stillness

A listening heart

A listening heart is always open, sensitive to the joy and pain of others, offering a space within itself for the other to enter. It gives each person what is so badly needed—an affirmation of their place in this world.

~ Eliezer Shore

Capacity for hearing

The discipline of silence was leading me not only to a keener attention to language but to an improved capacity for hearing. On silent Mondays, I began to listen differently—to myself, to others, and to the world around me. It was a listening I would call both active and without an agenda...I began to observe that when there was no expectation for me to respond, acknowledge, analyze...I listened differently. My ego relaxed... In silence I was hearing others more keenly and witnessing my own thoughts, too, and seeing how they served to separate or to connect me. I was learning not to turn away from the parts of myself that were difficult.

~ from LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE by Anne D. LeClaire

how strange this silence would seem

how strange this silence would seem
without these crickets
here to explain

~ William Michaelian, in Akitsu Quarterly, Summer, 2015
Winter Poems
By William Michaelian

To what am I deaf here?

Monks take a vow of obedience...It means a loving listening: listening to the Word of God that comes to us moment by moment, listening to the message of the angel that comes to us hour by hour. The very word obedience means an intensive listening. The opposite of that obedience is absurdity, which means being deaf to life's challenges and meaning. We have the choice in our life between living with this loving listening or finding everything absurd...So the next time you say, "This is absurd," you might consider the more helpful question, "To what am I deaf here?"

~ from THE MUSIC OF SILENCE by David Steindl-Rast, O. S. B.
Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey through the Hours of the Day
By Ph.D. Brother David Steindl-Rast, Sharon Lebell

No one listens

No one listens, they tell me, and so I listen...
and I tell them what they have just told me,
and I sit in silence listening to them,
letting them grieve.

~ Julian of Norwich

Listening is just a mind aware

Perhaps we will see that listening is not a course you must register for, a new gimmick that will magically transform your social and professional life. It happens when you take time to look around you, to be still in the evenings, startled by mornings. To listen means to be aware, to watch, to wait patiently for the next communication clue. And, as anyone with a speech or hearing disability can tell you, listening is not always auditory communication...When earth's auditory energy is received as a whisper, or perhaps not at all, other senses become sharpened, grasping communicative clues we have forgotten, in the rush of life...Listening becomes visual, tactile, intuitive. Listening ... perhaps ... is just a mind aware.

~ from LISTENING: WAYS OF HEARING IN A SILENT WORLD by Hannah Merker

Listen in the silence for Spirit's Voice

Listen in the silence for Spirit's Voice
guiding your soul
for service in the great renewal,
the new creation, the citadel of
Love here on Earth.
All are welcome together as One!
Listen, attune, and heed the inner Voice of Love.
For in sacred Silence, we open ourselves
to Wisdom,
to ever deepening communion with
the Source of all creation.
~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill

There is a fine distinction between "listen to" and "to listen"

Ibn Hasdai writing in the 13th century said: "[Man] was given two ears and one tongue, so that he may listen more than speak." It is a privilege just to listen. And there is a fine distinction between "listen to" and "to listen." When we "listen to" we are actively engaging our senses of sound for a particular audible cue. But, when we choose "to listen," we are opening ourselves up to the sounds of silence and solitude; to ways and words unanticipated, unscripted and often—unfamiliar. We do not choose these words; they choose us.

~ Albert Lewis

I found I had less and less to say

I found I had less and less to say, until finally, I became silent, and began to listen. I discovered in the silence the voice of God.

~ Soren Kierkegaard
The Essential Kierkegaard
By Søren Kierkegaard

Listen

Listen
Now is the earth most still.
No plows break the bare and frozen ground.
No creature stirs from its earthbound
burrow, tunnel, nest.
Matter is quiet.
Its clamor
hushed, we hear the rising of the star,
the morning light,
the seed within itself unfolding,
glowing, growing.
All is quiet and the earth most still.

~ "Listening" by Annabel Keely
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