Deep Listening

Thoughts on Convictions 1 and 6:
"Dialogue, and the Poetic Power of the Imagination"

By Ann Diller

A couple of years ago, I had an absolutely delightful time participating in the 8th Annual Ikeda Forum on Cultivating the Greater Self. Virginia Benson and I entered into dialogue on the subject of Dialogue and the Greater Self. In my presentation I talked about the importance of listening inwardly as well as outwardly. I suggested we work on listening with compassion to all our inner voices including those that sound like a Lesser Self. On that morning, I spoke many words on this subject. Sometime later, I came across these very few words on the subject — in a poem by Sinkichi Takahashi. I offer his poem as a brief poetic commentary on core convictions one and six:

Words*

I don't take your words
Merely as words.
Far from it.

I listen
To what makes you talk —
Whatever that is —
And me listen.

* From Triumph of the Sparrow: Zen Poems of Shinkichi Takahashi, translated from the Japanese by Lucien Stryk with Takashi Ikemoto (Grove Press, 1986).

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Dr. Ann Diller is Professor Emerita, Philosophy of Education, University of New Hampshire. Her publications include The Gender Question in Education (coauthored with Barbara Houston, Kathryn Pauly Morgan, and Maryann Ayim).

 

 

 

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