Proverbs 19: 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may eventually become wise
This excerpt from An excerpt from David Steindl-Rast, A Listening Heart: The Art of Contemplative Listening (NY: Crossroad, 1983) pp 9 & 10 was in the Church bulletin from St. Augustines in Larchmont, NY.
Responsive listening is the form the Bible gives to our basic religious quest as human beings. This is the quest for a full human life, for happiness. It is the quest for meaning, for our happiness hinges not on luck; it hinges on peace of heart. Even in the midst of what we call bad luck, in the midst of pain and suffering, we can find peace of heart, if we find meaning in it all. Biblical tradition points the way by proclaiming that God speaks to us in and through even the most troublesome predicaments. By listening deeply to the message of any given moment I shall tap the very Source of Meaning and to realize the unfolding meaning of my life.
To listen in this way means to listen with one’s heart, with one’s whole being. The heart stands for that center of our being at which we are truly “together.” Together with ourselves, not split up into intellect, will, emotions, into mind and body. Together with all other creatures, for the heart is that realm where I am paradoxically not only most intimately myself, but most intimately united with all. Together with God, the source of life, the life of my life, welling up in my heart. In order t listen with my heart, I must return again and again to my heart through a process of centering, through taking things to heart. Listening with my heart I will find meaning. For just as the eye perceives light and the ear sound, the heart is the organ for meaning.
Much of this year has focused in on listening and having a few friends who listen as I struggled with whether I continue teaching and competing. Ultimately the answer is, “Yes” I will continue however I need to listen differently and as I listen, speak differently. So over the last few weeks I’ve been crocheting up a storm and as I’ve crocheted the thinking process has continued. As David Steindl-Rast points out “Listening with my heart I will find meaning”. What has taking time for me to remember is that as I spoke with my friends, having writing marathons with one, that I had to listen to myself, eventually. The words spoken had meaning to me and thankfully my friends who listened giving me good feedback. Listening is essential.
All of this listening has been leading me down a path that is rather unexpected. Well, perhaps not so much. I’m going to start something called Lucy’s Nickles for quilters who need a listening ear. There will be 2 approaches to Lucy’s Nickles both will incorporate listening and one will be slightly more focused. I’m still working out the details and where/how this will happen.
In the meantime I’m back to more listening, crocheting and quilting.
PS check out today’s blog on TerifiCreations!
2 thoughts on “Listening”
Teri, thank you for listening to me. I hope one day to be able to return the favor. 🙂
You’re welcome Eileen. The best way to ever “return the favor” is to encourage another quilter along through her struggles.