Learn how to apply dialogue and embodiment practices to making sense of culture, politics and relationships.
How to transform the way you make sense of what's going on in the world through powerful dialogue and embodiment practices
How to discuss polarising topics in a way that takes a conversation out of stuckness and into new territory
Unique techniques: Embodied Inquiry, Clay Manning, Curiosity Hacking and Psychedelic Sensemaking
How to apply what you're learning to your relationships, organisations and projects
The immersive flow of real dialogue, and how it reveals the deeper levels of our cultural zeitgeist
A collective inquiry into the most important issues of the day with people from around the world
Deeper insight into your own views and politics, and how they relate to your unique psychology and worldview
Beginning Sunday, 3 March with a half-day deep dive, followed by 4 weekly sessions divided by two self-practice weeks
Regular Price: £225 / $285
Substack Members: £180 / $230
Limited to 36 Students
Learn dialogue practices that transform conversations about the most important issues. Gain a set of skills to embed a radical new way of communicating into your life, relationships and projects.
Why This, Why Now?
It’s a strange time to be alive; we can go online and find every imaginable opinion or hot take under the sun, but when it comes to speaking to our friends, loved ones and colleagues about subjects like gender politics, immigration or technology, it can be hard to know where to start. In a pivotal time for humanity, the cultural conversation around topics that matter most is becoming more polarised, more numbed out, and more disheartening.
Often, these conversations get stuck because we can't move past arguing about facts. Facts matter, but to have authentic conversations, we have to learn how to speak with our whole being. To approach the act of speaking itself with a deep curiosity, flexibility and creativity. To be aware of what’s happening in us while we’re in dialogue, so that our connection takes us beyond our false certainties into new territory.
It begins with an attitude of 'I don't know'.
This training is designed to teach you unique practices that help you 'commune while you're communicating', as well as the space to experiment with them. Often, practices like this are taught in personal development workshops or spiritual settings as a way to deepen our knowledge of ourselves. And while they are that, stopping there means we miss vital ways of seeing for making sense and acting wisely in the times we live in. Eventually, we have to stop looking inward and focus our attention outward into the world; to engage whole-heartedly with the messy subjects we find in our social feeds and the nightly news.
As a facilitator, I've been experimenting with how to bridge this gap for years, and this training brings together what I've learned. The core practice you'll be learning is Embodied Inquiry; a type of talking meditation which formed the foundation of my counselling training, and has been fundamental to all of the retreats and workshops I've run. Over time, I've also developed new techniques like Curiosity Hacking, Clay Manning (with Trish Blain) and Psychedelic Sensemaking, all of which involve coming back to our senses to help us to expand our perspective into new territory.
I’ve applied these practices in workshops, retreats and courses for thousands of people around the world. It was foundational to the work we did at Rebel Wisdom, and more recently I've used them while facilitating The Protopia Lab, encouraging people from different sides of the political divide to have a new conversation. I've also used them to help 200 people debate around Covid in public, and regularly work with household name corporate clients to embed these ways of seeing and being into the workplace.
In this training, I’m going to teach all these techniques as an integrated practice: Embodied Sensemaking. This is a training, not a course. It’s designed to give you a solid foundation in these practices so that you can apply them to your own life, work and relationships. If you work with people or as a facilitator, you'll leave with a new set of tools you can draw on. If you’re more interested in learning how to approach polarising topics, these are techniques you can learn and apply in day to day conversations. Whatever your goals, it's a training that will teach you powerful tools of inquiry and how to apply them to a world that desperately needs new ideas and timeless wisdom.
Embodied Inquiry: A dialogue practice best described as a talking meditation. You speak about a topic, and as you speak you become curious about what you're noticing in your body, what images are arising, what implicit desires are under your words. Instead of trying to make a point, you are following the threads of your embodied cognition to find new insights and new ways to express yourself.
Clay Manning: This is a technique I developed with Trish Blain. It's an advancement of the rhetorical technique of Straw Manning, where you take your opponent's strongest argument, faithfully represent it and then respond to it. But straw is brittle, and so is any debate that stays at the level of 'knowing that'. Clay Manning is about knowing 'what it's like' to be the other person, as well as the reasons for their position on a topic. It means allowing their stance to impact you somatically and emotionally, while still keeping your own perspective. Clay moulds, but not indefinitely.
Curiosity Hacking: An exercise in which you intentionally apply radical curiosity to a subject or another perspective. It is also an epistemological stance of openness and humility, one we can cultivate with practice.
Psychedelic Sensemaking: Drawn from psychedelic science and the phenomenology of the psychedelic experience, this consists of four techniques: Flipping, Blending, Grounding and Twisting. Each is a way to jolt your perspective out of stuckness and into a new possibility.
Use the gallery below to see what's happening each session, or scroll down for a snapshot.
Session One: Politics
Session Two: Culture
Session Three: Tech
Session Four: Metacrisis
Deep Dive: Learning the Basics (March 3rd, 3:30pm - 8:30pm UK Time)
Session One: Politics (6 March
8pm - 10pm UK time)
Session Two: Culture (13 March
8pm - 10pm UK time)
Two Practice Weeks
Session Three: Technology (3 April
8pm - 10pm UK time)
Session Four: The Meta-Crisis (10 April
8pm - 10pm UK time)
We’ll begin with a half-day deep-dive on Sunday, 3 March (click the images above for exact timings). You’ll learn the key foundations of Embodied Sensemaking: curiosity, positive regard and somatic awareness. You’ll deepen your ability to track changes in your body as you speak, and learn the difference between inquiry and conversation. I’ll introduce the practices that make up Embodied Sensemaking one by one, explaining when they’re useful and why. You’ll partner with others in breakouts to practice what you're learning, and have plenty of space to experiment and ask questions.
For the next two weeks, we'll meet for two hours on Wednesdays to explore our first two topics, Politics and Culture. These will be interactive teaching sessions with multiple breakouts where we'll be inquiring into specific topics in the news that week, using the tools you're developing. In the process, you’ll learn how and when different techniques can be used, and role play to see how you can apply these in a conversation, workshop or retreat you run in the future.
The training is divided by two practice weeks, where you will be partnered up with four others on the course (two inquiries per week) and have time to do some reading. The idea here is to have practice inquiring with different people, and engage with different subjects. We'll then return as a group for two more Wednesday sessions on Technology and the MetaCrisis.
By the end of the training, you will have a solid foundation in the practices and be able to incorporate them into your existing work, embed them into your relationships, or simply use them to deepen your own understanding, empathy and insight.