Practicing The
Sacred Art of Listening
©2003 Kay Lindahl

Publishers Weekly
September 29, 2003

PRACTICING THE SACRED ART OF LISTENING: A Guide to Enrich Your Relationships and Kindle Your Spiritual Life
Kay Lindahl, SkyLight Paths.

This is a companion volume to Lindahl’s first book, The Sacred Art of Listening, which provided 40 short, distinct entry points into the realm of real listening. Here, she organizes her thinking around broader themes such as “contemplative,” “reflective,” and “heart” listening, three modes that she says can help us to listen deeply to the divine, ourselves ad one another. Lindahl hopes that people can slowly strengthen their listening “muscles” and pull themselves back from the brink of non-communication. She explores the implications of listening to friends, family, co-workers and ourselves. Calling thoughtful attention to the myriad ways we share conversation, she delineates among the formats and intentions of debates, dialogues, negotiations and chitchat. The spiritual value of being present while listening shines within her clear, guileless strategies. Each chapter offers concrete techniques to practice listening, and the “Daily Practices” section is filled with ways to restore loving kindness to language. She also has clear directions for “Interfaith Café” etiquette, where lively conversation can spark lasting change among people of different faiths, viewpoints or life experiences. Similar to her first book, this is by turns both obvious and profound; on the whole, however, it has deep merit for all who want to reclaim the essential art of spiritual listening.