John: “Dan, you are not listening!”
Dan: “Yes I am! I know exactly what you said. That happened to me, too. Let me tell you all about it, and how you can fix it.”
John: “Dan… you are not listening…”
Deep listening occurs when your mind is quiet. Your thoughts are flowing rather than crowding your mind with distractions, interpretations, judgments, conclusions or assumptions about the other person. Your mind is open, curious, interested — as though you were hearing this person for the first time. Deep listening applies not only to communication with another, but also to listening to ourselves and to life in general. The goal of deep listening is to hear beyond the words of the other person and yourself, to the essence of what the words and feelings are pointing to. Your mind and heart are joined in union — you are listening wholeheartedly.
Deep listening is synonymous with Compassionate listening as explained by Thich Nhat Hanh in this short SuperSoul Sunday video clip:
By request, these are my notes and the diagram I created.
Deep listening is often thought of as holding sacred space.