Deep Listening

Thich Nhat Hanh

You can ease another person's suffering simply by listening to them with compassion.
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You can ease another person’s suffering simply by listening to them with compassion. The sole purpose is to ease their suffering just by listening. Even if they are full of bitterness and perceive things negatively, just keep listening with the purpose of easing their suffering. If you think that you can help practically in another way, save that for another time. Just keep listening. Through Deep Listening we can learn so much about somebody else’s perception, and also of ours, opening the understanding of how each differs so that only compassion is left. That is how we will end world wars.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh’s take on Deep Listening resonates with me because he so eloquently describes, and puts a label on something, that I have experienced through nature, animals and Reiki.  

The COVID-19 Pandemic made me realise that I could practise Deep Listening more in my daily life.

I listen to the troubles of others and I want to jump in and help them ‘fix’ it.

I often forget to be wholly present and in the moment – a place that is free from judgement and free from offering immediate advice.  

It is often with the people closest to me (i.e. my husband, children, and mother) that I practise Deep Listening the least.

Perhaps its because they are so close to me that I find it hard to say nothing.  

We are often taught as parents to repeat what our young children say to us to show them that we are in fact listening!  

However, I realise now that more often than not, being silent (but fully present and aware), is exactly what is needed.

They just want to talk and need me to simply listen.

The passage below taken from the classic novel, Siddhartha (written by Herman Hesse), describes so completely how Deep Listening can relieve a person’s suffering:

(Siddharta is talking to Vasudeva) – “As he went on speaking and Vasudeva listened to him with a serene face, Siddharta was more keenly aware than ever of Vasudeva’s attentiveness. He felt his troubles, his anxieties and his secret hopes flow across to him and then return again. Disclosing his wound to his listener was the same as bathing it in the river, until it became cool and one with it.”

Woman walking in the woods

Nature and animals 'deep listen' all the time. No words are ever spoken.

That’s why taking a walk in nature or being with your pet is so healing.

You can let out all your words, thoughts and emotions without fear of judgement or repercussion.  

Nature and animals simply listen.  They have their own way of communicating and much of it is intuitive and energy-based.

Deep Listening and Reiki

Deep Listening happens so effortlessly through Reiki.

It involves a subtle communication that doesn’t happen through words yet the results are the same – suffering is alleviated in some way so that the person feels wholly ‘listened’ to and lighter than before.

In the video below I explain how this is so.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Gabriel García Márquez which I believe explains the main cause of unrest in this world and hopefully, by following Thich Nhat Hanh’s example, we can do our bit to bring in more peace.

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