Your heart becomes a bridge

When you take out the knife of anger and mistrust that is pointed to your heart, your heart becomes a bridge … Compassionate, deep listening means that the other person, or the other nation, has a chance to say what they have never had the chance or the courage to say, because no one ever listened deeply to them before … At first, their speech may be full of condemnation, bitterness, and blame. Do your best to continue sitting there calmly and listening. To listen in this way is to give them a chance to heal their suffering and misperceptions. If you interrupt, deny, or correct what they say, you will cut off the process of restoring communication, of reconciliation. Deep listening allows the other person to speak even if what he says contains misperceptions and injustice. When listening deeply to the other person, not only do you recognise his wrong perceptions but you also realise that you too have wrong perceptions about yourself and the other person. The intention of deep listening and loving speech is to restore communication, because once communication is restored, everything is possible, including peace and reconciliation.

~ Thích Nhât Hanh



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