This always makes me smile – so many reasons (I need this reminder – and I am thankful for it)
Posts Tagged ‘Listening
Sometimes my quiet time surprises me – like when I observe what arises in the silence and realize that I’m attached to the feelings that are standing before me – up in my face as if to say “What about this Bitch?!”. And then that’s where it ends. No enlightenment. No “letting go”. No “moving on”. No flow. Just “here I am”. Me and my feeling – going nowhere fast.
I like what Sharon writes below about living in a world where we still speak out; we take action – but not without also paying attention to ourselves, listening from a place of acceptance and nonjudgment about our own feelings. Because unless I do this first, how can I ever be in a place to acknowledge someone else with all their varied feelings and perspectives?
If I cannot acknowledge and accept the darker side of myself and am always in a rush to change it “quickly” without listening to it – then I’m doomed to rush others and not accept where they are. I’ll never listen to them.
Kindness and Understanding begin at home. Cultivating a compassionate listening ear begins with the Self. There is no sense in speaking out unless you can also listen to yourself first. Why bother even trying to listen to another without doing this step, cause you’ll never even hear them.
– Sharon Salzberg writes:Mindfulness enables us to cultivate a different quality of attention, one where we relate to what we see before us not just as an echo of the past, or a foreshadowing of the future, but more as it is right now.
Making the effort to truly see someone doesn’t mean we never respond or react or take very strong action. . .
We can and do attempt to restore a failing marriage, protest loud cell phones in public places, or try, with everything in us, to rectify Injustice.
But we can do it from a place that allows people to be as textured as they are, and that admits our feelings to be as varied and flowing as they are. A place open to surprises. A place that listens. . .
How do you recognize change?
It is a valid question. How does your own “filter” skew(or screw) what you see? Do you have a preconceived idea of what change should look like? Does “I Already Know What I Want To See” keep you from seeing?
I have needed to shut off the internet news and “web-surfer posts”, because everyone is screaming, “See, there is no change. Here’s “old” Washington again”.
So I needed to sit with this. Just like I needed to sit with whether to support Obama (not my original choice) when everyone was yelling to go with him. I have found value in quieting the mind chatter, remaining in touch with my core. To just be still and sit.
In sitting, I can remain open. The more open I remain, the less my filter gets in the way of listening and observing. And I am at a part of my life where I not only enjoy but I value this child-like quality. The quality of not knowing and thereby, Learning something.
Here are some changes I’ve noticed:
Since even before his election, Obama has reached out from the beginning to people who were rivals during his candidacy (specifically Clinton and McCain). This IS a change in Washington. A change I have desired and wanted (and might have missed if I only listened to the focus of the news media and not been of quiet mind). This reaching out is a HUGE deal.
The above is also an example of negotiating PEACE.
Another change I’ve desired.
There can be no international peace if we do not attempt to bridge the differences within our own party(s). I have not seen an effort from either side in a very long time, like the effort I have seen by our President Elect. This process gives me Hope.
I have seen a man not rely on his own ego, nor a narrow definition of Change as he contemplates his cabinet. I see someone who is willing to view history and see what has worked, chosen people who have made wise decisions in past administrations and honored their talents by choosing them to serve. I don’t know about you, but this is quite a change from the last 8 years and has the great potential to continue change by promoting peace and stabilizing our economy.
Finally, I have seen a man who has not reacted to racial slurs or religious inaccuracies from within our nation and more so from overseas – specifically from terrorists. He has been baited. He also shows no sign of taking the bait. Again, this is quite a change. A maturity I have rarely witnessed the last 8 years.
So here we are only a few weeks after the election and people are already saying that there is no change and our future president has not even been sworn in. My view is different. I am not expecting an administration free of conflicts or imperfect decisions. I hope to remain open, so that I can witness and acknowledge changes as they unfold, whether they are the changes “I expect” or more importantly, the changes I do not expect – and therefore have more difficulty seeing.
My background in Counseling tends to make me think in terms of developmental stages or evolution. So I am attracted to ideas/theories like Maslow, Piaget, Kohlberg, Graves, Beck, Wilber – Spiral Dynamics, Integral Theory, etc. So I came across “The Theory of U” by Otto Sharmer (recommended by the latter), I’ve posted the beginning of the theory which has to do with Evolving as a Listener. This also gels well with many of my Taoist beliefs about remaining open enough to say “I don’t already know”. “Change” has been a buzzword along with ‘Hope” these last few months. Real change happens when you remain truly OPEN. So, are you evolving as a Listener?
Learning to recognize the habits of attention in
any particular business culture requires, among
other things, a particular kind of listening.
Over more than a decade of observing people’s
interactions in organizations, I have noted four
different types of listening.
“Yeah, I know that already.” I call this type
of listening “downloading”—listening by
reconfirming habitual judgments. When
you are in a situation where everything
that happens confirms what you already
know, you are listening by downloading.
“Ooh, look at that!” This type of listening
is factual or object-focused: listening by
paying attention to facts and to novel or
disconfirming data. You switch off your
inner voice of judgment and listen to the
voices right in front of you. You focus on
what differs from what you already know.
Factual listening is the basic mode of
good science. You let the data talk to you.
You ask questions, and you pay careful
attention to the responses you get.
“Oh, yes, I know exactly how you feel.”
This deeper level of listening is empathic
listening. When we are engaged in real
dialogue and paying careful attention,
we can become aware of a profound shift
in the place from which our listening
originates. We move from staring at the
objective world of things, figures, and
facts (the “it-world”) to listening to the
story of a living and evolving self (the
“you-world”). Sometimes, when we say
“I know how you feel,” our emphasis is on
a kind of mental or abstract knowing. But
to really feel how another feels, we have
to have an open heart. Only an open heart
gives us the empathic capacity to connect
directly with another person from within.
When that happens, we feel a profound
switch as we enter a new territory in the
relationship; we forget about our own
agenda and begin to see how the world
appears through someone else’s eyes.
“I can’t express what I experience in
words. My whole being has slowed
down. I feel more quiet and present
and more my real self. I am connected
to something larger than myself.” This
type of listening moves beyond the
current field and connects us to an even
deeper realm of emergence. I call this
level of listening “generative listening,”
or listening from the emerging field of
future possibility. This level of listening
requires us to access not only our open
heart, but also our open will—our
capacity to connect to the highest future
possibility that can emerge. We no longer
look for something outside. We no longer
empathize with someone in front of us.
We are in an altered state. “Communion”
or “grace” is maybe the word that comes
closest to the texture of this experience.
When you operate from Listening 1 (downloading),
the conversation reconfirms what you
already knew. You reconfirm your habits of
thought: “There he goes again!”
When you operate
from Listening 2 (factual listening), you disconfirm
what you already know and notice what is new out
there: “Boy, this looks so different today!”
you choose to operate from Listening 3 (empathic
listening), your perspective is redirected to seeing
the situation through the eyes of another: “Boy,
yes, now I really understand how you feel about
it. I can sense it now too.”
And finally, when you
choose to operate from Listening 4 (generative
listening), you realize that by the end of the
conversation you are no longer the same person
you were when it began. You have gone through
a subtle but profound change that has connected
you to a deeper source of knowing, including the
knowledge of your best future possibility and self.
Want to know more? Go to:
I love discovering – don’t you?