Deep Listening

Frantically searching for someone to hear their story…
“Listen to the Rain,” Amy Lee, Composer

My sister in Denver called about our mother last week. I missed Nancy’s call, but prepared myself to be alarmed. What had happened to Mom? I started planning how to arrange for dogsitting at two homes, ours and my employer’s, in order to head out west.

When I called Nancy, I discovered she was stressed out and merely wanted to talk. Good! I can talk, and I can listen.

I have a friend whose one-sided conversations tend to be long-winded and sometimes confrontational—and he wonders why people don’t like to be around him. He has not learned that often the best gift we can give is to listen.

Deep listening means listening without an agenda. It mean letting the other person finish what he is saying before you start thinking about what your response is — giving your full attention to this one person standing in front of you.

To listen deeply is to be in the present moment, with an open heart and a clear mind. (Rev. Karyn Bradley, Unity Temple on the Plaza, 10/28/01)

Really listening to someone speaking is not the only deep listening we can do. I don’t know that there’s ever a time when my children drive their cars without turning music on. I myself prefer to use the television for background sound, unless the rain is singing its lovely melody outside, or the wind howling or, if I’m lucky, the ocean is crashing upon rocky cliffs. Is what we’re listening to drowning out our own thoughts?

Indeed, is what we hear an improvement on silence?

Our days are filled with sound. What about the adage, “Silence is golden?” In the silence we can hear our own thoughts rattling around in our minds—we’ve greater mental acuity. In the silence we are more attuned to how we’re feeling—and whether we need to adjust our thoughts so as to make ourselves feel better! And it is in silence that we can hear the Voice of Spirit.

“The Voice for God is always quiet, because it speaks of peace, and it is as loud as your willingness to listen. It cannot be louder without violating your freedom of choice.” (A Course in Miracles)

This week I vow to spend more time in silence. As for now, I send you, dear heart, a silent but powerful blessing and—

love, chelle

2 thoughts on “Deep Listening

  1. Yesterday was a particularly windy day. I too love to listen to the sounds winds provide. Recently on Facebook there was a meme about what your spiritual name is in someone’s made up scheme determined by the first letter of your name gives you the first word, and so on. There were four and my spiritual name according to this was Queen of the shimmering winds. It makes sense, cute, and if feels right to me. The meaning we ascribe to things is individual yet can turn into a collective through the above described means. Another interesting phenomenon for myself is when I listen to more than what is playing. I found a meditation piece that includes flutes and wolves that really spoke volumes as I truly identify with the howling of the wolf. Must be why dogs and I get along so well. Listening to people is not always as easy as it may seem, but yes, sometimes we all need an ear for bend and likely each of us has been challenged to be that ear for someone else. I know I have bent your ear numerous times Chelle and sometimes I have to remind myself that maybe you need to talk too. Listening is so much deeper than communication between people; when it involves communication with spirit quiet is always going to spawn a rattling of racing thought, however, that is the challenge, to transcend that thought and listen to the quiet of spirit. I personally like to listen to certain tones when I study and it seems to improve retention. I am always listening to that which goes on above me as my room is in the basement. Listening is multi-dimensional. Thanks for the great blog love! Love to all, and happy Saturday!

  2. Wow, Michelle ! Such synchronicity ! As you posted on 2-20, then Donna Johnson spoke at Unity Temple on 2-21, there were similarities in your information. She discussed the acronym for LEAP year and the “L” being Listening. For those of you who might read this and not know where to hear/re-visit a Unity Lesson from the Sunday church service, go to YouTube and search for the presenter, date and/or topic. Donna shared about deep listening helping with a bond between people, and compassion; she also mentioned, about 7-8 minutes into her talk, about listening to ourselves and our connection to Spirit. These are things that I needed to be reminded of, and they have a special significance for this week, as I reflect on our Unity congregant and dear friend Bambi Shen, who made her transition on the morning of 2-24-16. She was/is such a vital part of many people’s lives, that it still comes as a shock that she is no longer physically with us. I choose to believe that she is nearby, in Spirit, and she has many things she still shares with us in our memories of her, and in re-reading her autobiography “The Uncrushable Rose.” On February 24th evening, 16 of us were gathered at Ray and Clara’s to share a potluck meal and tell stories about Bambi. What a blessing it is to have known her and LISTEN to the sharing from others that night. I took photos of everyone and missed some of the auditory details, but I was fortunate to have captured many gestures and emotions. Most of all (as I write this and a few sad, yet grateful, tears roll down), I remember how she blessed our hearts. ❤️
    Blessings to you, Michelle, and all that you do !
    ❤️ Rachelle

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