Cultivating peace in daily life.

Today's Theme: Deep listening

Practice the language of peace.

Join with others in the rhythm of peace community and use today’s theme to cultivate peace in your life.

The following text is from the book Rhythm of Peace: Cultivating Peace in Daily Life. There are 30 themes, one for each day of the month. This book is an outreach and community-building tool for the Rhythm of Peace Project, and offers a simple support structure for making peace a priority in our busy lives.

“You’re not listening to me!!” It’s heard so often at dinner tables, in bedrooms, classrooms, and workplaces—all the places we try to express ourselves to the people closest to us. For many, it’s a silent scream that’s never expressed for fear of consequences.

Who doesn’t long to be understood? Nobody likes to be rejected, diminished or criticized. To be analyzed, ignored or “fixed” isn’t much better. Yet so often, by habit, speaking and listening become weapons in our relationships. It’s so common to listen to the voice in our minds about how we’ll respond or how we’ll defend our position instead of hearing what another is really saying.

How refreshing it is to be listened to with a quiet appreciation for what we’re trying to express. This is deep listening. It’s more than hearing with the ears, and it’s not a technique. People express so much more than can be heard with ears alone.

In deep listening, we strive to open our heart to the one who is speaking. We listen for the feelings, meaning, needs, and longings that might not be obvious in the words. It doesn’t require that we agree with what we’re hearing, but it does ask that we make a genuine effort to understand another’s needs and perceptions. This is today’s theme—to listen without fixing or advising or evaluating, and to experience how deep listening cultivates peace.

Learning to speak and listen in ways that encourage peace—practicing the language of non-violence—is a challenge for everyone. Our ability to effectively communicate comes from the recognition that the well-being of others is deeply linked to our own. Through our collective attention to deep listening today, by practicing it and by asking for it, we foster peace in our relationships. Our willingness to listen brings the wisdom of healthy communication to the rhythm of peace.

Communicate for peace.
View all 30 themes.

Check back tomorrow for a new theme!

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. ~Mother Teresa