Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know that I.
Be still and know that.
Be still and know.
Be still and.
Be still.

Ps. 46:10


The Sacred Art of Listening
By Kay Lindahl
Published by Skylight Paths Publishing

Reflection 2: A Sacred Art – Listening as spiritual awareness

“Listening is a sacred act. There is something beyond technique when two or more people are deeply listening to each other. It is an awareness that not only are we present to each other, we are present to something that is spiritual, holy, sacred.”

“There is a basic context that nurtures and develops the practice of listening as a sacred art. Three qualities that are essential to this deep listening context are:

  • Silence creates the space for listening to God. It provides time to explore our relationship to Source. The practice of being in this silence nurtures our capacity to listen to others.
  • Reflection gives us access to listening for our inner voice. The practice of taking a few breaths before responding to a situation, question, or comment gives time for your true wisdom to reveal itself.
  • Presence is the awareness of listening to another, of connecting at the heart level. The practice of taking a mundane, ordinary activity and giving it your full attention.”

This is just a small portion of Kay Lindahl’s book. For more information read:

The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating A Spiritual Practice by Kay Lindahl, published by Skylight Paths Publishing. The book is available for your use at the Antioch Center library or for purchase at your local book store.


Reflective Questions

  • How is this form of listening so different from the “normal” discourse and conversation that we hear and engage with others and listen to through the different “media” networks?
  • How might practicing this way of listening help us become more grounded and centered in our frenetic and noisy world?
  • How might this practice assist us in better discerning, filtering, evaluating, appreciating what is more essential in our shared dialogue with others?
  • How might this help us cultivate a practice for listening with the “ears of our heart” and slow down our overactive minds?
  • How might the practicing of the Art of Sacred Listening offer a different way of living and being in “our overwhelming informational age”? Something that moves beyond mere “paradigm” thought forms, factual data, mental constructs, “ologies” and “isms” to a more whole, organic, direct experience of life as it is given?
  • The words we receive and the silences we share do help us to form our individual identities and relationships to self, other, world and spirit. How might Sacred Art of Listening influence our current systems, structures, and institutions from dominant power form to more egalitarian, mutually empowering forms that nurture, develop, and engage the values of love, compassion, equality, justice and peace?


Our True Home is in the Present Moment

Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.

Peace is all around us –
in the world and in nature –
and within us –
in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace,
we will be healed and transformed.
It is not a matter of faith;
It is a matter of practice.

Thich Nhat Hanh

James Steidl

Listening as Spiritual Hospitality

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

Henri Nouwen


We will be offering Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice using the book, “The Sacred Art of Listening” by Kay Lindahl.  These programs will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the Antioch Center on the following dates:

June 27
July 11, 25
August 8, 22
September 5, 19

The programs will be facilitated by our Advisory Board member, Randy Thomas with help from Susan Batterton. We have purchased 2 copies of the book, “The Sacred Art of Listening”, and made them available for you to read at the Antioch Center. Handouts for each session will also be available along with additional supplemental resources.

For those unable to attend the programs, we will send out summaries of each program for your home study.