ListeningBelowTheNoise hc cover 11-11-08I’m meeting with a great group of women (no men so far) in a new spiritual discussion group.  Our initial focus is the book “Listening Below the Noise” by Anne D. LeClaire, http://www.anneleclaire.com/leclaire-listening-synopsis.htm, about a woman who serendipitously took a day of silence which has continued twice-monthly for maybe twenty years now!  She very eloquently describes its impact on her walk through life as well as on her family and community.  Our group discussion started off great from the beginning with some of them I knew a little and some not at all.  The book really resonates, even people I’d invited who couldn’t join started reading it on their own.  It’s been fun discovering similar takes on things as we come to the sessions having underlined many of the same passages, or sharing similar life experiences from some of the ideas.  At the last session, I started off with a reading from a different book on listening assuming it would be unfamiliar, only to find it was a long-time favorite of one of them, “The Sacred Art of Listening” by Kay Lindahl.

So, it’s been a fun and promising start, coming together around a subject that speaks so well to each of us, from different backgrounds and probably for very different reasons.  That’s a lifelong passion of mine, bringing people together who wouldn’t normally get together around a similar interest.  In this case it’s about learning to slow down, relax, listen to the grass grow, pay more attention.  Seems to me I read somewhere that love was about paying attention, and somewhere else it said love was learning to be in the same space with another person.  Imagine that.  Look around.  How much of the strife around us centers around not wanting to share space.

I’m so delighted to have these fascinating ladies join me in kicking off this group, being willing to share the richness of who they are, as well as their life experiences.  Already I’ve discovered one’s hidden sense of humor and another’s depth of passion.  All while we’re each learning more about being still, hearing what’s being said, or not said, whether it’s from the person sitting across from us, or next to us, or that strange person within us!

More later.

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