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From Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge
Honolulu Myohoji Mission Community Service Project
Story #4-1 Deep Listening
Listening is one of the most important communication skills one can have for life coaching,
counseling, parenting, teaching, managing, and customer service. While everyone may be able to hear what others are saying, not everyone can actively listen without judgment. Even Dr. Richard Carlson, the author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” has previously said, “listening is no small skill.”
When someone offers their full attention to listen, we feel valued and cared for. On the other hand, we can feel neglected when someone feigns interest, interrupts you when you are speaking, or changes the subject. When we feel that we aren’t being listened to, are needs are often not met. Statistics have shown that when a doctor effectively listens to a patient, the number of malpractice lawsuits drop significantly.
Previously, I have read a story of a Maori Polynesian community in New Zealand. This story was told to a group of Western women healers who traveled to a remote island known for its balanced masculine and feminine cultures. One of the Western women recalled the story as the following:
“At a large gathering with over hundreds of men, women, and children in attendance, I asked the community’s medical doctor what types of medicine is often used for healing illnesses. His simple, yet surprising response has changed my way of thinking. He informed me that they use absolutely no medicine.
If a person was afflicted with anything from a cold to even cancer, the entire community would gather around in a circle. They would position the person in the center and the community would proceed to sit down. Once everyone is seated, the medical doctor would ask the person one question: “What is it that you are not saying?”
There were days where they would stay seated waiting for the person to reveal what they were not sharing and continuing to keep to themselves. This ritual was seen as such a success that the doctor reported a 98% healing rate. In order to heal, the community used their innate wisdom, inner guidance, along with the power of self-expression to achieve intellectual truth and interconnectedness.”
*Story told by Ms Christine Hibbard “What is it you’re not saying?”