Thursday, March 12, 2009

Practice:  When someone is speaking to you, try to pay attention to your body language.  How can you communicate that you are listening?  I don't mean that you insert "uh-huh" or "I know what you mean" or tales from your own life experiences.  Rather, without any need for verbal cues, can you be an attentive, generous, and deep listener with your entire body?

Perhaps you can try leaning forward slightly.  Let your eyes be gentle and receptive.  What are you doing with your arms and hands?  Do they hide you, block you, or close you off?  Or are they welcoming?  

Strive for openness and hospitality.  Welcome the speaker with your body language.  Allow them to speak to you, in their own words.  Try to absorb their words, as well as the source of their words and that which transcends all words.  Bathe in the sheer power and beauty of their presence.

2 comments:

Veritas said...

I read about this practice called deep listening, which comes from the Shin Buddhist tradition. It is very similar to what you are saying and completely compatible with the Christian faith and spirit of good relationships.

Stephen Higa said...

Thank you for alerting me! I find that much about Buddhism is compatible with Christian faith. I think the Christianity-Buddhism dialogue will be no less momentous and fruitful in the history of Christianity than the first dialogue with Greek philosophy in the early years...