How to Listen with Compassion



Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations Podcast – Thich Nhat Hanh: How to Listen with Compassion. You can also click here to listen.

I went seeking for wise words after encountering a difficult situation with someone I would say I love or care about, and I stumbled upon this splendid information.  This was just what I really needed during this time.  The points are below if you have no patience to listen straight from his mouth…lol.

  • Follow your passion
  • With practice we can always remain alive in the present moment.
  • Be grateful for what we have in the present.
  • When encountering a challenge:
    • Do mindful breathing
    • Recognize the feeling
    • Recognize the situation
    • Doing these things help us not to be overwhelmed by the negative feeling like fear or anxiety.
    • Your pain and anxiety is like a baby; you have to take care of it.
    • You have to go back to yourself and recognize the suffering in you.
    • Going back to your mindfulness and consciousness, you understand the roots the nature of the ill-being and you know the way to transform it.
  • People sacrifice the present for the future, but life is valuable only in the present moment.
    • If the present has peace and joy and happiness, the future will too.
    • Matthew 6:34 “Don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself”.
  • Deep listening helps the speaker relieve their suffering.
    • Listen with one purpose.
    • Help him or her (the speaker) to empty his or her heart
    • If you want to help him or her with their perspective (if their perspective is wrong), wait for another time.
    • Compassionate listening is for him or her to suffer less by letting it out.
    • One hour of compassionate listening can bring transformation and healing
  • 4 Mantras to live by:
    1. Darling I am here for you.  Offer him or her with your presence. You are not preoccupied with the past or the future.
    2. Darling I know you are there, and I am so happy.  Because you are truly there you recognize the presence of your loved one as something very precious.  To be loved it to be recognized as existing.
    3. Darling I know you suffer, that is why I’m here for you.
    4. Darling I suffer. I’m trying my best to practice. Please help me.

My takeaways:

  • Mantra #4 is something I personally need to work on.  I’m use to taking care of just about everything on my own, so asking for help doesn’t come easily.  I would say I use it sparingly.
  • Matthew 6:34. Staying in the present.  Goals are obviously important, but I see the value in writing them down in a clear manner then focusing on living in the present. Baby steps are an important part in mitigating the feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Although I have learned to listen and push others to dig deeper about their personal thoughts rather than giving my personal advice, I see the value in deep listening.  I hate seeing others suffer, but I see the benefit in deep listening and waiting to give advice. Venting and allowing time to process is a natural process.

I’m interesting in hearing other perspectives on this.  Feel free to comment.

2 thoughts on “How to Listen with Compassion

  1. As a therapist, I strongly believe in the power of present moment awareness! Like anything, its a skill that takes intention and practice. I haven’t recently started using affirmations and mantras as a part of my morning routine and it really sets my ingentions for the day. Powerful stuff! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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