Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

If You Really Pay Attention

--by Paula Underwood (Sep 21, 2009)


When I was a little bitty kiddy, about five, my Dad began a process … anytime somebody came and said something to us, my dad would say, "You remember what he said, honey girl?”  I would tell my father what the person said until I got so good at it that I could repeat verbatim even long presentations of what the person had said.

And he did this all the time.

Finally, one day there was this old gentleman, Richard Thompson. I still remember his name, he lived across the street.  And every time my Dad started to mow the lawn, there came Mr. Thompson. And so I would stand out there.

Dad says, “You might come and listen to this man, honey girl.  He’s pretty interesting.”  And so I listened to him, and then my dad would say, “What did you hear him say?” And I would tell him.

Well, eventually I was repeating all the stories he liked to share with my dad verbatim.  I knew them all by heart.

And my Dad says, “You’re getting pretty good at that.  But did you hear his heart?"  And I thought, what?  So I went around for days with my ear to people's chest trying to hear their hearts.

Finally my Dad created another learning situation for me by asking my mother to read an article from the newspaper.  He says “Well, I guess if you want to understand that article, you have to read between the lines."

I thought, "Oh, read between the lines. Hear between the words."

So the next time I listened to Mr. Thompson’s stories, I tried to listen between the words.  My Dad said, “I know you know his story, but did you hear his heart?” And I said, "Yes.  He is very lonely and comes and shares his memories with you again and again because he’s asking you to keep him company in his memories."

It just came out of me.  In other words, my heart echoed his heart.

And when you can listen at that level, then you can hear not only the people. If you really pay attention, you can hear what the Universe is saying.

--Paula Underwood, clan mother of the Turtle clan, Iroquois nation


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86 Previous Reflections:

 
On Apr 18, 2013 Gurdeesh Ghuman wrote:

Great idea put in simple language.Thanks for putting it  here. 



On Apr 5, 2013 Diana wrote:

 Such wisdom - we would all be wise to learn and live.  Thank you for such a beautiful teaching Paula.



On Apr 4, 2013 Sundi wrote:

 This story is an excellent way to teach listening as well as compassion; I know I certainly needed this lesson.
Thank you.



On Apr 4, 2013 artmusedog and Carol wrote:

 So true and so wonderful ~ worked as psychotherapist historically and found my innate childhood abilities most rewarding when listening to people ~ I am still listening for the 'heart' ~ thanks for the reminder ~ I needed to hear this today. namaste, ^_^



On Apr 4, 2013 Brooke wrote:

That story was so inspiring. I got chills at the end when she said, "And when you can listen at that level, then you can hear not only the people. If you really pay attention, you can hear what the Universe is saying". How powerful. I think this is something everyone needs to work on. Truly hearing what is going on around you and listening with not only your ears but you heart. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless.



On Apr 4, 2013 g k agrawal wrote:

 it is  to be made a part of life,  a habit to be cultivated



On Apr 4, 2013 Suresh Gupta wrote:

 Really Interesting... We should really listen through Heart



On Aug 10, 2012 Bette wrote:
what a wonderful father....what a wonderful daughter. Just listening you hear so much, let's all try it.

On Aug 7, 2012 Susan wrote:
 I was born with this ability and it can be a curse, walking in other people's mental shoes.  I was 35 before I realized that everyone didn't do this; slow learner.  I was off-handedly talking about when people are speaking they are sometimes saying so much more than words.  No one knew what I meant.

On Jul 28, 2012 rana wrote:
 beautiful

On Jul 20, 2012 jo wrote:
 Its seeing past the words and into their soul

On Jun 3, 2012 JTSA wrote:
 Some people are born to parent. 

On May 7, 2012 San wrote:
 Amazing. Smart father. 

On Apr 18, 2012 Thank wrote:
 This is called empathy, a higher human attribute that many people do not use. The prerequisite for empathy is humility

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On Mar 28, 2012 john wrote:
wonderful 

On Mar 26, 2012 Raghvendra wrote:
 hi

On Mar 26, 2012 Raghvendra wrote:
 hi

On Mar 21, 2012 leather wolverine jacket wrote:
 
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On Mar 21, 2012 Czerina wrote:
an easy read full of meaning and understanding. I LOVED IT!!

On Feb 27, 2012 sayan sen wrote:
 simple but great thing to learn from this article



On Feb 16, 2012 Angie wrote:
 It would be nice if we all took a little to listen to others

On Jan 31, 2012 Zaaballa wrote:
 I like hearing these types of articles because I have the job to teaching listening & speaking. Listening is the one thing our youth forgets to do. z

On Jan 17, 2012 Lloyd wrote:

 wow.  awesome. breathtaking.

 

thanks Laura.



On Jan 17, 2012 Eva Galeste wrote:

Indeed, she has a wise father!  What a blessing.



On Jan 17, 2012 Monica wrote:

Paula, Thank you for expressing the language of the past and the future. I don't believe we survive as a species without learning to L I S T E N. 

Grateful for your fathers emotional intellegance. Thank you for sharing, Monica V



On Jan 17, 2012 Molly Larkin wrote:

If we all listened at that level, the world woud be a much better place.  Thank you!

Molly Larkin

www.MollyLarkin.com



On Jan 9, 2012 stella wrote:

It is not easy to listen to the hearts excet we magine what one would be sayinyg as we relate it to our past events



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On Aug 2, 2011 Nick O wrote:

This story sent chills down my spine.  Thank you for sharing (=



On Apr 12, 2011 Jordan wrote:

Beautiful story 



On Apr 11, 2011 Timothy A. Rhoades wrote:

This is a great article. Well written with a wonderful lesson to uncover. You dad sounds like a very wise man.

- Tim 



On Jan 23, 2011 Phratello wrote:

 Incredible. 



On Jan 20, 2011 Norman wrote:

This is such a sweet story of thinking witht he heart and not the rational mind so much. Its the way of the future.

Norman
LightWorkersDirectory.com

 



On Aug 17, 2010 Beth wrote:

Your dad sounds like a very cool guy.



On Jun 11, 2010 micahel wrote:

and then there is paying attention  "Beyond the Edges." Learned in the Avatar Course.



On Jun 9, 2010 Bamidele Olumide Olagoke wrote:

I like that is good............................



On Jun 5, 2010 Reem wrote:

Amazing.



On Jun 2, 2010 Jake wrote:

Wow! I think that if we all look back even a couple days and think about the last conversation we had with someone, we can ask ourselves, " Did I even listen to, understand, and feel what (they) were saying or did I just think about what (I)wanted to say the whole time?".  Anyway, I like the message of "listening in-between words" and "reading in-between the lines" because it goes along with the whole "think before you act" thing that I was taught by my father.

Jake (Foundation For the Advancement of Religion Online)

http://www.religionresourcesonline.org/

 



On May 19, 2010 Rick Sparks wrote:

Only idiots think this tale is useful.  The story is really about teaching people to pretend they understand one another via personal bias. I don't do that. You make sense, I give you credit. You spew nonsense, I identify you as an idiot. Plain and simple.  See full.

Only idiots think this tale is useful.

 The story is really about teaching people to pretend they understand one another via personal bias.

I don't do that.

You make sense, I give you credit. You spew nonsense, I identify you as an idiot.

Plain and simple.

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On May 14, 2010 Anthony Pittarelli wrote:

I read the article once, then had to read it again incase i missed something between the lines, lol

 

good job



On Apr 24, 2010 carol wrote:

so true you are we all need people to listen with the heart bless you,



On Mar 29, 2010 Auntie Hosebag wrote:

Was this on the inside of a candy wrapper or on the outside of a box of tea?



On Mar 29, 2010 Lela Stankovic wrote:

This is so wonderful ! So many real instances come to my mind of friends who listened to what I was really saying, and a few friends who were not able to listen to what I 'really' wanted to say.

Sometimes in this world we are too tired & stressed out ourselves to listen to people's 'hearts', but if we make it a habbit, we will always listen to people with kindness.

http://www.lelalcreations.com

 



On Mar 29, 2010 Raj Daniel wrote:

Beautiful passage Paula and so true



On Nov 10, 2009 mezz wrote:

Beautiful.



On Oct 16, 2009 Evita wrote:

Wow that is a beautiful story. How true indeed what one can discover when we look within into our hearts.

And indeed it is not always the words that mean the most, in fact rarely. Most of the time it is what our hearts are saying that holds the most meaning.

Thanks for this.

Evita - EvolvingBeings.com



On Oct 10, 2009 Ocooch wrote:

...chuckling at the cynics: Mark, Dan, "you bore me", et al.  I used to be cynical, until I realized it was just my pride in how clever and "free" of belief I was. Clever is not wise, and freedom from compassion is no freedom at all.  Mark, Dan, et al, I have read between your lines. It's OK.



On Oct 3, 2009 Dan wrote:

That is a beautiful lesson for a kid, spoiled by a rather pompous ending. Just because you are able to read a rather transparent feeling beyond an aquaintances 'chit-chat', it in no way entitles you to assume you can see/hear/feel their heart.  The whole 'understanding the universe' ending seemed pompously egotistical, self centred, and blinkered to me, even if the universe you are refering to contains nothing more than the lawn, the old man and your family



On Sep 30, 2009 Zissou wrote:

Listening mindfully  as described above is a key skill for a fulfilling life. Practicing mindfullness in general deepens your connection/understanding with yourself and with all things. Listening mindfully to another deepens your understanding and sense of connection with that person. It also is one of the kindest things that you can do for any other person. Really listen to them. 

 



On Sep 29, 2009 Guido Branca wrote:

Paula Underwood (1932-2000) was an Iroquois oral historian. She is known for "learning stories" or "The Learning Way."[1][2]



On Sep 29, 2009 Guido Branca wrote:

It is not by chance we have two ears and two eyes but only one mouth.



On Sep 29, 2009 Patrick wrote:

How true..imagine if everyone tried to do that



On Sep 28, 2009 Carolyn wrote:

A thought-provoking story. In answer to Mark, I certainly think the dolphins may be smarter and more evolved than some humans.

We must all find our path through to a higher level of being. Some are much further along the path than others. Some think they are already there. They are wrong.

It is a journey, not a destination.



On Sep 28, 2009 Arcataberry wrote:

This reminds me of what I heard in one of my first A.A. meetings in Los Angeles:  "Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth."



On Sep 28, 2009 Those who wander are not lost... wrote:

To Patsy:  What you said definitley struck a chord with me. When I was younger, I was very opinionated, and lived in a pretty surpressed environment. This caused me to become calloused and bitter, and I was closed off to other people's thoughts and ideas. I was constantly waiting for my turn to speak, and was very set in my beliefs. When I realized this about myself, I was determined to reverse it. I spent over a year walking the streets every day, working on my listening skills. I would find a lot of people who wanted to share their stories, and forced myself to say nothing or very little. I would always write about my experiences, and  never forget the people I met. This proved to be one of the best things I ever did. Years later, I still do this regularly, and in a way need to, to make sure that I am constantly learning and being challenged. It feels so amazing to connect to people! I love sharing my ideas and listening, and having conversations that break the shallow bar  See full.

To Patsy:  What you said definitley struck a chord with me. When I was younger, I was very opinionated, and lived in a pretty surpressed environment. This caused me to become calloused and bitter, and I was closed off to other people's thoughts and ideas. I was constantly waiting for my turn to speak, and was very set in my beliefs. When I realized this about myself, I was determined to reverse it. I spent over a year walking the streets every day, working on my listening skills. I would find a lot of people who wanted to share their stories, and forced myself to say nothing or very little. I would always write about my experiences, and  never forget the people I met.

This proved to be one of the best things I ever did. Years later, I still do this regularly, and in a way need to, to make sure that I am constantly learning and being challenged. It feels so amazing to connect to people! I love sharing my ideas and listening, and having conversations that break the shallow barrier of what the weather is like.

The truth is, we are all convinced to believe that we should be in our own little worlds, interacting only when absolutely necessary. (After all,  unity is very bad for productivity!) I feel that we need to reclaim our humanity and  celebrate our differences, rather than use them as a point of division or pretend they dont exist.

"We have bigger houses but smaller families: We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgements; more experts but more problems; more medicines, but less healthiness. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but we have trouble crossing the street
to meet the new neighbour. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we have less communication. We have become long on quantity but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods, but slow digestion; tall man, but short character;steep profits, but shallow relationships. It is time when there is much in the window but nothing in the room."-Dalai Lama

...Om Mani Padme Hum...

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On Sep 28, 2009 paishin wrote:

We used to do listening all the time when I was in high school but I never was too good understanding the story so I also wrote comments in my own language between the lines and read them afterwards....that helps also.



On Sep 28, 2009 Robin Easton wrote:

This is poignantly beautiful and unlike any story I've heard. A very profound insight and lesson. Simply exquisite. Thank you for taking the time to share YOUR story. Robin



On Sep 28, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... I missed Wednesdays but I was there. It seems that all the kindness, all the care, all the understanding absorbed by each cell of my body, all this truth, all this condensed love is coming out of my soul with no control. Yesterday (Sunday), as I was eating the food (including the most delicious dessert I had in many years!) sent by Mama Harshida, I paid attention to: 1. Food for the Soul and the Body. 2. True Education and Service. 3. Developing Understanding. 1. Food for the Soul and the Body. If you ever come to Wednesdays, and if you really pay attention, you will see that your soul and body are been nourished. The Mehta family (_our_ family!) will pour you with love in action. From a gentle fragrance in the air to an exquisite smell of home-made Indian food; from the subtle silence to an outburst of collective reflections of the force of life; from a serendipitous surprising encounter to constant  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

I missed Wednesdays but I was there. It seems that all the kindness, all the care, all the understanding absorbed by each cell of my body, all this truth, all this condensed love is coming out of my soul with no control. Yesterday (Sunday), as I was eating the food (including the most delicious dessert I had in many years!) sent by Mama Harshida, I paid attention to:

1. Food for the Soul and the Body.
2. True Education and Service.
3. Developing Understanding.

1. Food for the Soul and the Body.
If you ever come to Wednesdays, and if you really pay attention, you will see that your soul and body are been nourished. The Mehta family (_our_ family!) will pour you with love in action. From a gentle fragrance in the air to an exquisite smell of home-made Indian food; from the subtle silence to an outburst of collective reflections of the force of life; from a serendipitous surprising encounter to constant attentive presence; from a welcoming smile to many pairs of shining eyes.

I invite you to pay attention next time you are eating dinner at Santa Clara (or elsewhere! like me ;-)). Please pay attention to the main ingredient of the meal: unconditional love.

If you pay attention, all that love in some way will land warmly in your heart.


2. True Education and Service.
If you pay attention you won't pay for education.
Education is not something that is purchased first with money and then with the demonstration of obedience. True education lies within. True education is about living a life of purpose. Because you can have all the money, you can have all the fame, you can have all the "power", but if you lack purpose, you lack the power to live.

It's time to Walk Out. It's time to put principles before profits and titles.

If you pay attention you will see that the greatest leaders of humanity were servant leaders. They served and are serving not only their partners, not only their families, not only theirs neighborhoods, they were/are also serving the entire Earth Community. And you don't need a degree to serve. That's the genius of the Universal Love:

If you pay attention, we all can serve.


3. Developing Understanding.
The basic conflict in our World today is not between groups or nations --it is between opposing philosophies. The conflict is between those who believe violence (structural, physical or psychological) can be overcome by more violence, and those who believe violence is to be overcome by love, courage, compassion, and respect.

To develop understanding you need to practice to look at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. Because when you have compassion, you understand and when you understand, you love, and when you love, you act in a way that can relief the suffering of others.

If you pay attention, there is always a way to connect with another human being. But first we need to pay attention to our reactions a prejudices. Then we can not react but respond with respect, understanding, kindness and love.

Planetizing the Movement of the Ahimsa (R)evolution from some corner of our round borderless country...


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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On Sep 28, 2009 Zethu Gayeni wrote:

Oh wow... I am speechless. I have never thought about going this far in terms of listening...

Thank you for this insight.



On Sep 28, 2009 Joseph wrote:

Beautiful story about awakening our capacity to listen, to have compassion.  Joseph  www.explorelife.com

 



On Sep 27, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

This weeks passage and gathering was as enjoyable and impactful as always, though I noticed that the e-responses on the site here were much more than usual!  A very interesting and topic of interest to many! If I Really Pay Attention... I found myself changing the word my to I all week as I reflected on this passage.  The change became powerful for me in my every interaction with customers, coworkers, friends, family and especially my lovely daughters! This Wednesday evening in the Mehta Family home, there was great energy around this topic.  Some interesting threads of thought exchanged are as follows: How we are "heard" by another and what another person's perspective is on what we say.  The gent sitting next to me this evening hit it right on the head with this observation.  What he actually said was that it is never too late to reflect upon what someone says and really understand what you heard.  He shared that his coworker in a remote off  See full.

This weeks passage and gathering was as enjoyable and impactful as always, though I noticed that the e-responses on the site here were much more than usual!  A very interesting and topic of interest to many!

If I Really Pay Attention... I found myself changing the word my to I all week as I reflected on this passage.  The change became powerful for me in my every interaction with customers, coworkers, friends, family and especially my lovely daughters!

This Wednesday evening in the Mehta Family home, there was great energy around this topic.  Some interesting threads of thought exchanged are as follows:

How we are "heard" by another and what another person's perspective is on what we say.  The gent sitting next to me this evening hit it right on the head with this observation.  What he actually said was that it is never too late to reflect upon what someone says and really understand what you heard.  He shared that his coworker in a remote office misheard and misread his intent when he was visiting the local office and requesting assistance on a project.  At first he didn't get it at all, but later, upon reflection he totally understood where this person was coming from and why they reacted the way they did to him and his request.  Such a powerful recognition.  If we can slow down and listen more effectively at the moment, wow, what clarity, understanding and harmony we might be able to contribute to in an exchange.

Another sharing was that when we concentrate on the words a person is saying we loose the message and actually the physical experience of listening is limited.  Sharing furhter around the room it came to be said that listening is observing, hearing, having compassion and understanding, and feeling with our hearts the other individual.

A couple of people shared experiential exercises they participated in regarding "listening" activities.  From corporate training events, to university studies, to non profit organization team building exercises.  The information discovered was the same; communication takes at least 2 of us, it requires being "present" with the other person andi n the intereaction, this allows "feeling" the other person by observation, energy, physical expression and curiously the 'words" though valuable and important were not neccessarily the key componanat to listening! Really!!

For me, "If I Really Pay Attention" to my daughters as they share with me about their most recent test scores, or the upcoming class project, or student activity at school, I will hear thier desire to achieve, to make and build good relationships, the anxiety that comes with being a teenager, and perhaps I will realize that sometimes the simple act of listening, giving a smile, a high five, a huge hug and kiss, being available to take and pick up, is really all these lovely women need at the moment... just lending an ear and reaching understanding.

 

 

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On Sep 27, 2009 Somik Raha wrote:

I find it important to think of volition when engaging in a listening conversation. We all get non-verbal signals all the time. We can choose to process it from a space of expectation, which i a great impurity of the mind. I have found that conversations that have expectations in it go in undesirable directions. On the other hand, we can choose to process the signals from a space of freedom and compassion, with a great volition of goodwill for the other person. When this happens, the members of the conversation open up into a deeper space of listening, where a lot is shared and co-created. These are the unforgettable conversations of our life. I have a story to illustrate the movement of volition from expectation to freedom. Some weeks back, I was TA'ing a class on Ethics, which I greatly admire. The class was being offered to executives for the very first time. My job was to socialize during break-time and check that people were getting value from the class. If anyone had issues, I w  See full.

I find it important to think of volition when engaging in a listening conversation. We all get non-verbal signals all the time. We can choose to process it from a space of expectation, which i a great impurity of the mind. I have found that conversations that have expectations in it go in undesirable directions. On the other hand, we can choose to process the signals from a space of freedom and compassion, with a great volition of goodwill for the other person. When this happens, the members of the conversation open up into a deeper space of listening, where a lot is shared and co-created. These are the unforgettable conversations of our life.

I have a story to illustrate the movement of volition from expectation to freedom. Some weeks back, I was TA'ing a class on Ethics, which I greatly admire. The class was being offered to executives for the very first time. My job was to socialize during break-time and check that people were getting value from the class. If anyone had issues, I would bring them up with the organizers of the class so they could be addressed before the class was over.

In the break, I walked over to a group of smiling people thinking I'd get some positive feedback. I asked, "So, how's the class going for you?" A gentleman who was smilingly sipping his tea, looked at me with a deadpan expression. His smile vanished, eyes narrowed, shoulder tensed up, face contracted and I felt a big amount of negativity. Then, he spoke, "I don't know how this class can get any worse." He had an issue with the fact that the class was being taped and he'd just made a comment that he was afraid would get him into trouble. He multiplied the negativity from this experience and found everything else in the class to be useless - and started criticizing the professor, whom I respect very deeply.

I tried telling him that I would convey this and see what we can do, but he should try to learn as much as he could from this point on. But there was an impurity in my mind - I was a little offended that he had criticized the professor. Although there was a volition in my mind that he should get the most from the class, it was now reduced. Just as I'd read him, he too read me, and called me out, "You are being defensive."

Over the next session, I gave the feedback about the taping. The professor thought this was a great opportunity to practice what we were teaching - telling the whole truth, and suggested the organizers lead a discussion and tell the students what their own limitations were, and brainstorm a solution. While the brainstorm was ongoing, I kept giving compassion to all. I could feel the anger in the room subsiding. Reflecting on it later, I think what really happened was that the impurity in my mind was subsiding - the expectation that all should respect my professor. Instead, I cared completely for the students understanding the class material.

Thereafter, we went to lunch, and as luck would have it, I was on the same table as the morning friend. On getting a question from another participant on the goals of the class, I took the opportunity and explained, "This class is very similar to meditation. In meditation, we look at our own bad habits, and only then are we able to correct it. Do you guys do meditation?" One nodded, but my morning friend said no. I continued, "If you do, you will quickly become sensitive about your habits. For instance, when you were giving me feedback in the morning, I noticed how your face changed, how your shoulders tensed up, and how much you were boiling inside. It should have just been about giving me the feedback and continuing to enjoy the class to the fullest. Why should you let your enjoyment depend on our shortcomings? Why not continue to derive the fullest value from this point on?"

He replied with a "Hmm." After a pause, he said, "You are absolutely right." and went silent. And we both listened to each other in a very different way.

 

 

 

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On Sep 26, 2009 Mark wrote:

This is B.S...I'm sure you all think dolphins are smarter or more evolved than humans too.  Jeesh.  Reality...live it.



On Sep 24, 2009 Patrick wrote:

For those that found this touching, here's some practical tips on this topic I saw today

http://www.dumblittleman.com/2009/09/master-art-of-listening-and-watch-all.html



On Sep 24, 2009 Sequoia wrote:

So Beautiful!

Thank you for sharing.



On Sep 24, 2009 christopher wrote:

Any experience which reminds me to look beyond my superficial perspective to what I truly feel is a gift...

It is so very easy to dismiss our subtle feelings...

 

Thank you all...I smile not only reading the main article but also your comments...!!!

 



On Sep 24, 2009 you bore me wrote:

irrelevant and boring.

just say: "i had a nice childhood and daddy told me i was really smart, because i could repeat what other people said. i still feel very talented."

 

would have saved me some time (reading + beeing disgusted + writing this comment)



On Sep 23, 2009 Vaibhav vinayaka wrote:

one must not  hear just the word but also the sense he wants to say

words are not enough to express oneself but the tuning up of the mind can

convey the message

when one don't have tuning of hearts with others one must not waste his

and counter parts time as well.

 

 



On Sep 23, 2009 Gloria wrote:

 I collect a lot of quotations. Quotations of those I know, and those I don't. Quotations of the famous,and the every day, words of the old and the young. In fact, it's almost never the "who" of the quote and always the "what" but it's never just the what, it's the "spirit in which" and the "spirit whom"  Paula, I am moved and Humbled, and feel like you've given me,As Shel Silverstein has written, "The Missing Piece".  When you Feel the spirit in which some one is speaking, you feel so much more, It's true. Some times you feel the outward emotion, which might be anger, or jealousy, resentment or hatred, but when you keep listening, with your heart, which is your true ear, you'll hear how that Spirit really feels, You may even feel the "why" of  "what his spirit is saying.  It does take practice, a lifetime, but the reward is that, we continue becoming better, and the other shares in the reward.  See full.

 I collect a lot of quotations. Quotations of those I know, and those I don't. Quotations of the famous,and the every day, words of the old and the young. In fact, it's almost never the "who" of the quote and always the "what" but it's never just the what, it's the "spirit in which" and the "spirit whom" 

Paula, I am moved and Humbled, and feel like you've given me,As Shel Silverstein has written, "The Missing Piece". 

When you Feel the spirit in which some one is speaking, you feel so much more, It's true. Some times you feel the outward emotion, which might be anger, or jealousy, resentment or hatred, but when you keep listening, with your heart, which is your true ear, you'll hear how that Spirit really feels, You may even feel the "why" of  "what his spirit is saying. 

It does take practice, a lifetime, but the reward is that, we continue becoming better, and the other shares in the reward.

 

Thank you Paula, and all of those who commented: Your Eloquence is humbling,and you've given me compounding opportunities to "listen with my heart", 

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On Sep 22, 2009 silicon.shaman wrote:

Ignoring the haters and doubters above...[who obviously need to reread this and then read between the lines].

I have to say this very like what a counsellor is taught to do. To not just listen to what is said, but what isn't, and what lies behind all the words both spoken and unspoken.

I guess we're begining to 'catch up' to what used to be known.



On Sep 22, 2009 Kaylia wrote:

No clanmother would self-identify as a clanmother of the Iroquois nation.  There are 6 nations within the Iroquois Confederacy.  I can say with confidence that this person is not a clanmother; we know who our clanmothers are.

I call imposter.



On Sep 22, 2009 SupaW wrote:

What a dose of Sentimental Pish!



On Sep 22, 2009 First Forgiveness wrote:

I love this! Great thing to share with my 7 year old. Thanks! http://firstforgiveness.org

 



On Sep 22, 2009 Peruse Khachoyan wrote:

Beautiful... Humbling... Thank you!



On Sep 22, 2009 marsha wrote:

this is lovely.  it reflects the state of "bodhichitta" ~ altruistic mind - to just be present, truly present with someone else.  it does not require "fixing", just being with the other, truly.



On Sep 22, 2009 KT wrote:

So often it's not what you hear from another person but what you feel from them. Sometimes words can't capture a feeling. It's something that is translated through a force that I will never fully comprehend.

This is a good reminder for me. Sometimes it's easy to forget to truly pay attention with intention.  

:-) Today is a new day. 



On Sep 22, 2009 Patsy wrote:

So often I see people who have developed this way of interacting with others - they spend the whole time the other person is speaking thinking of what they want to say next. They make the same statements and arguments over and over. The only voice they want to hear is their own. The only thoughts and feelings they want to hear are their own.

In this way they become empty. Any real thoughts they may have had calcify as they are parroted over and over. Any real feelings they had become a habit they cannot escape from. They have created a prison for their own mind and their own heart to protect them from other people's ideas and other people's feelings.

No one is too old to learn to listen and see as this woman did as a girl. There is nothing to fear in seeing human beings with open eyes and hearing them with open ears. You will not lose yourself by embracing others, you will find new parts of yourself. You will be alive.



On Sep 22, 2009 bhavana wrote:

 what a father to have!  i envy that training which he gave so naturally.  may we all grow into parents like this, to friends like this, to teachers like this...



On Sep 22, 2009 sunil kapoor wrote:

yes it is absolutely right.... everything depends upon our concentration n awareness...

 

yes we can hear to the nature also....



On Sep 22, 2009 Irene wrote:

So true---I  have read this over again so many times.  Thank you so much.



On Sep 22, 2009 Rosalie Chetcuti wrote:

   Very good and so true.



On Sep 21, 2009 mardiana wrote:

 i have the best job in the world teaching teachers in a master's programme and when i listen to my teachers i try to hear beyond their words - i listen to hear the passion, commitment, stories of pain and struggle and yes the triumphs of their various works in classrooms.

the Universe speaks to us through those around us all the time. when one person speaks, there are so many voices struggling to get through from him or her. 

thank you for this story. now i know what i can ask my children and students to do....

 



On Sep 21, 2009 ganoba wrote:

Listening beyond words is what I have learnt to do guided by a guru who lives somewhere inside me, not as a captive but as a free spirit.

Life is now full of music.

I have also learnt to see beyond form and colour. The world is so beautiful.