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Developing Your Listening Skills

In this talk and meditation, we'll explore a simple strategy to become a more mindful listener.

Hey, welcome. In this session, we're going to discuss and practice a mindful listening technique that you can use in your parenting and in your relationships. The capacity to listen well with curiosity and presence is, in my opinion, one of the greatest gifts you can give another person. It becomes the heart of connection. And there's something very primal, very fundamental about being seen and heard.

I mean, think about it in your own life. The people you know or have known who feel like they're really there for you. When you're sharing good news, bad news, you can feel their presence. You can feel that they care. You can feel them listening.

And they respond in a way that is aligned with what you were saying. This is the bedrock of a strong relationship. But also our capacity to experience empathy ourselves to another, or empathy from others to us. So there's one strategy for mindful listening that I perceive as a bit of a hack. Very easy to implement.

You don't need to do years of meditating. It's just a simple phrase. And that is, Listen to understand, not respond. Listen, to understand, not respond. The great thing about this is that you can try it immediately in your next conversation.

And it takes us out of our sometimes usual orientation of what am I going to say next, or just our usual judgements that we might bring to a person, especially our children or intimate partner about what they mean in what they're saying. And instead of actually listening, we're actually caught in our own story, our own ideas. So this is a great practice to drop beneath some of those preconceived notions and meet the moment to moment aliveness of the relationship that is most intimate, and the response can come organically from there. It's not like you don't respond at all, but you're letting the response come from first understanding. So let's do some meditation that can drop us into this curious understanding listening state.

You can find a posture that feels comfortable for you. Inviting your eyes to close, if that feels okay. And we'll start by taking a deep breath to help us ground. In through the nose. Slowly out through the mouth.

Inviting the jaw to soften. Shoulders. And the belly. You can let your breath come back to it's natural rhythm. And we're just going to spend some time in awareness, that is akin to beginner's mind.

Beginner's mind is this childlike curiosity, the recognition that we've never seen this moment before. We don't actually know what it's all about yet. And so as you rest here, just notice, what is it like to be you in this moment? In this moment. Not 10 seconds ago, yesterday, a week ago. Right now, what is it like to be you? Not trying to change anything.

And even letting go of any judgments around what you're experiencing. You're just seeking to understand what is here. And we're going to practice taking this beginner's mind into a scenario where you're having a conversation, when this might be most needed. So think to a recent conversation you had. This could be with your child or a partner or someone else, if you prefer.

And it's a conversation where you felt a little misattuned. You weren't fully there. You might've had your own ideas and judgements about what should have been done. So just bring that to mind for a moment. If you need to pause to think about this, you can.

And now I just invite you to go back through the conversation where they're sharing something with you. And to imagine listening with this beginner's mind quality. Listening to understand, not respond. And just notice for yourself in this visualization of what feels different, what looks different, how are you listening differently, and how do you perceive they might be responding differently. I'll give you some time in silence to reflect on this.

Okay, you can bring your attention to your breath for a few moments. And even though we've stepped out of the visualization, it can still be the same quality of listening, attunement, listening to understand rather than respond. What is it like to listen to the breathing in that way? What is this breath like? Let's take one more deep breath before we close. In through the nose. Out through the mouth.

And when you're ready, you can open your eyes. So that is listening to understand rather than listening to respond. Remember, this is not about not responding. You can still have your opinions. You can still put up a boundary.

You can still, yeah, offer your thoughts around I don't think this is right. But you're doing so from a place of deep attunement, of really listening, of first stepping out of your own ideas about this person and what they should do. Especially if it's your child or your partner, where you probably have a lot of different ideas. Meeting the aliveness of this being right now from a place of curiosity, even love. And then allowing the response to happen organically.

Does this solve all communication and listening issues? No, but it is one of the simple hacks that I think can take you very far and it's very easy to implement. So try this out in your next conversation. Listen to understand, rather than listen to respond. Thank you for your practice. I'll talk to you soon.

And until next time, take care.

Talk

4.7

Developing Your Listening Skills

In this talk and meditation, we'll explore a simple strategy to become a more mindful listener.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey, welcome. In this session, we're going to discuss and practice a mindful listening technique that you can use in your parenting and in your relationships. The capacity to listen well with curiosity and presence is, in my opinion, one of the greatest gifts you can give another person. It becomes the heart of connection. And there's something very primal, very fundamental about being seen and heard.

I mean, think about it in your own life. The people you know or have known who feel like they're really there for you. When you're sharing good news, bad news, you can feel their presence. You can feel that they care. You can feel them listening.

And they respond in a way that is aligned with what you were saying. This is the bedrock of a strong relationship. But also our capacity to experience empathy ourselves to another, or empathy from others to us. So there's one strategy for mindful listening that I perceive as a bit of a hack. Very easy to implement.

You don't need to do years of meditating. It's just a simple phrase. And that is, Listen to understand, not respond. Listen, to understand, not respond. The great thing about this is that you can try it immediately in your next conversation.

And it takes us out of our sometimes usual orientation of what am I going to say next, or just our usual judgements that we might bring to a person, especially our children or intimate partner about what they mean in what they're saying. And instead of actually listening, we're actually caught in our own story, our own ideas. So this is a great practice to drop beneath some of those preconceived notions and meet the moment to moment aliveness of the relationship that is most intimate, and the response can come organically from there. It's not like you don't respond at all, but you're letting the response come from first understanding. So let's do some meditation that can drop us into this curious understanding listening state.

You can find a posture that feels comfortable for you. Inviting your eyes to close, if that feels okay. And we'll start by taking a deep breath to help us ground. In through the nose. Slowly out through the mouth.

Inviting the jaw to soften. Shoulders. And the belly. You can let your breath come back to it's natural rhythm. And we're just going to spend some time in awareness, that is akin to beginner's mind.

Beginner's mind is this childlike curiosity, the recognition that we've never seen this moment before. We don't actually know what it's all about yet. And so as you rest here, just notice, what is it like to be you in this moment? In this moment. Not 10 seconds ago, yesterday, a week ago. Right now, what is it like to be you? Not trying to change anything.

And even letting go of any judgments around what you're experiencing. You're just seeking to understand what is here. And we're going to practice taking this beginner's mind into a scenario where you're having a conversation, when this might be most needed. So think to a recent conversation you had. This could be with your child or a partner or someone else, if you prefer.

And it's a conversation where you felt a little misattuned. You weren't fully there. You might've had your own ideas and judgements about what should have been done. So just bring that to mind for a moment. If you need to pause to think about this, you can.

And now I just invite you to go back through the conversation where they're sharing something with you. And to imagine listening with this beginner's mind quality. Listening to understand, not respond. And just notice for yourself in this visualization of what feels different, what looks different, how are you listening differently, and how do you perceive they might be responding differently. I'll give you some time in silence to reflect on this.

Okay, you can bring your attention to your breath for a few moments. And even though we've stepped out of the visualization, it can still be the same quality of listening, attunement, listening to understand rather than respond. What is it like to listen to the breathing in that way? What is this breath like? Let's take one more deep breath before we close. In through the nose. Out through the mouth.

And when you're ready, you can open your eyes. So that is listening to understand rather than listening to respond. Remember, this is not about not responding. You can still have your opinions. You can still put up a boundary.

You can still, yeah, offer your thoughts around I don't think this is right. But you're doing so from a place of deep attunement, of really listening, of first stepping out of your own ideas about this person and what they should do. Especially if it's your child or your partner, where you probably have a lot of different ideas. Meeting the aliveness of this being right now from a place of curiosity, even love. And then allowing the response to happen organically.

Does this solve all communication and listening issues? No, but it is one of the simple hacks that I think can take you very far and it's very easy to implement. So try this out in your next conversation. Listen to understand, rather than listen to respond. Thank you for your practice. I'll talk to you soon.

And until next time, take care.

Talk

4.7

Duration

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