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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Deep listening

It's how we hear others with open minds and loving hearts

Two years ago we started a small group with some friends to work with the alphabet of spiritual practices in our books Spiritual Literacy and Spiritual Rx. We discovered that seven people took seven approaches to each practice, whether it be compassion, gratitude or wonder. So rather than coming together to do a particular exercise, we decided to practice on our own and use our meetings to share these experiences. We soon learned that we had to really listen to each other for this process to be meaningful.

In The Sacred Art of Listening (Skylight Paths, 2002), Kay Lindahl writes about what we try to achieve in our group: "There's something beyond technique when two or more people are deeply listening to each other. It is an awareness that not only are we present to each other, we are present to something that is spiritual, holy, sacred."


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September issue

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