23 Listening Tips To Consider

I have a bit of an obsession with listening. Or I could call it an innate curiosity.
Listening is a deep practice. It also has a quality of sacredness. I believe it could take us miles along the journey to a world that works for all. If we really, really deeply listen.

Here are 23 tips, or things to consider, play with, ponder, wonder about, and explore:


  1. Listen with outward silence. Many of us have a running monologue going on in our minds. When we cultivate exterior silence we can notice what is passing through our minds, what gets stuck, what feelings rise, what sensations can be felt, what we want to say, and we can listen with and through all that to someone else. We have the capacity to do both.

  2. Listen with deep attention. Your attention on the other, and on your inner life.

  3. Listen with your whole body--your heart, your gut, your mind. Listen beyond your ears.

  4. Listen to potentially be changed, not to change another.

  5. Listen to unlearn, to break through your conditioning.

  6. Listen like you would listen to someone you love deeply. Listen to fall in love with some part of this person. And to potentially fall deeper in love with yourself.

  7. Listen to others in the way you truly want to be listened to.

  8. Listen beyond the words. Listen to the inflections of voice, to the gaps or no gaps, to the cadence, to the gestures, to the eyes.

  9. Listen to grieve your own losses, to relish your own joy, to acknowledge your humanness.

  10. Listen with openness and receive someone’s vulnerability with grace. Stay with your own vulnerability (be with your judgments, your story, your desire to say something, your beliefs).

  11. Listen silently as a way to love the world, including yourself.

  12. Listening is love in action. Consider listening another love language.

  13. Listen to the revelations that rise in you when you are outwardly silent.

  14. Listen to sift and winnow. To breath in and out.  

  15. Listen until your heart breaks---open. 

  16. Listen as a practice, not a perfect. Fall down 100 times, get up 101.

  17. Listen to develop your inner life. To cultivate wisdom, insight, and deep care.

  18. Listen as if the world depended on it. It’s possible it does.

  19. Listen to the more than human world. It may need your listening more than any other.

  20. Listen to acknowledge someone’s story. Acknowledging is not agreeing.

  21. Listen until tears well up in your heart for all the ways we aren’t heard.

  22. Listen with a stillness so deep that reverence knocks on your door and you welcome it. 

  23. Listen to bear witness. Only.