When You Listen…

 In Reflections

“When you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” —Jiddu Krishnamurti

At the end of many of our programs, like last week’s Sheltering Together, I thank attendees for helping to co-create the experience. Some likely think that’s ridiculous, but I truly mean it.

Listening attentively creates a powerful conversation without you saying a word.

“There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak.” Simon Sinek

Of course, attentive listening is much harder when you’re engaged in a conversation, especially when you want to convince the other of your point of view. Trusting in your ability to gather your thoughts before speaking after deeply listening to someone takes practice.

Flint Sparks and some of the participants spoke about beloved trees last week. Like listening for the Holy One’s wisdom during prayers or meditation, we might also engage in a ‘conversation’ with a tree or beloved pet. With our attentive gaze and listening ears, we can practice hearing the response in our hearts.

Imagine the gift you’ll give the next person you engage in conversation with when you listen just as attentively to the words they say.

May you receive the blessed gift of being truly listened to this week. And may you return the favor as often as you can.

The Listening Heaven

“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”
―Rabindranath Tagore

Skilled Listener

“A skilled listener can help people tap into their own wisdom.”
―Richard Rohr

In Conversation

The sound of your voice

enters me and becomes me—

becomes synapse, becomes pulse,

becomes blood, becomes breath.

And in this way, the more I listen to you,

the more I become you.

It is no small thing to converse.

Sometimes I swim in the wild honey

of your words. Sometimes I break

on their jagged shores.

Some words become pillars that hold up

what is possible.

Others are wrecking balls

that turn to rubble all I thought I knew.

How fleeting it is, any grasp

of who we are. This is why,

hour after month after year

I welcome your words—

I like what they do.

Even when they are not easy to hear,

I love who I become

when I listen to you.


—Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, featured poem on January 25th, 2024, on her poem-a-day website, A Hundred Falling Veils.

Please join us and Rosemerry on February 29th as she shares her wisdom and poetry about Attending to You.

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