Deep Listening

“With only one drop of that water,

spring returns to our great Earth.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Photo by Sharon Ackerman

Deep Listening is active. It is a heightened state of awareness, connecting us to the heart of being. When we listen deeply, we become an instrument for empathy and compassion.

Deep listening is more than just hearing. It is an expression loving kindness. It changes both, the listener and the one who is listened to. 

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about deep listening:

“Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is a person who has learned the art of  listening and speaking deeply in order to help people let go of their fear, misery, and despair. He is the model of this practice, and the door he opens is called the “universal door.” If we practice listening and speaking according to Avalokitesvara, we too will be able to open the universal door and bring joy, peace, and happiness to many people and alleviate their suffering.”

He learned this beautiful poem when he studied the Lotus Sutra at age sixteen and was deeply impacted. He tells us, 

“When you hear “the voice of the rolling tide,” which is Avalokitesvara’s practice, symbolizing the universal door, you are transformed into a child born in the heart of a lotus. With only one drop of the water of compassion from the willow branch of the bodhisattva, spring returns to our dry Earth. The dry Earth means the world of suffering and misery. The drop of compassionate water is the practice of loving kindness, symbolized by the water on the willow  branch. … With only one drop of that water, spring returns to our great Earth.”

Spring will return to your dry heart when you begin to listen with compassion to parts of yourself that are emerging from deep within you.

Listening to The Great Bell Chant (The End Of Suffering) can open your ears and inspire you to cultivate compassion for yourself and for others.


Thank you for listening deeply !