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In the initial years of life, talking is considered as one of the most important part in the child’s growth. Parents eagerly wait to hear first word from their child. And as life overtakes, focus shifts to How to Communicate Effectively; however Active Listening is equally important; also basis of Spiritual Enlightenment.
We know, Listening is an Art, but it is usually overlooked in the nurturing. Edward Hersey Richards beautifully quoted, “A wise old owl lived in an oak; the more he saw the less he spoke; the less he spoke the more he heard: Why can’t we all be like that bird?”; highlighting importance of speaking less and listening more.
We all want to be heard, but how many times it happens that we are actually keen in paying attention to others! Genuine Listening, is not easy, it involves non-practicing and non-planning response in mind before other person ends. Also, includes, being non-judgmental, patient, open-mindedness, presumptions, and preconceptions among others.
Do you know, Active Listening is also the Foundation of Self-Listening, Self-Awareness, Self-Knowledge, Self-Love, Self-Consciousness, Self-Awakening, Eternal Awakening, Spiritual Enlightenment among others.
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Spiritual Listening is the foundation of all the relationships. It is situation when we become quite, and open ourselves completely to understand and listen to the speaker in his most genuine tone. There is divine union of two souls. We often think that our words are the most important part of any Communication, yet it is Art of Listening which has the greatest impact.
Quaker writer Douglas Steere says: “To listen another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service one human being ever performs for another.” 1
It is also said that there is Zen like quality in Practicing Effective and Conscious Listening.
Another element of in the realm of Divine Listening is Hospitality. In the words of Roman Catholic priest Henri Nouwen: “Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.” 2
In conclusion we can state, Practice and Adapt Nature of Listening! But, it is not important to listen everyone, be caution in choosing the speaker!
- Douglas Steere, Gleanings: A Random Harvest(Nashville, Tenn.: Upper Room Books, 1986) 83.
- Henri Nouwen, Listening as Spiritual Hospitality, Henri Nouwen Society website, March 11, 2016