Thursday, May 25, 2006

Certain Silences Are Golden

Listening deeply is something we have to learn to do. We can't do it just like that. When the other person is talking he or she is trying to express his or her difficulties and sufferings, and needs us to listen to that. But if we are not capable of listening, then the person who is speaking will not feel any relief in his or her suffering, and will finally give up talking. - Thich Nhat Hanh

I know the friends who really listen when I speak. And I know the ones that do not -- people who interrupt of stop me to tell me what their life's version of my current story is...wit6hout hearing mine fully. The first people fill me with comfort, and help me see what is really going on. The second group just makes me feel disregarded, sometimes angry, sometimes alientated or ignored. Eventually, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, I stop talking.

Things that are true on an individual level become true for groups. Groups like liberals and conservatives. Democrats and Republicans. Jews and Christians. Buddhists and Moslems. Blacks and Asians and Whites and and and and .......

It becomes true for nations. Some nations have stopped hearing the difficulties and sufferings of other nations. Those abandoned nations feel disregarded, angry, alienated, ignored.

We do to our world what we do to eachother.

Conversely, if we start by listening to eachother, how could that not end up effecting the world positively? Everything starts small.

Today I plan to really listen to someone I don't want to really listen to. I will tell you later how it went. If you try this, you can tell me later, too. C'mon.


Blogger Jules said...

HI I just wanted to thank you for your post on my blog (Posting from Paradise) about my kids house. Actually the guy was growing,drying and selling pot out of the house but nothing else. Thanks so much though...I'm glad to know this. Jules

7:28 PM  
Blogger Maggie Rose said...

hey Mata. I read this post two days ago and found a resistance in me to your suggestion to join you in this "11 a.m. listen to someone else" effort.

my personal response surprised me. so I've been looking at that.

this morning I woke up and knew that I would return and (unofficially) sign-on to this effort because finally I understandd my resistance.

I think the idea you suggest and the joining together with others for this effort 100% spot on.

but it takes a commitment. I don't say "yes. I will do such and such." unless I fully intend to do as I promise.

so my mind had to sort through what it means to make an actual commitment to such an effort.

this morning I knew my heart was ready to accept the commitment to this idea.

so I'm signing on to the effort.

and smiling as I do so.

thanks for forming up the idea in a concrete and workable way.

I take the 11 a.m. part to be a handle, a point of reminder, for the effort. yet I also think 11 a.m. a good time choice.

finally, by chance this quote in from Beliefnet only today. I chuckled when I read it and thought to share it here:

The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him, "What are you going through?" --Simone Weil

life's coincidences are amazing.

now. into the day for me with an eye on a new daily commitment.

Maggie Rose

4:46 AM  

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