To the astonishment of publishers, Jalaluddin Rumi has become the best-selling poet in America. Rumi’s sensational popularity is notable not only because of its content—an intoxicated, rapturous love letter to the divine—but also because his mystical poems were written in Persian in the 13th century.
This episode considers the need to carve out an experience of silence in our own lives – as a basis for attentively listening to others. But actually setting aside quiet time can be hard can be hard for many of us. It may feel uncomfortable at times and we’re susceptible to distractions, especially amid all the electronic communication coming at us. Our attention can be diverted, even when we have a sincere intention to listen compassionately to another.
There’s a kind of mystery in sitting calmly, patiently, attentively and tuning into someone else’s personal story – their experience and life journey.
In this segment, we hear the insights of people who, in a sense, listen for a living: physicians, counselors, clergy and others. What does it mean to set aside one’s own agenda and truly focus on another person, perhaps someone who is suffering?