Open Space and Dialogue

Richard Charles Holloway learnshops at
Thu Dec 23 10:27:47 PST 1999

Like many other things which I try to do well, I'm no expert in the art of
dialog, either.  I do try to practice it and bring aspects of it into my
conversations (and open space participation) as well.  Dialog is a
"specific" practice and is not inherent to the practice of open space...but
the characteristics of dialog may (and I think, for myself, should) be
brought into OS and other reflective ways of sharing a conversation with

Here's something I "clipped" and kept some years ago...I apologize that I
don't remember where I got it, though I may have modified it some.  I have
used these words to invoke an open space.  More importantly, it helps me
stay focused in the conversational style I want to practice...and it
reflects my understanding of the spirit of dialog:

The Way of Learning

We each bring our own truth;
We each share the passion of our personal vision without attachment,
releasing it to the larger truth of the circle;
We speak from the deep place inside ourselves, without concern that we will
be interrupted, criticized or judged;
We don't seek to argue or persuade;
We seek stillness and quiet, attempting to connect to the greater wisdom;
We allow the truth to be spoken-and recognize its' authenticity when we hear
We seek to listen without reacting, without intent to respond;
We listen without influence from memories, or long-held images;
We look deeply into the sense of what is said;
We choose to speak honestly and truthfully or we choose not to speak;
We choose to be brief in respect to others;
We honor silence when words are less wise;
We listen actively, with our full attention to the speech, silence, and
presence of the group.



"The salvation of the world lies in the human heart."  -Vaclav Havel

Richard Charles Holloway -
P.O. Box 2361, Olympia, WA 98507 USA Telephone 253.539.4014 or 206.568.7730
Thresholds <>
Meeting Masters <>

>From  Thu Dec 23 21:20:55 1999
Message-Id: <THU.23.DEC.1999.212055.0100.>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 21:20:55 +0100
Reply-To: florianfischer at
From: Florian Fischer <florianfischer at>
Subject: Re: Open Space and Dialogue
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1; x-mac-type="54455854";
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hi, ralph, you are opening a further space,
you are touching something which doesn´t end
at the end of the earth.
you are touching the answer about that question,
how it happens that including our human beeing
all around us does not crash down in every moment.
that ist that endless space,
which is beginning end ending at the same moment
withinst ourselves.
take care.

ralphsc schrieb:

> Hi,
> Just been struck by a notion...
> I wonder, when we humans talk about being appreciative in our inquiries,
> having true dialogue, and opening space for spirit, do we include only
> human beings, or do these apply to other species as well?
> And if we answer "yes," then, beyond our intentions, what's our actual
> track record?
> Do we inhabit the earth alone?  Of course not?  Do we wish our
> communications technologies and philosophies to reflect the whole story,
> or just ours?
> Ralph Copleman

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