On Sunday in church, I talked about the importance of listening deeply—listening to others when they talk, listening for the voice of God, and listening to our hearts when they are calling out for our attention. We focused on the Parable of the Sower in Matthew, chapter 13, where the words “listen,” “hear,” and “understand” appeared 16 times in 23 verses. I suggested that the point of the parable was to help us visualize the importance of deeply listening. I talked about how intently listening can be a transformational experience.
I also shared some quotes on “Holy Listening” that were given to me by my friend Rev. Caroline Miura:
- “One of the important ways we can love others is by learning the art of holy listening. Learning to listen is a key that unlocks the door to loving people.” —Morton Kelsey
- Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person…you listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty their heart. —Thich Nhat Hanh
- The quieter you become, the more you can hear. —Baba Ram Dass
- When I say that I enjoy hearing someone, I mean, of course, hearing deeply. I mean that I hear the words, the thoughts, the feeling tones, the personal meaning, even the meaning that is below the conscious intent of the speaker. Sometimes too, in a message which superficially is not very important, I hear a deep human cry that lies buried and unknown far below the surface of the person. —Carl Rogers
- For to listen is to continually give up all expectation & to give our attention, completely & freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. —Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
May you feel heard this week, and may you be blessed and bring many blessings by deeply listening!
Kahu Alan Akana
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“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by the Kahu (Pastor) of Koloa Union Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.