According to mind/body pioneer, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, “Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening, and not the wisdom of our words, that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person.That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others. That which is hidden. Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone.”
On Saturday, January 26, 2019, forty-five women (and one man) participated in the day-long program, Conversations That Matter: Focus on Women. Through the graced leadership of presenter Sharon Browning, participants learned about the practice of Just Listening…a program of deepening awareness on listening as an act of transformative justice.
In the morning, Sharon wove insights from spirituality, poetry, psychology, and science to illumine both the power of listening and the “filters” we all employ as barriers to listening. A provocative clip from the TV program The View evoked our recognition of the divisive interaction that flows from such walls within us. In the afternoon, two women from different generations and life-experiences told their stories. They echoed one another’s journeys through cultural, workplace, and family struggles. They addressed deeply-ingrained sexist and racist attitudes and behaviors.
The day ended with a ritual using hand mirrors that enacted the sacred mirroring we offered as we listened. Participants were drawn into a heartfelt, contemplative dialog where the listening of each person reverenced and revealed the truth of the other.
Many said they were stirred to a more compassionate presence and that they had received a precious and transformative gift.
Join us for the next Conversations That Matter: Focus on Women
May 11, 2019, 10:30-3:00 p.m.
In this program we will examine, from a global perspective, the common realities of women. Topics will include the impact of violence and poverty on women and children. Particular attention will be given to migrant and refugee women. Learn more and register>