MN is a poet by trade, though this thoughtful book is done in prose. Quite lovely prose, I might add. No, MN did not itemize 7,000 ways to listen; rather, he takes the reader through a wide range of possibilities that increase/enhance our ability to listen deeply.
My biggest takeaways:
- Asking rich questions primes us for deep listening.
- Richer relationships are the result of our being/becoming deep listeners.
- Slowing ourselves down is a prerequisite to powerful listening.
- Listening is often the best medicine for strained relationships.
- Story is the connective tissue of humanity.
- Listening is an act of reverence.
My favorite quote (two, actually):
"The aim of spiritual practice, no matter its form, is to untangle the nets that living snares us in. But though we can learn to untangle specific situations, even get good at it, life on earth is a never-ending weave of becoming tangled and working to get untangled." (p. 161)
"Life is both storm and calm, and the challenge of living is how to use the calm to endure the storm, not bypass it." (p. 244)