This year, we are offering a Conscious Communication course at my yoga center, Urban Yoga Chicago. While communication is both sharing and listening. Conscious Communication also involves silence and deep listening or suni-ai. As I have been talking about these concepts with others I have been thinking more about deep listening, as it relates to myself and others.
I view my morning meditation as an exercise in deeply listening to my soul and its longing. To my emotional and spiritual state of being. To what needs to be drawn forward from within me to be digested, processed, comforted and healed. To gain neutrality so that I can discern right action.
In my training as a social worker, I learned to listen actively - what do I need to remember, what questions to ask, what can the client reflect on, what needs to be clarified? It’s a multitasking kind of listening where I’m trying to think a few steps ahead. I almost wrote that I was present in that, but how could I be if I was thinking a few steps ahead?! 😳
As a teacher, I hold space. I listen with my heart. But I also find myself thinking as I listen - about what I could say, what I could offer, a question to clarify what is being said.
But what is deep listening?
This weekend, I heard Brené Brown quote Harriet Lerner, “If only we listened with the same passion that we feel about being heard.” Brené shared that she had been practicing listening in this way and found that when it was time for her to respond to the person talking, she had to pause and think about what she wanted to say because she hadn’t been formulating while listening.
Listening with passion. Being fully present with someone. Creating space within a dialogue. That sounds like deep listening, suni-ai. For me, it all comes together in that quote.
And gives me a fresh way to practice deep listening.
For more about Conscious Communication, please visit Urban Yoga Chicago and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or wish to explore this further.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.