February Practice: Deep Listening

yellow heart with rays in orange sphere with "practice" to right

One of the many ways to practice deep listening is to try to be truly present with the other person. It was said that the writer Ernest Hemingway had a way of listening with such intensity that the person doing the speaking felt supremely complimented. One step is to seek to have agenda-free conversations where you are free to listen to what the other person says rather than listening while thinking about what you are going to say in response. Another practice is to make lists to assess how you listen:

  • I always listen to....
  • I rarely listen to...
  • I could improve how well I listen to....

When was the last time you felt you were deeply listened to? When did you last listen intensely?

This practice was developed for the Fetzer Institute by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, directors of Spirituality & Practice.