I begin listening with ordinary caring.
I Imagine that what I am about to receive by listening
is similar to receiving a valuable gift.
I think about the courage and/or vulnerability
that may be necessary for the one speaking
to divulge what they are about to say.
I strive to listen with kindhearted interest.
In other words, I try to notice when I begin categorizing what I hear
as good or bad, right or wrong,
and I return to ordinary listening.
I am sensitive to the communication
that comes through the whole experience
and not only to the words being spoken.
I listen for the expression of feelings.