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Like an Elephant Pricked by a Thorn: Buddhist Meditation Instructions as a Door to Deep Listening

Like an Elephant Pricked by a Thorn: Buddhist Meditation Instructions as a Door to Deep Listening Willa B. Miller Harvard University The phrase "deep listening" has been circulating in recent years in the contexts of contemplative education, psychotherapy, pastoral care, and the arts. This article is a reflection on deep listening from a Buddhist perspective, as it might support the ongoing development of career educators, although this reflection might apply equally well to ministers and (in the Buddhist world) dharma teachers. My motivation to contribute to this discourse of listening is spurred by the belief that the effectiveness of educators, ministers, and dharma teachers might be enhanced by training in the art of listening. These career professionals share a key aspect of their role in common: They get up in front of groups of people to teach or preach. In this performative role, it is possible for teachers (or preachers) to become so accustomed to being the source of information that a dynamic is created, inside and outside the classroom or pulpit, in which discourse is weighted primarily in one direction. This dynamic, I would argue, prevents optimal learning and stunts the feedback loop necessary for pedagogical health, both for students and for their educators. Listening, as a valued pedagogical discipline on the part http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Like an Elephant Pricked by a Thorn: Buddhist Meditation Instructions as a Door to Deep Listening

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 35 (1) – Dec 16, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
Publisher site
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Abstract

Willa B. Miller Harvard University The phrase "deep listening" has been circulating in recent years in the contexts of contemplative education, psychotherapy, pastoral care, and the arts. This article is a reflection on deep listening from a Buddhist perspective, as it might support the ongoing development of career educators, although this reflection might apply equally well to ministers and (in the Buddhist world) dharma teachers. My motivation to contribute to this discourse of listening is spurred by the belief that the effectiveness of educators, ministers, and dharma teachers might be enhanced by training in the art of listening. These career professionals share a key aspect of their role in common: They get up in front of groups of people to teach or preach. In this performative role, it is possible for teachers (or preachers) to become so accustomed to being the source of information that a dynamic is created, inside and outside the classroom or pulpit, in which discourse is weighted primarily in one direction. This dynamic, I would argue, prevents optimal learning and stunts the feedback loop necessary for pedagogical health, both for students and for their educators. Listening, as a valued pedagogical discipline on the part

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 16, 2015

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