*Listening but not hearing
*Listening and connecting with one’s own agenda
*Listening and hearing without a personal agenda.
*Intuitive listening, meaning not only hearing what is being said but what is not being said. This is deep listening.
Listening but not hearing. How often have we been present in body but not in mind? Preoccupied with our own thoughts, thinking about what we have left to do that day instead of being present with the person we are with. Listening and connecting with one’s own agenda. This means thinking about what we are going to say next instead of focusing on what the other person is saying to us. Does this sound familiar? Listening and hearing without a personal agenda. This is about respectfully listening to another person and not interrupting or interjecting our own thoughts or opinions. In other words, silent listening and bearing witness for another. Intuitive listening. Hearing not only what is being spoken but also what is not being said. This type of listening is a gift, listening with heart. It is listening with all the senses, intuition and compassion. This is deep listening. Deep listening is a profound act of love. The most powerful way we can connect with another person is to listen. The most important gift we can give each other is our attention. The American philosopher Eugene Kennedy wrote, “There is a silence that matches our best possibilities when we have learned to listen to others. We can master the art of being quiet in order to be able to hear clearly what others are saying…..We need to cut off the garbled static of our own preoccupations to give to people who want our quiet attention.” (from Listening Below the Noise by Ann D. LeClare). How would the world change if we all practiced deep listening?
What about you? When was the last time you felt heard? Who in your life really listens to you? How can you practice deep listening? How can you be fully present when listening to another person? What will they gain? What will you gain? How can listening with loving silence be a form of healing and connection in your life?
I invite you to learn more about the transformative power of silence and deep listening at my February retreat at the Carondelet Center in St Paul. Details are on my website.