When Someone Deeply Listens To You

John Fox

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Awakin FeatureWhen someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

Seed questions for reflection: What does it mean to you to deeply listen to someone? Can you share an experience of a time you felt deeply listened to? What helps you to deeply listen?

Add Your Reflection:

11 Previous Reflections:

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    On Feb 5, 2020 Lauren wrote:
    Deeply listening, nothing else is happening. I have become who is speaking in that moment.

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    On Feb 4, 2020 Joe Houska wrote:
    Deep listening requires hearing and being with what's most alive within the speaker (without judgment, diagnosis, strategies, advice, etc.), simply being there, and conveying your accompaniment.

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    On Feb 4, 2020 Beth Holmes wrote:
    When I deeply listen, I suspend all expectation, clear my head of imagined responses, honor the other by giving them my full attention (not just the part that isn’t composing my grocery list). I am moved 100% into Now where I listen with my mind, my heart, my body.

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    On Feb 4, 2020 Sandra Lee wrote:
    I am moved and breathe more deeply now

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    On Feb 4, 2020 Nick Heap wrote:
    Listening deeply is the simplest way to be loving. It helps people think better and feel better. When someone I am listening to well gets an insight, and perhaps now sees her or himself as valued and valuable, competent and powerful I feel great. I've justified my existence in the world in some way. I have had many experiences of being listened to deeply. I meet regularly online and face to face in pairs with several people and we take turns listening to each other. Half an hour each way once a month not only helps me think better about my work and life it also radically increase my ability to listen to others. I've learned through this not to pay attention to the inner chatter in my head when I am listening. I've been doing this for forty years. It always works. A long time ago I remember talking to Dot, who was very shy and quiet, about the difficult relationshipthat I had with my wife's mother (M). She listened and then said, very diffidently,"that must be ver... [View Full Comment] Listening deeply is the simplest way to be loving. It helps people think better and feel better. When someone I am listening to well gets an insight, and perhaps now sees her or himself as valued and valuable, competent and powerful I feel great. I've justified my existence in the world in some way.

    I have had many experiences of being listened to deeply. I meet regularly online and face to face in pairs with several people and we take turns listening to each other. Half an hour each way once a month not only helps me think better about my work and life it also radically increase my ability to listen to others. I've learned through this not to pay attention to the inner chatter in my head when I am listening. I've been doing this for forty years. It always works.

    A long time ago I remember talking to Dot, who was very shy and quiet, about the difficult relationshipthat I had with my wife's mother (M). She listened and then said, very diffidently,"that must be very frustratingfor you". I felt understood and soon afterwards started interacting more with M and found myself enjoying it. The whole conversation with Dot took less than 10 minutes.[Hide Full Comment]

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    On Feb 4, 2020 Anilkumar Pandit wrote:
    Have noticed that a speaker tends to keep his gaze towards a particular person in the audiance. Looking at such person, I find that this particular person is 'Deep Listening' the speaker, seen just by observing the eyes, facial expression, and occassional noddiing of such person. It is a wonderful engagement between the two, setting up resonance and thereby enhancing the amplitude of absorbtion!
    Humility is the simplest way to imbibe Deep Listening, which further leads to Deep Learning !!

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    On Feb 3, 2020 Sunil Mor wrote:
    Deeply listening is establishing a soul to soul connection on equal footing. It's accepting the universality of the same life force manifesting in everybody. Then there is a smooth flow with full understanding, empathy without being judgmental. Any conversation with such soul consciousness is the real experience.

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    On Feb 2, 2020 Prasad Kaipa wrote:
    This week, I have been reflecting on the listening deeply. I thought it might be interesting to tell a story with two photos. The B & W photo is taken in a retirement community in Bangalore last year. During a festival day, the local resident wanted to decorate the front of the dining hall and she was doing it her way. There was a guest visiting from Boston who is a professional artist wanted to help. You can see the resident deeply engaged with the artist doing the background design. I was captivated by the deep listening, attention and willingness to surrender her pride to learn from this visitor. By the way, I intentionally darkened the faces so that their privacy is protected. In the second photo, you will the output of their collaboration and deep listening. Click on the image for higher-res photo. ... [View Full Comment] This week, I have been reflecting on the listening deeply. I thought it might be interesting to tell a story with two photos. The B & W photo is taken in a retirement community in Bangalore last year. During a festival day, the local resident wanted to decorate the front of the dining hall and she was doing it her way. There was a guest visiting from Boston who is a professional artist wanted to help. You can see the resident deeply engaged with the artist doing the background design. I was captivated by the deep listening, attention and willingness to surrender her pride to learn from this visitor. By the way, I intentionally darkened the faces so that their privacy is protected. In the second photo, you will the output of their collaboration and deep listening.



    Click on the image for higher-res photo. [Hide Full Comment]

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    On Feb 1, 2020 David Doane wrote:
    To deeply listen to someone means to give full attention to what someone is saying, not to what I am thinking, not to judgments or assumptions I might be creating, and not to what I am going to say in response. Deeply listening means being full present to and with the other. Deeply listening means caring about and respecting the other. Deeply listening even means listening to the whole person, that is, listening to what is being said nonverbally as well as verbally. Fortunately, I have often felt deeply listened to, and during those times I have felt met, known, cared about, valued, special, and supported. What helps me to deeply listen is knowing from personal experience how valuable it is to be listened to, and knowing how satisfying it is to listen.

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    On Jan 31, 2020 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    Listening deeply to someone means to be fully attentive to the other person's saying. Sounds simple, but not that easy to do. When I listen to someone my mind is fresh, clean, open and undivided. I am fully present with the other person. If and when an urge arises in me to talk, I hold my tongue and just listen. Listening to the other person deeply and fully requires self-discipline. My friend and I are teaching Science of Happiness to Middle School and High School students. Yesterday we were exploring the topic of social connection as an important component ofhappiness. We were discussing how deep listening is a significant building block for creating and sustaining happy and healthy relationships. We have a very quiet and a very smart student in our class. He sits by himself reading a book of his choice. One of his class mates empathically and compassionately looked at him and asked him to say what makes him sit apart from others. The quiet student felt the other student'sge... [View Full Comment] Listening deeply to someone means to be fully attentive to the other person's saying. Sounds simple, but not that easy to do. When I listen to someone my mind is fresh, clean, open and undivided. I am fully present with the other person. If and when an urge arises in me to talk, I hold my tongue and just listen. Listening to the other person deeply and fully requires self-discipline.

    My friend and I are teaching Science of Happiness to Middle School and High School students. Yesterday we were exploring the topic of social connection as an important component ofhappiness. We were discussing how deep listening is a significant building block for creating and sustaining happy and healthy relationships. We have a very quiet and a very smart student in our class. He sits by himself reading a book of his choice. One of his class mates empathically and compassionately looked at him and asked him to say what makes him sit apart from others. The quiet student felt the other student'sgenuine curiosity and compassion. He opened his mind and heart and shared his sad experience of being criticized and humiliated by his friends. Deep listening opened the door for him to talk openly and honestly. He felt at home.

    For me, there are two ways for cultivating deep listening. First is to listen to my self deeply and compassionately. It is self-introspection and self examination. This mindfulness listening helps me to cultivate the skill of listening to others deeply and compassionately. Deep listening is a gift to me and to others in my life.
    Namaste!
    JagdishP Dave
















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