After sitting and walking meditation, we looked into what it means to listen deeply - to ourselves, to others, to the living world around us. We used the four levels of listening proposed by Otto Scharmer, author of Theory U: Learning from the Future as it Emerges:

  1. Listening from what we already know
  2. Listening to what is different from what we know
  3. Listening with empathy, heart
  4. Listening from the stillness of what might emerge

Scharmer writes:

What happens at the beginning of any creative process? Nothing! Creativity requires that we create space and wait for something to emerge.

The levels above can be described as:

  1. Listening to confirm what we already know (i.e., not listening)
  2. Listening with an open mind (overcoming judgement)
  3. Listening with an open heart (overcoming cynicism)
  4. Listening with an open will, letting go and letting come (overcoming fear)

When we overcome fear enough to arrive at the open will, our personal noise is quiet enough that we can hear what is possible, what might come next, what it is we are called to do and to be.

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