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Right Listening

personperson Don't believe everything you think'Merica! Veteran
edited July 10 in Buddhism Today

Ajahn Brahm gave a talk on what he called Right Listening. It's similar to the idea of Right Speech but for the other side of a conversation. The basic idea I got out of it was to listen to another in good faith, to give the speaker the benefit of the doubt in their intentions and do your best to truly understand their meaning.

I relate it to much of the political discussion these days, or as @lobster pointed out about the virtue of being offended. I think of gotcha style interviews where the interviewer takes whatever the interviewee says and attempts to twist it into the most unfavorable straw man version of what the individual meant, "So what you're saying is... (something that you're not actually saying)". Or G.W Bush's quote "Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples - while judging ourselves by our best intentions."

There's the idea of the opposite of a straw man argument, known as steel man. Listen to the other with right listening so you can hear and understand their point of view to the degree that you can effectively make their own point for them.

lobsterkando

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It's also having the gift of hearing what they DON'T say; knowing how to read 'between the lines'.

    personlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    By the way; the "Steel Man" discourse is also utilised in Relationship Counselling and is known as "The Speaker/Listener Technique". It's been used in counselling fo at least 20 years now.
    I know; I was trained in it myself, in the late 90's....

    personlobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @federica said:
    By the way; the "Steel Man" discourse is also utilised in Relationship Counselling and is known as "The Speaker/Listener Technique". It's been used in counselling fo at least 20 years now.
    I know; I was trained in it myself, in the late 90's....

    I like that framing for interpersonal contexts. We probably shouldn't be steel manning our partners or children so we can defeat them in debates. ;)

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    personKundo
  • FrankjFrankj Colorado, USA Explorer

    Very good. Active listening is an art that is not practiced enough. It's not as easy to do as we think.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Frankj said:
    Very good. Active listening is an art that is not practiced enough. It's not as easy to do as we think.

    It is a practiced independence. Being outside of ones little bubble and entering the reality bubbles of others. Great post from @person.

    Increase in listening capacity. I heard it on the Dharma grapevine.

    Bonus track:

    personkando
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Right Listening

    ...means with both an open mind & heart <3 <3

    personlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 11

    Can we add right heart and right listening to the Noble tenfold path? o:)

    Where does ‘right on!’ feature? ;)

    person
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I have found by employing right listening that sometimes I find that I might see things differently and change my mind....
    🙏🙏🙏

    lobsterpersonShoshinkando
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    In pursuit of silence is worth viewing
    https://vimeo.com/ondemand/pursuitofsilence

    It will provide insight into the movement of right speech/sound into right silence ...

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    Wacthed the video and agree with Ajahn.

    As a side note, right listening is also part of right speech because you have to listen to how it sounds in your head, as you say it, and how others respond to it.

    personKundo
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes; calculating the use of Right Speech is the sign of a good Diplomatic mind.

    On that, I couldn't possibly comment....

    namarupakando
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 14

    I have found by employing right listening that sometimes I find that I might see things differently and change my mind ...

    <3

    A thread has been started on lojong, worth pursuing ...
    http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/geshe-chekhawa-yeshe-dorje/seven-points-mind-training

    Also consider the Buddhist version of Ironman teachings, which involves stark listening ...
    http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/geshe-langri-thangpa/eight-verses-training-mind

    This capacity @Kundo mentions, to have our thinking/being/attitude changed by the very outer expressions of our difficult/precious inner being, is most valuable ...

    Dharma - don't leave home without it ... <3

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