26 February 2011

Season of Nonviolence – Day 28: Listening

Welcome to Day 28 of the Season of Nonviolence – 64 Days of peaceful wisdom honoring the lives and nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.


"The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention." ~ Richard Moss

Most of us are born with the ability to hear, but we all must learn to listen. Too often we hear with our ears as our minds construct our next statement, wonder when it will be our turn to speak, or evaluate what is being said. When we truly listen, we focus on the other person. We hear their words and the feelings behind them. We make eye contact. We check to make sure we understand what is being said. Sometimes it is all we need to do when a friend or loved one is in emotional pain. We do not have to offer solutions; we need only listen with our hearts.

Be mindful of listening rather than only hearing. Today, stop what you are doing and take five minutes to listen to the feelings behind someone's words to you. Be fully present for the conversation and interested in what the person is saying. Contemplate or journal about the experience.

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