How Do I Listen?
Listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master
Speaking to me
Hafiz, The Gift (renderings by Daniel James Ladinsky)
Listening skills are paramount with spiritual friends. I remember one person I met with for spiritual direction that talked the whole hour. I never spoke a word. I kept waiting for her to take a breath, but it didn’t seem to happen. At first I couldn’t understand why she came, but gradually I sensed she just needed someone to listen to her, to listen to God within her. It became more evident after she sent several other people to visit with me for direction because she said I was so helpful! I also realized that she was a gift to me, teaching me how to listen.
There are many listening exercises to practice how to be a good listener. One is used by a grief recovery group, Walking the Mourner’s Path. (www.mourerspath.com). At the first meeting of those who are grieving the death of a loved one, the participants divide into pairs, and each person tells the other about their loved one. Then they return to the group as each listener tells the group about the person their partner is grieving. Even though the pairs never work together again, there often seems to be a bond that stays with them for the eight weeks of the program and longer.