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The Art of Listening – Inspiration for Connection From Tara Brach

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

Tara Brach, renowned psychologist and meditation expert, shares with us in the following video the importance of intentional listening and, through humor, understanding, and acceptance, shows how this skill can create an atmosphere of love that improves our bonding and connection to our partners.

She describes listening as “the vehicle to a true connection.” How does this resonate in your own life? For many of us, feeling heard by our partners is one of the keys to a successful relationship. When we are listened to, we feel that our beliefs are validated, that our partner’s have a deeper understanding of where we are coming from, and that our loved ones are more closely connected to who we are as individuals. Listening gives us the space to connect with our partners as well, to hear and validate their feelings just as we wish for them to do for us.

Listening is not the same as hearing – it is an active and cultivated skill. It requires intent and courage. As you listen to the below talk, consider how you apply the following principles of effective listening in your own relationship:

  • Committing to cultivating a presence: Do you make the time to listen without interruptions?
  • Listening without planning a response: Are you listening to the words of the other person, or do you find yourself thinking of how you will respond before they are finished speaking?
  • Listening without judgement: Do you listen with a clear mind, without making assumptions about what is being shared? Or do you find yourself crafting an opinion or theory about what the speaker is saying?
  • Listening with your heart: Do you make active efforts to understand the feelings behind the words you hear? Are you allowing yourself the vulnerability to connect with your loved on a deeper level?