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The Wisdom of Listening Paperback – June 15, 2003

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The Wisdom of Listening + The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice (The Art of Spiritual Living) + Practicing the Sacred Art of Listening: A Guide to Enrich Your Relationships and Kindle Your Spiritual Life (The Art of Spiritual Living)
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Editorial Reviews


"In this thoughtful anthology, 18 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, with focused attention--can improve relationships. Free of religious dogma and self-help cliches, the essays are inspiring, intelligent, and accessible." (SpaFinder)

"Brady has put together a very helpful anthology of 19 essays with sections on the promise, the practice, and the power of listening. Among the contributors are spiritual teacher Ram Dass; Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication; Anne Simpkinson, an editor for Prevention magazine; Kathleen Dowling Singh, a therapist and workshop leader; and Rodney Smith, director of the Hospice of Seattle. Using a variety of terms to describe this type of communion with another--deep listening, listening with the heart, listening with the third ear, devout listening (a Quaker term), fierce listening, virtuoso listening--they offer suggestions, perspectives, and practices that will reinforce your intentions to be a good listener." (Spirituality and Health)

"A fascinating book that deals with listening from different philosophical, therapeutic, and religious perspectives. Some of the writers suggest listening as a means of self-discovery. Others see listening as a way of understanding people. The book invites us to consider various contexts in which one listens [. . . ] Whether in a therapeutic or interpersonal situation, it is important to examine what we are doing and why we are doing it. This is provocative reading." (The Newsletter of the International Listening Association)

"A wonderful collection of essays on an immensely important topic. Useful and illuminating." (Professor Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D., editor of Psychoanalysis and Buddhism)

"This is an excellent collection, full of gems of personal experiences and tips on the art of listening and also questioning and being with. A good bedside table book to dip in repeatedly to remind one of the importance of listening with empathy, awareness and creativity." (Martine Batchelor, author of Meditation for Life)

"This collection of essays raises listening to a spiritual art. There is, truly, much wisdom in The Wisdom of Listening. There is a strong emphasis in the essays on listening as it is applied in the helping professions, such as social work, psychotherapy, and hospice work, and those professions are well represented among the contributing writers. Each writer, from his or her unique perspective, affirms the underlying truth that our true natures are wise, compassionate, and receptive. The book offers the opportunity to look at skillful listening from eighteen different points of view, through eighteen different sets of eyes and hearts. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance, urgency, and value of this book." (Sacred Pathways)

"Bravo! As I read The Wisdom of Listening, I kept marking passages and copying bits out to send to friends--a good sign! This book is a treasure chest of useful and meaningful practices and ideas." (James Fadiman, Ph.D. Author, The Other Side of Haight)

"This anthology is a treasure full of teachings on the art and psychology of listening well, and the profound spiritual and psychological healing that can occur when we are able to listen well and deeply, to ourselves and to each other. The nineteen writers here represent a diverse range of backgrounds, approaches, and professions. They include Buddhist practitioners, chaplains, psychologists, and hospice directors... From this book you will learn about many kinds of listening--deep listening, intuitive listening, proactive listening, dynamic listening, fierce listening--as well as the wonderful results of all this listening, such as accurate hearing, compassionate understanding, and ultimately, connecting more deeply to ourselves, to each other, and to our own true nature as spiritual beings." (Sacred Journey)

"This anthology's greatest strength is its presentation of listening as a gift that can transform human experience at all levels, from individual human suffering, to group wisdom-sharing, to planetary awareness... The illuminating relationship between meditation and listening receives significant attention. Also, most of the writers present their wisdom as it has manifested in the living context of their work as religious teachers, professors, hospice workers, therapists, and social activists. The contributors deepen and broaden the experience of listening, and Buddhist practice and caregiving are beautifully integrated in [pieces by] Christine Longaker and Kathleen Dowling Singh. . . The best of the essays here inspire a delightful eagerness to read, and build joyful expectancy about seeking the wisdom of listening." (Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction)

About the Author

Mark Brady, PhD, has taught graduate courses in deep listening for more than a dozen years. He is a senior faculty mentor at the graduate Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he collaborated in the creation of a computer-mediated Global Distance Learning Program. He was a co-developer the Children's Grief Program at Kara, a center for grief counseling in Palo Alto, California, where he also established the Electronic Hospice Project, an on-line support community for hospice workers worldwide. He has written three books, numerous articles for journals and national magazines, and has also won the Jack London Prize for fiction.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (June 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861713559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713554
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Peter Pearson on November 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Listening well is hard work. There is no immediate reward for doing it. In fact, the problem of listening well is that we will hear things we don't want to hear. Which is why we don't listen well in the first place. It may even be harder than dieting and exercising.
When we think of listening well, we think of listening to others. But how easy is it to apply those great listening skills to ourselves? I don't know about you, but when I embark on a challenging path of personal growth, I like to be inspired, enlightened, and informed. If I'm really lucky, I'll get all three in the same book. I hit the jack-pot with the Wisdom of Listening.
Because I have been specializing in couples therapy for 20 years, I think I know quite a bit about listening and communication. And then I got a little humbled when reading Mark Brady's thought-provoking book. Now I listen a little better and almost automatically begin to ask better questions. With better questions comes the potential for a better life. Not bad for an investment that costs less than two tickets to a bad movie.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Each essay in this new book takes a new look at skillful Listening.
Perhaps you want to improve your ability to listen to yourself, others, or the earth? This collection reminds us to bring our awareness into the present moment and to attend to our own internal experiences. It's wonderful compliment to deepening one's meditation practice. Or as a guide to being in the natural world in with a new way of perceiving.
Brady has pulled together essays from some incredible writers, teachers, and thinkers. But their words are not hollow or dry--they vibrate with practical advice and inspiration to deepen our Listening abilities. It's listening wisdom that asks us to not only use our ears, but all of our senses.
Listening doesn't come naturally for some of us...we actually need to learn to do it. When my husband gave me the book, I was defensive at first. "What, you don't think I listen well?" But it's opened up my eyes (and ears! and heart!) and a lot of dialogue between us.
I've recommended the book at work, and plan on giving some for the holidays to family! It can only help us all to tune in more, feel less isolated, and enrich our relationships.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Pinkerton on October 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Wisdom of Listening is a real jewel of a book! Presenting proven techniques used by practitioners in the fields of psychology, clergy, and healthcare, this book offers many gold nuggets of advice the reader can use for better communication with others. I would recommend reading only one chapter at a time, then reflecting on its contents for a few days before reading more. Don't rush this book - the contents are too rich to race through.
We all have ears and they allow us to hear. This book goes far beyond the practical mechanisms of hearing and helps the reader to recognize the huge difference between 'hearing' and 'listening.' It guides the reader through various goals and results of listening well. The contributing authors describe techniques with simplicity and clarity. Those who begin to practice the skills outlined in this book can look forward to improved, more rewarding, and more meaningful communication with everyone in their lives. Thank you, Dr. Brady!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Cox, Ph.D. on October 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
What happens when someone listens deeply to us? How does being heard heal us?
This collection of essays offers inspired, practical ideas for increasing our listening capacity. Learning to listen with presence, awareness, and love takes begins with the cultivation of listening with our "whole being".
The Wisdom of Listening brings reflection on the profound practice of listening from the wise voices of Ram Dass, Joan Halifax, Fran Peavey, Kathleen Singh, Anne Simpkinson, and many others.
I am using the book in my holistic health college classes--it's proving invaluable for students from all majors, from business to nursing.
Brady has assembled a timely collection, encouraging us to learn to learn the art of hearing with the "ears of the heart."
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Swing King on February 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Listening meditation is an all too often overlooked approach to our Buddhist practices. It is so much more than merely an exercise in recreation. Mark Brady presents us with a brilliant book with skilled techniques on just how to master this unnoticed art form. This book goes far beyond some superficial act of just having the capacity to hear. This book is about being truly present in life, about living in love. When the mind settles into meditation, here the sense of self and conceptual mind evaporates. There is a space between thinking. Here is where true listening is rooted. Listening like that connects us to other people, and allows us to actually become who we have always been. Having no ideas, we are free to understand with our very being what another might need. That might be they don't need anything at all. Listening like this let's us see our own life as that of the Buddha Shakyamuni. For further reading on the practice of listening, I recommend another wonderful book published this time by the Tuttle Library of Enlightenment dubbed "Going Beyond Buddha: The Awakening Practice of Listening" by Zen master Dae Gak. The Wisdom of Listening seldom ever gets a break at my house, it's is one of those books I constantly read for insightful sound bites when I feel I might need some pointers. So buy this book, and find your ears of Avalokistvara bodhisattva. Enjoy.
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