Deep Listening

This evening I gathered with my faith sharing group, CSJPs who are journeying with me in a particular way during my time of temporary profession. We gather three or four times a year for prayer, reflection and sharing. Usually we read an article related to our lives in community, gather for conversation and prayer, and eat a yummy potluck meal. At times the conversations are profound, at other times they are simply expressions of where we are today. But always, I leave feeling nourished in heart and spirit.

Tonight's gathering reminded me of this quote by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh:
Deep listening, compassionate listening is not listening with the purpose of analyzing or even uncovering what has happened in the past. You listen first of all in order to give the other person relief, a chance to speak out, to feel that someone finally understands him or her. Deep listening is the kind of listening that helps us to keep compassion alive while the other speaks.

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