Guardian Yearlong blog post originally posted on 5/16/14
The Guardians began their exploration with the Listening skill. They said that by depending on each other and living together 24/7, they had learned how to truth-listen, how to be open and accepting and how to encourage and acknowledge one another.
Lety asked how these listening skills had helped them at camp this past year, how their skills had developed, and how they would use what they’ve learned once they are back in their communities. A few of the Trainees asked for clarification and expressed their understanding of the question. Then Blondie laughed and said “Here’s a question on ‘listening’, which is rephrased several times, and there are three…four different understandings of the question. This is funny.”
Tamarack spoke, “listening goes beyond what we hear, I’m reminded of a story: A Seeker went from person to person asking ‘How do I listen?’ but was not satisfied with the responses. Somebody suggested posing this question to someone who’d been listening for a long time. The Seeker found a revered Elder and asked ‘How do I listen?’ The Elder responded by pointing to the full moon. The Seeker said: ‘Oh, I see you pointing. What does that mean? How does that help me listen?’ And the Elder said: ‘You missed my point here. What I am doing is not the answer to your question. You’re focused on my connection with the moon. The listening is about the moon. It’s not what I’m saying or what I’m doing. That’s not listening. Your question is not listening. Embrace the moon.’”
Tamarack continued: “communication involves heart to heart connection, words are symbols that we use in an effort to express this. But, if we focus on the symbols, we can get tripped up on the projections and patterns we associate with them. This distracts us from listening, just as it did the Seeker when he focused on the Elder’s finger instead of the Elder’s message.”
The Guardians then explored how they might interact with their families in a different way once they’re back home. They realized that if they see their parents only as parents, they might only hear their parents’ words filtered through the projections they associate withparents. Perhaps they will return to their families and hear their parents say something like “Oh, Johnny or Janie, I want you to go to college now. You’ve done your playing around.” If the Seeker focuses just on their parents’ words, they might think “My parents want me to do something. Do I want to do that or not?” This sets them up for a dichotomous “them against me” interpretation. However, if the Seeker is truthlistening, she/he is in a state of being, rather than a state of doing something with, for, or against someone else. Instead of hearing “I have a specific plan I want you to do,” they will hear “I love you honey.”
From their year-long experience, the Guardians learned that when we relate to one another on a heart level rather than from our egos and projections, we can listen more clearly. They appreciated that by integrating this way of listening, this skill will allow them to truly serve their communities.
It was very important that listening came up as the first item on the list, because listening is at the core of most, if not all, soft and hard skills, as we’ll see in the following topics.