“Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the very first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually, you may be able to hear in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.”
―Rachel Naomi Remen
- Formal practice: We’re nearly six months in to the course. Of all of your practices, which practice(s) feels welcoming and nourishing and right in this moment? Try 20-30 minutes/day of that. And if you are stabilized in 20-30 minutes/day, what would it be like to add on 15 minutes? Putting on your curious scientist’s hat, notice any way in which your experience shifts if you add a bit more time, even once day.
- This week’s Creative Invitation: Conversational Jazz. Inspired by poet/philosopher Mark Nepo. You need at least one partner but can have many. Enjoy!
- A journaling contemplation: In class this week, we’ve been working with compassionate listening. From a place of true presence and an openness/ curiosity to what arises, please consider: What is someone in your life truly asking you for? How are you relating with their request? What would it be like to offer a full-hearted “yes” to that request? A full-hearted no?
- Sign-up still available for optional, one-on-one Progress Sessions with Aimee and David are now available. You may sign up here.
- No class last week of August.
- This week’s video recording. Password is: S1lverL1nings
- Video: 3-Centers Listening (above). Frank Ostaseski, Founder Metta Institute, author The Five Invitations speaks about the practice of deep listening from the head, heart and the belly/body.
- Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred, by Mark Nepo. Inspiration for this week’s Creative Invitation.
- The Sacred Art of Listening, and Listening to the Song, two more wonderful talks by Tara Brach focusing on the art of listening deeply and well: “Deep listening – the kind of listening that brings intimacy and understanding – takes intentional practice. This talk looks at the societal and inner obstacles to an undistracted presence, and the mindfulness strategies that nourish our capacity to listen in a way that heals and connects.”
- What it really means to hold space for someone. We saw this earlier in the course, but it bears repeating. Especially now.
This week’s poem:
by Mary Oliver
Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing.,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.
The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.
May your practice and commitment serve to enliven, strengthen, and deepen your experience of this one precious life.