The Listener, a publication of Drawing Attention to Live, Vol.2, 10 April 2009
Welcome to your second issue of The Listener! I hope you will enjoy reading about listening events around Boulder as well as the quotation from The Wisdom of Listening.
Many people are feeling the heaviness of the times and could use extra support. Unexpressed concerns can build and lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness…even in a crowd of people. If you know of someone you think might benefit, please let them know about the Listening to… series and my one-on-one practice. Sometimes an attentive listener who asks the right questions can make all the difference. Feel free to suggest that they email me to be added to the mailing list of The Listener.
If you have any thoughts or comments about the programs offered or this newsletter, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org or 720.346.8420)…I’m all ears!
All good wishes to you,
P.S. You can always visit http://drawingattentiontolife.com for the latest updates about the Listening to… series and my one-on-one practice, as well as some thought provoking photographs, quotes and observations from daily life.
Many people experience tangles in their lives. The Listening to… series helps participants unravel the tangles.
The meetings of the Listening to… series are designed to provide a confidential and supportive place for people with similar concerns to come together. The format of the meetings involves a ritual welcome, a short presentation of relevant content, taking turns sharing and responding to questions, and a closing meditation, all interspersed with restorative silence. Neither opinions, nor advice are offered. It is a time of renewal and reflection. The first meeting for each topic is free; subsequent meetings cost $25 per participant per session. If the cost is a concern for you, please contact me (email@example.com or 720.346.8420); there are some scholarships available.
The upcoming events in the Listening to… series include:
Listening to Uncertainty meets every Thursday 2-3:30 p.m. at St. Aidan’s (Meeting Rooms A-B) in Boulder.
Listening to…Uncertainty meets weekly to listen to the ways uncertainty affects us and the ways we deal with it. Instead of denying that we feel discomfort, we attend to the triggers and our responses as we consider the implications for our lives. We learn much from ourselves as we speak about our situations; we can also learn from others as they ask questions. Join us if you can.
Listening to Parenthood organizational meeting at St. Ambrose on Wednesday, 15 April at 7 p.m.
Parenthood brings joy and wonder. But it also brings challenges and questions. Just when you feel like you understand some things about it, everything changes again. It’s not easy.
Can you imagine listening to parenthood? What would you hear? If you took time to clarify your expectations of being a parent in the company of other parents, could you learn more about yourself? Could you find greater trust in yourself as you parent your children?
Listening to Parenthood is a group that spends time in silence, in sharing, in questioning and in reflecting. It is not a “how to be a better parent” class; it is a time to let the role of parenthood speak and be heard in the hope that new discoveries about its pleasures and hardships can be made.
There will be an organizational meeting on Wednesday, 15 April from 7-9 p.m. in the 4-5 Classroom at St. Ambrose. We will discuss the time of the meetings, the possibility of separating the parents according to the ages of their children, the need for childcare during the meeting times, as well as the group process.
If you plan to attend or would like further information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 720.346.8420.
Listening to the Blues organizational meeting at St. John’s on Thursday, 7 May at 6:30 p.m.
Our culture tells us that we shouldn’t feel low or blue, that we may be “sick” when we are sad, that we should “snap out of it.” Often, though, culture is mistaken; our feelings are natural and come in response to triggering events in our lives. Loss, illness, or bad news can cause us to become blue. We don’t necessarily require medication or psychotherapy when we are sad or low; we may need to speak and to have others listen. Hearing ourselves say aloud the things that contribute to the feelings and our attitudes about them, helps us to learn about ourselves and helps us to grow. Having others pay attention and listen intently helps to restore us.
Listening to the Blues is a group that will meet weekly at St. John’s in Boulder. Each meeting offers a time out, a break from the hubbub where we can share what is on our hearts in a confidential and supportive place. The meeting will start with a ritual of welcome followed by a few minutes of related content. Then participants will take turns sharing and responding to questions, interspersed with reflective silence. The meeting will close with a meditation before we step back into our regular lives.
There will be an organizational meeting in the St. Paul classroom on Thursday, 7 May, 6:30-8 p.m. to discuss when the group should meet and the process of the meetings.
If you would like to attend or have questions about the organizational meeting, please email me at email@example.com or call at 720.346.8420.
A new Listening to… group is organizing at St. Mary Magdalene
I welcome input about the topic for a listening group that will meet at St. Mary Magdalene. If it would be convenient for you to meet there and there is a focus you would like to suggest, let me know! Some of the possible topics include:
Listening to Stress
Listening to the Noise of the World
Listening to Pain
Listening to Money
Listening to Abundance
Listening to Uncertainty
Listening to the Blues
Listening to Parenthood
If you want to get in touch with me about the group, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 720.346.8420. If you’d like to visit my web site, visit http://drawingattentiontolife.com. I’m all ears!
Listening with Expectation workshop will be at St. Stephen’s in Longmont 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, 2 May.
The coming of Eastertide offers us the opportunity to listen with expectation to self, to each other, to the world, and to the Spirit. We will consider what it means to give and to receive the gift of truly listening. And we will learn more about the barriers that break the flow of the Spirit in communication. All are invited to attend free of charge. Listening with Expectation will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1303 S. Bross Lane, in Longmont on Saturday, 2 May, 9 a.m. to noon. To register, please contact me at email@example.com or call me at 720.346.8420) by Thursday, 30 April or add your name to the sign up sheet in the church narthex. For more information visit http://drawingattentiontolife.com.
The other day I read this in The Wisdom of Listening and felt it could have been written about the Listening to… groups and my one-to-one practice. What do you think?
As we learn to listen with a quiet mind, there is so much we hear. Inside ourselves we can begin to hear that “still small voice within,”…the voice of our intuitive heart which has so long been drowned out by the noisy thinking mind. We hear our skills and needs, our subtle intentionalities, our limits, our innate generosity.
In other people we hear what help they really require, what license they are actually giving us to help, what potential there is for change. We can hear their strengths and their pain. We hear what support is available, what obstacles must be reckoned with.
The more deeply we listen, the more we attune ourselves to the roots of suffering and the means to help alleviate it. It is through listening that wisdom, skill, and opportunity find form in an act that truly helps. But more than all these, the very act of listening can dissolve distance between us and others as well.
–from “The Listening Mind” by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman in The Wisdom of Listening, edited by Mark Brady, 2003
My Practice…becoming perceptive
When we speak, we want to be heard; this is essential to our sense of wellbeing. When we experience a tangle in our lives, have questions that we are trying to answer, or want to explore new possibilities, we need to talk with an attentive listener.
I offer Intensive Listening using the Triangle of Attention model. I see people who are becoming perceptive, i.e. discerning, observant, insightful, in one-on-one visits or in groups. Some participate in both.
Workshops and conferences are useful for helping others learn more about becoming perceptive. Feel free to contact me with questions about one-on-one visits, groups, workshops or about my practice of becoming perceptive.
If you know someone who would like to receive The Listener, please ask them to email me and I will gladly add them to the list. If you would like to be removed from the mailing list, please email me. Thank you.