Join us for our Peer Support Sessions!
When confronted with a difficult challenge, your mind may be going round and round thinking about all sorts of difficulties . Slowing down, taking a pause, and listening deeply, allows inner wisdom to emerge in a way it never can when your mind is going in endless circles of judgment and recrimination. When others bring this same type of presence to listening to you, it can also be very helpful.
Location: Peer Support Sessions will be held virtually on zoom. They are accessible any where in the US.
Cost: All sessions are on a sliding scale by donation.
Program purpose: Mindfulness is the capacity to be aware of what is happening in the present moment with a quality of attention that is curious, open and accepting. In these sessions one person will present and listeners will listen deeply and give feedback. When we listen deeply to each other, we create an open, spacious awareness that can be deeply nourishing and informative.
We’ll practice the principles underlying a mindfulness practice which include beginners mind, trust, acceptance, letting be, patience, non-striving and non-judgment.
Note: These sessions are being co-sponsored by Mindfulness & Wellbeing LLC and Creative Transitions Inc.
Date: Contact us to arrange your free introductory session and to see if Peer Support Sessions are right for you.
The hour will start with an introduction to mindfulness and include a short mindfulness practice you can use at any time throughout your day. After this introduction, one person will have a chance to present a question or situation they are grappling with and listeners will practice mindful listening before giving feedback.
Moderator and Listeners:
While the presenter is speaking, the moderator and listeners may ask clarifying questions. However, this is not the time to get lost in details, give advice or problem solve. Rather listeners connect with the speaker in an open, spacious way.
The presenter responds to these questions
- What’s the key question or challenge you are encountering? What does it look like?
- How might others view this situation? What’s their take on making sense of the current situation that you described?
- What’s your intention? What’s the future you want to create? What does success really look like?
- Really looking at yourself and asking yourself, why it it that in my own biography, in my own journey I am now facing this kind of situation?
- What is your learning edge? What is this situation inviting me to let go of, and what is it that it’s inviting me to learn?
- Where do I want you, the listeners, to help?
- What are the images, metaphors, feelings, or gestures you, as a listener, sensed while the presenter was speaking, that capture the essence of what you heard?
- Mirror back what you heard the presenter saying and nonverbal signals you were aware of.
- Generative Dialogue: Without problem solving, focus on helping the presenter deal with his/her situation in a generative way, perhaps by exploring some of the deeper themes that have surfaced or looking at the situation from a broader perspective, or re-framing it.
- The presenter has a chance to respond to listener feedback. eg. here are the two or three new ideas that I came across that helped me to re-frame the situation. Or, taking stock of my energy, this is how I feel about it right now. (My energy is up or down etc.) Or here are the two or three actions that were clarified for me that I’m going to take in the next week or two.
- If the presenter has specifically asked for help, listeners respond to the presenters questions.
More About Mindful Listening:
Here is how Parker Palmer describes a “circle of trust” in his book A Hidden Wholeness:
Convinced that people lack inner guidance and wishing to “help” them, we feel obligated to tell others what we think they need to know… But we can learn a more creative way to be present to each other…
A circle of trust has no agenda except to help people learn to listen to their own inner wisdom and discern their own truth….Its singular purpose is to support the inner journey of each person in the group, to help each person listen to his or her inner teacher.
Video: Incorporating Mindfulness into Clinical Practice
Learn how a nurse uses connects with her patients even when she “doesn’t know the right things to say”.
“Most people don’t know how to listen because the major part of listening is taken up by thinking. They pay more attention to that than what the other person is saying, and none at all to what really matters: the Being of the other person underneath the words and the mind. Really listening to another is one of the most precious gifts we can give another.” The Power of Now,
Mindful listening is not about dialogue, discussion or debate. It’s about hearing the deepest concerns, wishes, or yearnings of another person.
When listening to another person, don’t just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body. Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen. That takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without the mind interfering. You are giving the other person space – space to be. It is the most precious gift you can give another. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
- Tune into your own body sensations.
- Tune into what the speaker wants, values, yearns for, or needs on a deep level.
- See if you can bring a sense of curiosity and compassion without an agenda.
- Connect with the speaker’s humanity.
- Honor and appreciate the fact you’re getting a window into how another person experiences the world
This session is for mindful listening. It is not the time for analysis, judgment, problem solving, agreeing, disagreeing, or giving advice.