We say that we know a thing when we know it not only with our physical senses, with our intellect, but also when we engage our intuitive ways of knowing, of emotional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. And that’s really what I mean by listening …Robin Wall Kimmerer
What is possible when we begin to listen with all our senses? How might listening in this nuanced way change our relationship with our own hearts, while deepening our connection to the world around us? How might such radical listening build bridges across difference and light a path forward for our work in the world? And is it possible that listening in this way might even help to heal what is broken in our lives and in the lives of others?
This seven-day practice extends an invitation to explore the many dimensions of listening and the profound ways in which it shapes a grateful orientation to life. Each day you will have the opportunity to practice listening with more than just your ears and to more than simply sound, and, in the process, to deepen awareness of how you relate to yourself, others, and life as a whole. Learning to tune in wholeheartedly, we discover how embodied listening helps us lean into subtlety, complexity, and difficulty – all that we might not actively seek to hear – in service of the connection and healing we long for.
We recommend you bookmark this page and move through the practice days at your own pace. You might move through the practice alone or consider exploring it with others, as part of a group experience.
Day 1: Listen with Your Whole Body
Tune in to the world around you by intentionally opening each of your senses and your body as a whole.
Day 2: Listen, Allow, and Welcome
As you continue to practice listening with your whole body, experiment with fully allowing all that you take in. What’s here right now?
Day 3: Listen to and with Your Heart
Listening to the life around you, listen to the life within you. Listen to and with your heart. What truths do you hear? How might the voicing of your heart be a source of inner guidance as you navigate the world?
Day 4: Listen to Complexity
Today we explore the ways in which whole-bodied listening affects how you take in complexity. Experiment with listening to both individual parts of a whole and the whole itself.
Day 5: Listen to the Unfamiliar
This day’s practice offers us the opportunity to actively seek out unfamiliar voices and perspectives, and approach them with grateful receptivity. How does your open-heartedness help you listen to the experiences and perspectives of others with humility – with genuine curiosity and a desire to learn?
Day 6: Listen to Discomfort
Grounded in the previous, deepening days of practice, we explore being with that which you might not want to hear: sensory experiences (sounds, images, tastes, smells, physical sensations), emotions, voices, and messages. What do you notice when you simply listen and allow?
Day 7: Listening as Healing
Whole-bodied, open-hearted listening offers us an experience of grateful living in which our appreciative presence connects and transforms. Learning to listen more fully – and more gratefully – allows us to respond to any given moment and the changes before us in the freshest, most imaginative, most deeply sourced ways. What new possibilities – for yourself, others, and our world – are awakened as you lean in to truly listen?
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