Compassionate Listening

Some Assumptions
A First Step Toward Interfaith Dialogue

  1. Compassionate Listening assumes that before authentic dialogue can occur, conflicting parties must first listen to each other. We cannot assume that we really know how it is to be another.
  2. Compassionate Listening does not seek to change the other, but to love them. The more a person is loved, the more they are free to respond to inner truth.
  3. Compassion Listening assumes that to build peace we need to acknowledge the humanity and the suffering of the other. Misunderstanding, conflicts, and violence are the result of unhealed wounds.
  4. Compassionate Listening trusts that when people truly feel heard, they will be more open to hearing the stories of those with whom they disagree.
  5. Compassionate Listening is a practice of reconciliation, and is thus based in the belief that mutual understanding and respect are the foundations for building communities across the borders of difference.

Excerpted from Interfaith Peacemaking Curriculum

Published by Abrahamic Faiths Peacemaking Initiative

Reprinted with permission.


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