Dialogue, pluralism, spiritual practice, Quaker Listening Practice, relationship to the other, spirituality of conversation, interfaith dialogue, communion, God, mindfulness, creativity, collective intelligence, shut the fuck up and write, field theory, morphic fields, beginner’s mind, emergence, the holy spirit, intersubjective meditation, agency and communion, jazz music, flaneur, developmental theory, Body of Christ, the multitude, irreducible singularities who come together in common, Integral Postmetaphysical Spirituality, planetary civilization, convergence


Audio Production
Charles Gammill

Intro Music: “What Does Anybody Know About Anything” – by Chris Zabriskie
Exit Music: “It’s Always Too Late to Start Over” – by Chris Zabriskie
License: Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0)
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