SACRED LISTENING


shoreline surf
Listen to another
as you'd listen to the gentle surf,
with relaxed awe and appreciation.
HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS PRACTICE #3:
SACRED LISTENING

Sacred Listening is meditation in conversation. We focus on what another person is saying while letting our own thoughts, feelings, opinions and judgments pass by, unexpressed.

We keep the attitude of a witness, observing the other person and our own reactions.

Sacred Listening empowers the other person and awakens us to our habitual reactions.

HOW TO PRACTICE SACRED LISTENING:


1) CHOOSE ONE CONVERSATION: Pick one interaction each day in which you will practice Sacred Listening. This listening is called sacred because it affirms and supports core energy, the universal life force within each of us.
mirror
2) MIRROR: During this time, you will not offer opinions or give your point of view. You will not evaluate, judge, criticize, blame, or tell others what they "should" do. You will not even comment on, sympathize with, praise, or elaborate on what they are saying. You will listen. Your words, if any, will acknowledge, confirm, and mirror what the other person is saying. Possible responses include: "Yes," "I see," "I know what you mean," "I understand," "Please continue," "Could you say that again?" "So what you are saying is ______. Is that right?"

3) TURN IT BACK: If the person you are listening to specifically asks your opinion during this exercise, turn the conversation back to him/her by saying, "Right now, I'd like to hear more about what you're feeling and thinking." If it is appropriate to the particular relationship or to carrying out the exercise honestly and in good faith, tell the other person what you are doing. However, it's likely that you won't need to tell them at all. People enjoy being listened to.

4) EMPOWER: Give one hundred percent attention to the value and worth of what the other person is saying. Sacred listening empowers the speaker. Treat this like a meditation exercise with the anchor of attention being your focus on the other person. If it's possible and appropriate to carry this through to the end of the conversation, do so. Keep the attitude of unconditional support with your body language, eye contact, tone of voice, but without explicit statement.

You will discover several things through Sacred Listening. Among the possibilities are:

1. How often and quickly we assert our beliefs and intentions and direct conversations where we want them to go.

2. How little real connection and communication takes place in many of our conversations.

3. How listening opens up and empowers others. We act in true compassion through listening.

4. How Sacred Listening also opens us to hear the subtle voices of our own core energy.

SUMMARY:
Once a day, be an open receiver in a conversation. The conversation can be five minutes or an hour. For that period of time, withhold your "I thinks," and "you should's." Support what the other person is saying without evaluation or commentary. Listen, acknowledge, affirm, and mirror back for confirmation. Do this with receptive silence, eye contact, and few words. Create a clearing in which another is safe to speak.

If you arrive at the end of the day without practicing this exercise, give someone a call, especially someone with whom you've had a negative interaction. Observe how Sacred Listening on your part can lead to core responses from both of you.

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PRACTICE WITH THE DAILY PRACTICE LOG

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