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Compassionate Listening: An Exploratory Sourcebook About Conflict Transformation By Gene Knudsen Hoffman, Leah Green and Cynthia Monroe. Edited and with an introduction by Dennis Rivers. (33 pages)

The Listener -- by Meganne ForbesFrom the Introduction:  Gene Knudsen Hoffman (1919 -2010) was a remarkable woman, and this short book is a report from the growing edge of a movement she pioneered, nurtured and mentored.  Forms of compassionate listening have been practiced among Quakers and Buddhists for centuries, and among psychotherapists for decades. Gene was both a Quaker peace activist and a pastoral counselor, and she achieved two great things over the last thirty years of her life.  First, she took the practice of compassionate listening out of the quiet environs of the Quaker meeting house, out from behind the closed doors of the therapy session, and on to the stage of the world’s greatest conflicts.  Her many trips to Russia and the Middle East made her a legend in the peacemaking community.  Second, she popularized compassionate listening in a generous way that invites and encourages other people to take up this practice, develop it and apply it in new areas.  This short book is an expression of that generosity.  Available free of charge around the world as an e-book, it includes several of her essays, her lesson plans for Compassionate Listening Workshops, and reports from Leah Green and Cynthia Monroe, two of her co-pioneers and creative colleagues.   download

Free Article:   Tell Me More an essay by Brenda Ueland, explores the transformative power of listening to friends and familiy members: “I want to write about the great and powerful thing that listening is. And how we forget it. And how we don’t listen to our children, or those we love. And least of all — which is so important too — to those we do not love. But we should. Because listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. Think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays.”
Free Article:   Positive Deviant is a magazine article about the transformative power of deep listening, as it occurred in a program to reduce child malnutrition in Vietnam.  It is one of the clearest examples I have ever read of what is now called “appreciative inquiry,” which advocates that helpers pay disciplined and systematic attention to the strengths, capacities and past successes of those people they wish to help.

Are You Really Listening?: Keys to Successful Communication By Paul J. Donoghue, PhD, and Mary E. Siegel, PhD.

Listening is an essential skill worth every effort to learn and to master. Listening takes us out of our tendency toward self-absorption and self-protection. It opens us to the world around us and to the persons who matter most to us. When we listen, we learn, we grow, and we are nourished.

Why do we often feel cut off when speaking to the people closest to us? What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening? Practicing psychotherapists, Donoghue and Siegel answer these questions and more in this thoughtful, witty, and helpful look at the reasons why people don’t listen. Filled with vivid examples that clearly demonstrate easy-to-learn listening techniques, Are You Really Listening? is a guide to the secrets and joys of listening and being listened to. [From the publisher, Quest Books] List price new, appx. $16. 

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The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction By Rebecca Z. Shafir.

What do family members, coworkers, and friends want most but seldom get? Your undivided attention. Poor listening can be a cause of divorce, depression, customer dissatisfaction, low grades, and other ills. This Zen-based, practical guide will help you build relationships, sharpen concentration, create loyal clients, strengthen negotiating skills, hear what others miss, and get them to hear. [From the publisher, Quest Books] List price new, appx. $16.

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The Wisdom of Listening  Edited by Mark Brady.  In this thoughtful anthology, eighteen contemporary spiritual teachers explore the transformative effects, and the difficulties, of skillful listening and suggest ways in which becoming a ‘listening warrior’ — someone who listens mindfully wiith focused attention — can improve relationships.  Free of religious dogma and elf help clichés, the essays are inspiring, intelligent and accessible. [from the back cover]  (List price new, appx $17. )

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The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice.  By Kay Lindahl, teacher and writer. A series of personal meditations on what it means to listen with an open heart. Designed to illumine your spiritual journey, this book provides access to a new way of listening — to Source, to self and to others.  

“Learning how to listen to and speak with each other are essential skills for creating relationships that lead to mutual respect, dialogue, understanding, and peace. As I explore a spiritual approach to listening, my understanding of what it actually means to listen continues to expand. Listening encompasses much more than words. Listening is a way of being in the world. These reflections speak from that voice.” —from part 1

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