“We begin our lives listening to the many sounds surrounding us in the womb. When we are dying, the last faculty to shut down is usually hearing. In between, there is so much to see that we seldom take the time to cultivate the art of listening. Listening uses other practices: attention, being present, openness. It is holy work, involving in the inventive phrase of W.A. Mathieu, a Sufi musician, “making an altar out of our ears.” Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
“If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.” Vijali Hamilton
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” Karl A. Menniger
“For the ninety ninth percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.” Janine M. Benyus
“Be in the NOW. This is your key to operation at this time. This is how you receive the information you need at any given moment. In the now you can ‘hear’ and ‘know’ what to do from the information received. It is not hard. It is not difficult to learn. You have all done it before. Try it now. Ask the universe a question and listen. This is the key – empty your mind and listen – stop being afraid – still your ego and truly listen. What does the still small voice say to you? This is your way to hear your information. Let the information come from your stilled heart and be interpreted by your brain. Then you can trust…” Amaterasu
“Attentive listening is never an easy task–it consumes psychic energy at a rate that tires and surprises me. But it is made easier when I am holding back my own authoritative impulses. When I suspend, for just a while, my inner chatter about what I am going to say next, I open room within myself to receive the external conversation.” Parker Palmer
“God speaks to us every day, only we don’t know how to listen.”Mohandas Gandhi
“The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t talk much.” Germain G. Glidden
“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.” John Muir
“All things and all people, so to speak, call on us with small or loud voices. They want us to listen. They want us to understand their intrinsic claims, their justice of being. But we can give it to them only through the love that listens.” Paul Tillich
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” Larry King
“There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious unity and integrity is wisdom, the mother of us all, “natura naturans.” There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness, and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.” Thomas Merton
“Sainthood emerges when you can listen to someone’s tale of woe and not respond with a description of your own.” Andrew V. Mason
“When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.” Eckhart Tolle
“Many ‘active listening’ seminars are, in actuality, little more than a shallow theatrical exercise in appearing like you’re paying attention to another person. The requirements: Lean forward, make eye contact, nod, grunt, or murmur to demonstrate you’re awake and paying attention, and paraphrase something back every 30 seconds or so. As one executive I know wryly observed, many inhabitants of the local zoo could be trained to go through these motions, minus the paraphrasing.” Robert K. Cooper
“We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans. They are part of our own body.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first; Be not discouraged – keep on – there are divine things, well envelop’d; I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” Walt Whitman
“The purpose of life is undoubtedly to know oneself. We cannot do it unless we learn to identify ourselves with all that lives. The sum-total of that life is God.” Mahatma Gandhi
“And with listening, too, it seems to me, it is not the ear that hears, it is not the physical organ that performs the act of inner receptivity. It is the total person who hears. Sometimes the skin seems to be the best listener, as it prickles and thrills, say to a sound or a silence; or the fantasy, the imagination: how it bursts into inner pictures as it listens and then responds by pressing its language, its forms, into the listening clay. To be open to what we hear, to be open in what we say. . . .” M.C. Richards
“The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside. Only they who listen can speak.” Dag Hammarskjold
“Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the 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
“To be really aware you must be able to know simultaneously what is going on thousands of miles away today, what may have happened centuries ago, what will happen anywhere in the world decades from now, and what is occurring, has occurred, or will occur on other planes of existence. And you must still act as if you know nothing. You must just sit and talk with other people and play the part which Nature has assigned to you. “ Aghori Vimlananda
When asked what gift he wanted for his birthday, the yogi replied: “I wish no gifts, only presence.”
Creative Listening, by Wilferd A. Peterson
One of the most important habits of a creative thinker is to be a good listener. Stand guard at the ear-gateway to your mind, heart, and spirit.
Listen to the good. Tune your ears to love, hope, and courage. Tune out gossip and resentment.
Listen to the beautiful. Listen to the music of the masters. Listen to the symphony of nature–the hum of the wind in the treetops, bird songs, thundering surf. . .
Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind.
Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person. Show them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how much you may disagree. You may learn something.
Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask questions. Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.
Listen creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of ideas. Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative projects.
Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better person within you.
Listen with depth. Be still and listen. Listen with the ear of intuition to the inspiration of the Infinite.