Mary Rose O’Reilley: Radical Presence: Teaching as Contemplative Practice

12 October 2019


Attention: deep listening. People are dying in spirit for lack of it. In academic culture, most listening is critical listening. We tend to pay attention only long enough to develop a counterargument; we critique the student’s or the colleague’s ideas; we mentally grade and pigeonhole each other. In society at large, people often listen with an agenda, to sell or petition or seduce. Seldom is there a deep, open-hearted nonjudgmental reception of the other. And so we all talk louder and more stridently and with a terrible desperation. By contrast, if someone truly listens to me, my spirit begins to expand.

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