Create an IDL Salon!


How to Start an Integral Salon

Integral Deep Listening (IDL) Integral Salons bring people together to learn how to wake up, get unstuck, and live a more rewarding life. Integral Salons are easy to organize and fun to share. You will find that they are effective ways to make new friends who share your interest in IDL, sharpen your own IDL skills by sharing what you know with others, and create a group support culture that affirms values, concepts, and pursuits that are healthy and meaningful for you.

If you are new to IDL, you can learn more by becoming a member of “Friends of IDL,” on Facebook and by exploring IntegralDeepListening.Com. Facebook provides an excellent way of starting and advertising your group. You can create a page dedicated to your Integral Salon, such as my “parent” Facebook page, which you can use for reference, “IDL Integral Salon.” Your Facebook page name can be, “IDL Integral Salon (your town).” You can then invite all your friends to “Like” your page. Then you can create a contact/mailing list from that group and you are on your way.

Post times and activities on both your “IDL Integral Salon” Facebook page and your general Facebook page. Email your non-Facebook contacts to let them know what you are doing and how they will benefit from joining you.

Location: We recommend cramming a lot of people into a small, intimate space like your home or apartment rather than going to the time and trouble to rent a big space that engulfs a small group. Options are to find a group member who has access to a suitable room in their house or business. You can rent a side room in a restaurant or other public place, but do this only when you outgrow a smaller, more intimate space.

Time: Start with a weekday evening from 7:00 – 9:30. Expect the meeting to run over or for people to stay around to chat, but allow people to feel free to end at 9:30.

Cost: You don’t have to charge if you don’t want to. Or, if you think the psychology of something for nothing is self-defeating, or if you are serving snacks and want to cover the cost, consider $5 for first-time visitors and $15-30 for repeaters, based on ability to pay.

Content: Time is divided into discussion of a topic, a break for bread, cheese, and chatting, followed by a group interview. Also, you can simply meet to have a group interview or, alternatively, interview each other. There will be time for two interviews and processing if there is no topic. You can always alternate “interview nights” with topic and group interview nights.

A template for a combined dream/life issue interview is below.

Here are some ideas for discussion topics. You can find more by looking at chapter headings and subject matter in the various books on IDL, by looking at post topics on “Friends of IDL,” and by scrolling through pages and blog postings on IntegralDeepListening.Com and DreamYoga.Com. If you are interested in presenting a topic and would like suggestions about how to do so, contact Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com.

Basic Principles of IDL

“How to find and follow your inner compass.”

“Learning to view disease, loss, death and other life challenges as wake-up calls.”

“Using IDL to not only understand but put to good use any dream you have.”

“Using IDL to understand or eliminate any nightmare or repetitive dream.”

“Is your life sometimes like a bad dream or a nightmare? Using IDL to wake up!

“How is IDL “Integral? ”

“What is “deep listening” and how can you use it to heal, balance, and transform your life?

“How to interview children.”

“How to use IDL with people who don’t know what it is.”

“How to introduce IDL to your friends and family.”

The Drama Triangle

Escaping self-persecution: (“Do you criticize yourself unfairly? Would you like to learn how to stop?”)

“Identifying drama in your relationships: How it creates unnecessary hurt feelings and what to do about it. ”

“Escaping burn-out: Recognizing when and how you rescue and learning what to do instead.”

“Recognizing when and how you put yourself in the role of victim in the Drama Triangle and how to get out. ”

“Recognizing the Drama Triangle in your own thoughts and feelings.”

“Recognizing the Drama Triangle in your night time dreams.”

“How to get your friends, family and co-workers to move out of the Drama Triangle.”


“Learning to listen to and nurture your wounded inner child.”

“Do you want more confidence? Simple IDL strategies for overcoming self-doubt.”

Cognitive Distortions

“How to recognize the lies you tell yourself and learn to stop. ”

“Common words that throw you into the Drama Triangle. ”

“Replacing pessimism and phony optimism with happy, confident realism. ”

Communication Skills

“How to practice IDL in your communication with family, friends, and co-workers. ”

“What is reflective listening and why is it important? ”

“Playing parrot: a powerful way to stay out of drama in your communication. ”

“Common sabotages of successful communication and what to do about them. ”


“How you sabotage your meditations and what to do about it.”

“How to use your breath to deepen your meditation.”

“IDL naming exercise: a powerful tool for improving your meditation.”

You can always ask members to suggest topics. What would they like to hear a presentation on?

Allow an hour for your topic and discussion, fifteen minutes for your snack, and an hour for the interview and discussion. Allow half an hour for reading the interview and writing down the answers, including time for answering questions and clarifying questions.

We find that less teaching and more interaction works best at Integral Salons. Generally a question related to the topic is thrown out to the group and they either pair up and discuss it and report back to the group or there is a group discussion about the question without pairing up.

Topics for interviews

You can always simply do a life issue interview, with participants choosing the life issue about which they have the strongest feelings, associating it with a color, surrounding themselves with it, and watching it condense or congeal into an animal, object, shape, or being.

Interviewing a “junk” or “meaningless” dream is usually powerfully evidential for the effectiveness of IDL.

Nightmares and repetitive dreams are often excellent to interview.

Remember that repetitive life nightmares, such as choosing unhealthy relationships, multiple losses, constant fear of destitution, or fear of loneliness are excellent interview topics.

Often an interview topic is naturally suggested by the group topic of discussion for the evening. For example, if you have been discussing the victim role in the Drama Triangle, why not interview feelings around the experience of victimization?

After the interview, allow fifteen minutes for people to pair up in diads. Set a timer and give each person seven minutes to share recommendations that came out of the interview and to discuss how they can use them to move forward in their life in ways that are important to them. Call the group back together and ask everyone to share what they wrote for answers to the last three questions. These ask for a written summary of what was said, the wake-up call from one’s life compass, and recommendations. Having people read their answers to these three questions is a quick way to get a synopsis without having them take a lot of time relating the entire interview. If they need help operationalizing some recommendation this is the time to help them. Here are other optional questions:

“Did anyone get a recommendation that surprised you or was particularly helpful?”

“What was the most surprising thing that came up for you in the interview?”

“How did your interview relate to the topic of the evening?”

“How might your life had been different if you had learned how to interview your dream characters and the personifications of your life issues when you were ten or eleven?”

“What kind of support do you need to follow through with applying any recommendations that you found helpful? Is there another group member you can email or talk to about your progress, to help keep you on track?”

“Who do you know who might benefit from IDL?” “Would you like to interview them, bring them to an Integral Salon, or both?”

Announce the time of your next meeting. Let people know of other upcoming IDL events such as trainings, or the IDL Coaching Certificate program.

If you have questions about how to go about getting your group started, contact us and we will help you every step of the way. We also recommend you share your desire with a friend who you would like to share your interest in IDL. Starting and running the group together will be easier, more fun, and deepen your friendship.

Combined Dream and Life Issue 

IDL Interviewing Protocols 

Joseph Dillard, LCSW., Ph.D. 


What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life? 




If a dream or a nightmare is the subject of the interview, continue as follows. If not, skip to the bold, below: 

Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

Why do you think that you had this dream?

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself… 

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be? 

If a life issue is being interviewed instead of a dream, skip the above after naming three life issues and begin here:

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you? 

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be? 

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness. 

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer the following questions, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say! 

(Character), would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing? 

(Character), what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?sss

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they? 

(Character), what aspect of _____ do you represent or most closely personify? 

(Character), if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how? 

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.) 

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why? 

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

Empathy, 0-10. Why? 

Wisdom, 0-10. Why? 

Acceptance, 0-10. Why? 

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why? 

Witnessing, 0-10. Why? 

(Character), how would _______’s life be different if he/she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time? 

(Character), if you could live _____’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

(Character),if you could live _____’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle ____’s three life issues differently? If so, how? 




(Character), what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of ______’s life? 




(Character), in what life situations would it be most beneficial for ____ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would? 

If interviewing a dream character:

(Character), if you were in a dream, what do you think your function was in it?

(Character), if you were in a dream, what do you think about the part with _____?

Continuing, for dream characters and life issues:

(Character), do you do drama? Do you get into playing the Victim, Persecutor, or Rescuer? If not, why not?

(Character), What is your secret for staying out of drama? 

(Character), you are imaginary. Why should ______ pay attention to anything you say? 

(Character), how is _______ most likely to ignore what you are saying to him/her? 

(Character), what would you recommend that he/she do about that? 

Thank you, (Character!) Now here are a couple of questions for _______:

If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think 

it would be saying to you? 

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: 


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