Three Ways of Listening

There are three stages and deepening in listening. They are hearing, listening, and asking. It truly is an active gesture. When the state of the mind of “listening” deepens, it will change our way of interacting with others, and we will gain the power to change our reality.

The act of “listening” can ben deepened in three stages (hearing, listening, and asking).

First one, “hearing” means to hear what comes to our ears vaguely and superficially while paying little attention. We tend to hear others with preconceptions, prejudices, or with blind assumptions, and we are not able to find out what the other party truly feel.

The second one, “listening” means to try to listen to others correctly based on facts without preconceptions nor prejudices. With the intention of coming closer to others’ minds, we listen to them and accept them wholeheartedly with a cordial attitude. It requires our ability to empathize.

Furthermore, the third one, “asking” means to stay even closer to others’ mind. We try to listen intently, accept and understand their regrets, joy, pain, appeals, and brilliance in the depths of their hearts. It means to ask their soul and their life.

Some may have a passive image about the act of “listening,” but that is a wrong preconception. It actually is an extremely active conduct that goes deep into others’ heart with our ability to empathize with them.

When we deepen our state of mind of “listening,” we will be able to accept others as they are, and we will attain a power to change our interactions with others and our reality.

Source of reference:
Practices to Release One’s Real Self pp.30-31 (available only in Japanese); Lecture at the Inauguration of 2009 Daily Life Group Study