Anticipating my inclination to trip over words and form odd phrases, I listened, discerning whimpers of fear, tones of compassion, grumbles of frustration, whispers of kindness, snickers of impropriety, yearnings for reconciliation, and other subtleties. Once fully heard, I recognized and accepted all the utterings as my own, without evaluation or judgment.
Having given myself the gift of being heard, I offered the same to my conversation partner.
Jack Kornfield refers to this awareness as setting our heart’s compass. We acknowledge our mix of emotions and associations and set our intention to reach the good in another. He says, “…our good intentions will help us to let go of what blocks our openness.”
By opening ourselves to others, the path appears to reaffirming our connection and mutual care despite what difficulties we must address. This is true in planned discussions as well as spontaneous conversations. As Kornfield says,
“It is from our intentions that our life grows. It is in opening to one another that our path is made whole.”
When there is a mature relationship between people, there is always compassion and forgiveness. Thich Nhat Hanh
The above quotes come from an excerpt of Jack Kornfield’s book, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry (read now).