The theme this week follows last week's almost magically. Listening is an important part of any good relationship and it is not an easy skill. It is hard to listen without judgement, to listen without interrupting, to listen without jumping in to share or solve. To just listen.

I encourage you to try it this week and hope the quotations I have chosen will inspire you to listen well:

"To listen well, we must attend both to the words and the silence between the words." --William Issacs in "A Matter of Spirit," the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center quarterly newsletter

"The first duty of love is to listen." --Paul Tillich

"Listen to those who open a path to you; listen and don't say a word." --RUMI

"O Great Spirit help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak and to remember the peace that may be found in silence." --Cherokee prayer

"...[Y]our listening ear is more powerful than you can imagine." --Jackson Kiddard

"Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand." --Sue Patton Thoele

"Part of understanding is being willing to listen to each other's stories." --Karen Lindvig

"Most people listen to reply, not to understand." --Stephen Covey

"Usually when you listen to some statement, you hear it as a kind of echo of yourself. You are actually listening to your own opinion. If it agrees with your opinion you may accept it, but if it does not, you will reject it or you may not even really hear it." --Shunryu Suzuki

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