The open ear

But it starts with a whisper, a call from somewhere far away.*
(Elle Luna)

We are human only in contact , and conviviality, with what is not human.**
(David Abram)

There’s a lot of not-listening around.

We do not listen well to others, nor to the world, and not events ourselves.

Yesterday, I was having a short conversation with someone seeking to arrange a deep listening workshop towards peer-to-peer support in the workplace.

I confess to wanting to be listener, so the thought of preparing a workshop excites me.

Presence and openness and attention are all important to listening, leading to what I am thinking about as listening-questions.

Presence in terms of fully and only occupying the available time.

Openness in terms of not judging and therefore being able to see more.

Attention in terms of what is wanting to emerge.

A really good question is an act of imagination and arises from presence, openness and attention, seeking:

to make tentative contact with the other sides of things that we do not sense directly, with the hidden or invisible aspects of the sensible.**

*From Elle Luna’s essay: The Crossroads of Should and Must;
**David Abram, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Ecologist and Philosopher David Abram on the Language of Nature and the secret Wisdom of the More-Than-Human World.

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