Welcome to the second day of our seven-day practice in which we expand our capacity to listen. We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Read the practice below and carry the invitation with you through your day. You may find it meaningful to explore the practice in the moment, and we encourage you to integrate it into your daily life as you explore the question: What happens when I make myself fully available to listen within and around me?
“Gratefulness is there from the very beginning, because it is always a loving listening to whatever comes your way,
and if you lovingly listen to it, you are grateful for it.”
~ Br. David Steindl-Rast
As you continue to practice listening with your whole body, experiment with fully allowing all that you take in. What’s here right now? Receive the signals and vibrations of your environment fully open to surprise – without judgment and without expectation. Once allowed, can you then welcome them, receiving them gratefully – as gifts?
Embrace your open-heartedness as a container for possibility. What are you awakened to through your attentive and appreciative presence? What might we hear anew and differently if we try to allow and welcome when we listen?
Deepening the Practice
In her TED Talk, How to Truly Listen, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie invites us to think about not only the different ways we can hear music but also the importance of listening deeply to one another, to “really use our bodies as a resonating chamber, to stop the judgment.”
Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…
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I am using this with my music classes. What a wonderful lesson during this time.
Evelyn drops me from head to heart. My breathing slows; external sounds become part of the fabric of Life as I tune into my body. I realise just how much my mind governs the way I receive the invitations the everyday offers. Listening to her evokes the same deep mystery as contemplative prayer.
I want to share this quote from Frederick Buechner’s daily meditations book called “Listening to Your Life” this was from January 1, which I happened to read today after this practice.
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.”
Overwhelmed with her excellence as a musician as well as an engaging speaker and her self confidence inspired me. truly deaf? but hearing her way. She must have practiced so much of her life to reach the beauty of her speaking persona and her art.
I appreciate the new idea of our bodies being resonant chambers. A whole new concept. I should have known because I can feel the environmental noise around me all day every day and as old as I am, I cannot seem to adjust to it. My grateful practice is helping to sift through and find the gifts. I will try to perceive the noise as a gift and see what happens. Thank you.
I love Evelyn Glennie and have been privileged to hear her perform live in Leeds. We take ‘listening’ for granted as something we do naturally, without having to think about it, but Evelyn’s makes us realise that perhaps we need to put in more effort and be ‘taught’ how to listen – and the earlier the better. I love the suggestions on her blog about getting children to listen. Listening without expectation takes practice; I’ll it try today.
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
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An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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