Listening is Social Meditation

Deep listening could be thought of as "social meditation." Listening doesn't just benefit the speaker, it can be experienced as a spiritual practice for the listener.

What it takes to meditate is to get in touch with our breathing, quiet our minds best we can, let go of the outside world, and to focus within, on some object, or on a mantra or prayer.

When we choose to listen deeply to another person, we put aside all of our distractions (yes, the cell phone, laptop, tv get turned off), take a deep breath to clear ourselves, find a quiet place to be, put aside our own thoughts and agenda, and focus entirely on the words, body language, intonation and undercurrent of the person speaking to us. When we practice "social mediation" both the listener and the speaker have an opportunity to become more calm and centered. 

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