June Practice: Listening Behind

Practice | listening, sacred

June 01, 2018

Two men in conversation at coffee shop

Photo: nappy via Pexels

We believe that democracy as a way of life can be strengthened and deepened through spiritual practices—both those traditionally considered to be "inner work" and those that require active engagement with our neighbors and communities. In partnership with our friends at Spirituality & Practice, we are sharing monthly practices to help us all “practice democracy” from the inside out.

This practice is from Habib Todd Boerger.

Allow your mind to become quiet as you focus your awareness on your energetic heart. Cultivate an inner alignment with the Divine/sacred in the way that works for you. Allow your heart to connect to your conversation partner from the place of sacredness within you to the place of sacredness in your partner. Cultivate a sense of holding yourself and your conversation partner in a container of nonjudgment and peace. Set the intention to listen from your heart. Invite your conversation partner to share what they would like to say.

Sit in silence while listening to your partner from your place of inner alignment with the Divine/sacred. Hold the question in your heart, “What’s behind this statement?” Instead of interrupting your conversation partner, continually repeat this question to yourself while you listen until your partner feels complete. As you do so, pay attention to what feelings your conversation partner expresses and what needs are expressed. Listen for what values are expressed. Continue to ask yourself, “What’s behind this statement?” Pay attention to where your partner expresses longings for her/himself, for her/his loved ones, for the larger community.

Visit Spirituality & Practice's PracticingDemocracy.net for more practices and a wide array of resources.