Experiment in contemplative co-tweeting

This blogpost builds on and extends the ideas introduced in the Chaordic Dialogue Practice.
Both there and here, I am passionately curious of what would become possible, what we could gain access to individually and together, if we decided to work with such communication tools as SMS, chatrooms, or chat in Skype, and consensually suspended the habit of giving, receiving, and expecting immediate a response. What if we could give ourselves more time to listen and respond from a more mindful space, respecting more silence pregnant with possibilities?
Picture 24.png Inspired by the early experiences with the Chaordic Dialogue Practice, here I add a Twitter dimension to renew and expand it. If you don?t have yet a Twitter account but want to participate, sign up here.
For detailed instructions, read on:

Key assumptions
1. Liberated from the pressure of immediate, cognitive engagement, we can contemplate what is the most alive for us regarding the shared question.
2. When we do that contemplation at different locations simultaneously, in a relaxed yet mindful space, the virtual co-presence of each other may even inspire us to go dive deep for the gifts of intuition, inspiration, and epiphanies.
What is contemplation?
“The act of the mind in considering with attention; continued attention of the mind to a particular subject.” ? http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/contemplation
It is also a practice of Personal Mastery, one of the 5 disciplines of learning organizations. When that practice matures, it is characterized by increasing connectedness, a merging of the subject and the object of the contemplation, where duality disappears.
Practitioners reach that level by cultivating an awareness of the present moment through paying attention to the felt sense evoked by a question or other object of their contemplation.
Suggested focusing question

What is needed for openness and dialogue through tweets to scale

and affect positive change in consciousness and society?

Process for contemplative co-tweeting
The experiment will be 1-hr long, comprised of the following four rounds of 15 minutes, starting on July 23, 11AM (New York time), 5 PM (Paris time).
1. Contemplate the question
Set your alarm for 15 minutes so that you can forget about time during the experiment.
Find a comfortable place away from your computer and distractions. Sit with spine erect, with eyes closed or half-closed. Relax your body, take a few deep breaths and follow them with your attention.
Ask the focusing question, without directly looking for answers. Remember, contemplation is not linear thinking. It?s more like placing the question in the ?back of our mind? and observing what comes up.
2. Tweet about what you discovered
When the first 15-minute round is over, use the next one for turning your observations into tweets. It?s like sharing with others the fine fishes caught in your stream of consciousness. Your tweets may present observations related to the focusing question and/or your experience of the process of contemplating it.
Maintain ½ of your attention on your breath, as you’re writing.
Make sure to end each tweet with a #co-tw1 tag so that we can easily find them all, in the next round.
3. Read the tweets of others
This round is for practicing contemplative in-take of tweets and discovering patterns, connecting dots.
Click on the #co-tw1 tag in any of the tweets to get the whole list of them tagged by it. Try to read them without judgment or evaluation and as you’re reading them, stay aware of your body and its sensations.
Note the tweets that strike a chord of resonance in you, the most strongly. Notice any relationship between them.
4. Synthesis tweet, blog follow up
The last round is for two things:
a. Write a tweet that is best expressing for you the pattern that connects the #co-tw1 tweets that you’ve just read. If you choose one of them that say it all, you can simply re-tweet it. In either case, make sure that your synthesis tweet is tagged with #co-tw2.
b. If you have time left, and want to say anything about what you learned from this experiment, or any aspect of your experience of it, which doesn?t fit in a tweet, please post it as a reply to this blog. The comments are moderated to protect the blog from spam, so yours won?t appear immediately but I approve legit comments rapidly.
Of course, you can also comment here on the experiment anytime, outside our shared 1-hr slot, too.
Hope to C U in the tweetstream…
Future possibility
If some of us will find this co-tweeting practice useful, and want to become better at it, we can continue a new round in September. Just let us know about your interest.
If we do have a next round, what focusing question would you recommend that matters to you a lot?
How would you improve the process?
When you are ready with your answers, click on the “Comment link” below.

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9 Responses to Experiment in contemplative co-tweeting

  1. Sounds good George…I might play there.


  2. amy lenzo says:

    What a fabulous experiment. Thanks, George.


  3. Ria Baeck says:

    Sorry George, I’m having a client at this timeframe… will read the tweets later!


  4. amy lenzo says:

    This was a fabulous experiment. One of the things I most enjoyed about it was seeing who else out there is thinking these crazy thoughts about the transformation of social media! 🙂 To see profound thoughts coming from others in real time through Twitter was a wonderful experiment, and the fact that all of us were consciously holding our attention on our breath made such a difference in the way it felt to participate. I do this often in my own work, but doing it with others – all at the same time – was something else altogether. Thanks so much for initiating this, George. I’m looking forward to next time and also wondering how to work with this and take it further on FaceBook too, since all my Tweets show up there too. Blessings all, A


  5. Duncan Work says:

    That was really interesting! Thanks George, and thanks Mushin, Christy, Amy, David, and Patrick.
    Even though Twitter *isn’t* the best for this experiment — or for that particular question — it did generate important feelings and insights, ideas and connections.
    During the experiment it felt like there were a lot more of us. If there were more people, then it would be harder for any one person to really see the whole. (As in real life.)


  6. Thank you, George, for inviting this entry into a collective sensing of a particular question. I liked the format a lot, the opportunity to drop into our own place in the collective pool, then to share our “fine fishes” before reading our collaborators’ catches, then to illuminate the patterns.
    I would like to jump into the pool again another time, and am wondering what it would be like to do a another round on the same or related question – would the time we have in-between now and then allow the question to ripen and deepen more, or not?
    love, Christy


  7. Dale Hunter says:

    George – I think this is the hour of the exercise and it is 8:15am here in NZ. I have a sense of connection with the exercise and in response to the question – we need to access latent capacities to connect and sense over time/space. These abilities have not been lost entirely…
    I would like to be involved in further exercises.


  8. Mushin says:

    This was an interesting experiment. Most of what I had to say is already up there at #co-tw1 and #co-tw2 (I’ve harvested as html file and posted here cw-pt1 http://x.vu/3538 and cw-pt2 http://x.vu/3539)
    I loved the field that was created and even though it wasn’t localized was quite clearly there; at least that’s how it felt. And the fact that we were engaged in contemplating a question together gave ample feedback to strengthen the field-feeling.
    For a next time – actually I feel we might even have a more regular happening like this – I would suggest a much more simple question, one that easily sticks in a non-english speaking mind even 🙂
    If many more people would participate then, of course, it wouldn’t really be possible for anyone to get a feel of the whole – but maybe that isn’t needed at all: let the whole know the whole and us regard it as a deep well…
    So my question would be along these lines, “How can we create a strong stream on twitter that turns our collective intelligence into a well of collective wisdom?”
    Thank you George for calling it into being and Duncan, Christy, Amy, David, and Patrick for participating.


  9. A Game to Save the Human Race – Collective Intelligence
    I’ve been working on this game for 2 years. I don’t have many visitors yet, but it works well enough to convey the concept. I hope you have a moment to try it out, and I’d love to get your thoughts.
    All the best,
    Warren Davidson


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