Deep Listening. Compassionate Listening. Learn from Thich Nhat Hanh.



listen-to-help-or-empty-his-heartDeep Listening

Though not straight related to mediation I was positively surprised to see this interview of Oprah with Thich Nhat Hanh.

During this interview they talked about ‘deep’ listening.

I decided to write down the lessons of this interview because they are so important. They contribute to Peace and Happiness. The most important lesson to learn:

Listen deeply, Listen with compassion.
I am listening to help you to suffer less!

There are different tools a mediator can use during the mediation process.
Since many years I am convinced that mediation is the solution to solve conflicts. But I am also aware that as a mediator, you have to be a very good listener. Solving a conflict is not a bout talking or telling people what to do. It is all about listening and understanding.

I always felt that you can solve a conflict by just listening. Without almost saying nothing but asking questions.
By seeing this excerpt of interview I am even more convinced this is the way to solve conflicts.

Lessons from the interview.
Deep listening can relief the suffering of the other person. You can call it compassionate listening.

  • You listen with the only one purpose, help him or her to empty his heart.

  • If you remember that you are helping him or her to suffer less,

  • Even if s/he says things full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness,

  • you are still capable to continue to listen with compassion.

  • Because you know that by listening with compassion you give him a chance to suffer less,

  • If you want to help him or her to correct his perception,

  • and then you wait for another time

  • but for the time being, you just listen with compassion and help him or her suffer less,

  • and one hour like that can bring transformation and healing.

  • You think and make the other feel, I have not understood enough of your difficulties and suffering

  • So please tell us about your suffering, your difficulties.

  • I am here to help you suffer less. I’m eager to learn, to understand.

    IT HAS TO START LIKE THAT. LOVING SPEECH. If you are honest, if you are true

  • They will open their heart and tell us.

  • And then we practice compassionate, deep listening.

  • By that process of deep listening we can learn so much about our own perception

  • and their perceptions

  • And that is the best way, the only way, to remove terrorism.

The principle is the same no matter the conflict.

It is from suffering that we learn. We learn to listen with compassion.

  • The fear, the anger and the despair is born

  • We have wrong perceptions concerning ourselves and the other person

  • and that is the foundation for conflict and war and violence.

  • Anger is the energy which people use in order to act.

  • But when you are angry, you are not lucid.

  • That is why compassion is the better energy.

  • We can always learn from suffering.


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