May 2003 (Vol. XVI, No. 5)

Peace be with you and within you, dear friends! How often do we spend a full hour in silence simply listening to the voice deep within our heart? How difficult this an be! Yt as we embrace times of solitude and embrae the Silence, we will come to hear the gentle voice of Love with our heart's ear. So Listen! listen to the still, small Voice for the Beloved's prayer to rise up within your heart. Listening is one way toward peace.

Listening with no responsibility to respond

For nine years, the first and third Mondays of the month, I am in silence; I do not speak to anyone for twenty four hours. It's life-changing. It has taught me to listen. When we listen with no responsibility to respond, we can listen fully, which allows us to hear so many things we would not hear if we were talking. This did not start as spiritual exercise, but it has become a very spiritual practice. You hear the truth from deep inside yourself.
~ from "The Boston Globe" 8/5/2001 by Anne D. LeClaire, with thanks to Sandra Cosetti

Listen, listen, listen

Listen, listen, listen! All that you will ever need to know is already within you awaiting your inner ear. If you seek to understand your past, the answer is within you. If you need direction for today, the answer is within you. You do not have to seek "out there" for answers to your future. It is already within you awaiting your asking. You do not have to go here or there to find Go or the answer to your simplest or highest question. All you must do is be still and listen to the inner still small voice that forever sings the true song.

~ from "Song of God" by Alyce Soden

What does listening require

Listening requires entering actively and imaginatively into the other person's situation and trying to understand a frame of reference different from your own.

~ by S. I. Hayakawa
Language in Thought and Action: Fifth Edition
By S.I. Hayakawa, Alan R. Hayakawa

Are you listening

If you ask me  is prayer heard?
I'll ask you — are you listening?

~ by Harold Schulweis

When someone deeply listens to you

When someone deeply listens to you,
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you,
your feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home with you. 

~ by John Fox

Nowhere is where God is most active

The ordinary circumstances of daily life bring back the same routines, and often the sense of going nowhere! But "nowhere" is where God is most active. God and daily life are always in dialogue and sometimes in a state of war. There is a struggle to figure out what god is saying in the events and circumstances of daily life and how daily life is meant to transform us... Listening to God in silent loving attentiveness, enables us to let go of our preconceptions and over-identifications with the events of daily life, which tends to dominate our emotional reactions rather than invite our free response.

~ from ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX by Thomas Keating

What is the sound of listening

What is the sound of listening? A resonating silence, like the infinite fine line between a grey sky and the ocean, where the horizon cannot be distinguished. My soul blends into the silence around me. Into that silence comes a voice:

"I love you. Do not be afraid. I am with you. I give you my peace. You are always with me."

The words sound sweet and tender, gentler than any human voice.

"Blessed are you. Blessed are you. Blessed," says the silence.

~ from THE SOUND OF LISTENING by John Dear

Open attentive listening

Open, attentive listening can be a form of contemplative prayer. It can be that widest, most open form of being present and attentive, in trust that God is present with us, in expectancy that the Spirit will move in the hearts of those present and that we may be changed inwardly for the good or guided to be part of the upwelling of Life in a particular situation.

~ from LISTENING SPIRITUALITY, Vol. I by Patricia Loring

Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner

Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and their granting a space of silence to the speech-makers and their own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness, listening, and regard for the rule, "thought comes before speech."

~ from NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM by Luther Standing Bear

Tonight's rain is a tenderness

Tonight's rain is a tenderness. I can guess from walking in it, touching it; but now I think I know its other dimension, can almost "hear" its sound, tonight close to silence.
~ from LISTENING: Ways of Hearing in a Silent World by Hannah Merker

Looking and listening lead into everything else

Every moment is like a gift. And since it is, relax, get into the moment and do all you can to listen to it. I mean, really, really listen. Be present to the moment with everything you. It takes practice. After you've listened for a while, you start responding. You give back because you begin to see how everything is on loan — a gift from God... Try listening, looking. Looking and listening lead into everything else. Real listening means you don't project yourself into the situation. You simply are receptive, seeing things as they are, not as you might wish them to be. Listen!
~ from THE WAY OF THE DREAMCATCHER by S. T. Georgiou

Being still so that we can listen

Faith and hope lead us to want to have what we believe in and hope for. The more we want it, the more we learn to love it and want to concentrate on it. Our turning to God is made easier if we take practical steps, which include turning away from other things which attract and distract us and going apart in solitude, being still so that we can listen to God.

~ from IN THE SCHOOL OF LOVE, ed. Edith Scholl

If we listen

If we listen, we will hear. If we are quiet, the sound increases. ... And so does the Silence, And so do we.
~ from ANGEL VOICES by Karen Goldman thanks to Neta Kaye Stokely
Angel Voices
By Karen Goldman

Listening is the gateway to liberation

Listening is the gateway to liberation. Learn to listen with your whole being.

~ from BLOWING ZEN by Ray Brooks

Listening and attending to one thing at a time

To move slowly and deliberately through the world, listening and attending to one thing at a time, strikes us as radically subversive, even un-American. We cringe from the idea of relinquishing in any moment, all but one of infinite possibilities offered us by our culture. Plagued by a highly diffused attention, we give ourselves to everything lightly. This is our poverty. In saying yes to everything, we attend to nothing. One can only love what one stops to observe. "Nothing is more essential to prayer," said Evagrius, "than attentiveness."
~ from THE SOLACE OF FIERCE LANDSCAPES by Belden C. Lane