An incredible process called Spiritual Friendship

Written by Amie on April 30, 2009 – 2:04 am -

I am heard

It is the greatest feeling knowing that I have been heard.I have recently learned a process called spiritual friendship. It is the most wonderful thing! I didn’t know what to expect when I went with a friend to learn this process. It was one of the best things I have ever done! The process is very simple, yet I am having a difficult time thinking of how to explain it. It starts with two people that trust each other. You can be good friends, or not, as long as you feel safe expressing your innermost thoughts to this person.

wpc30210-1My experience

I will explain the process the way that I experienced it, maybe that will make it easier for me. First, we had to be taught the process. Then, we decided when we would get together, usually once a week. We are still working on choosing a day and time that will be consistent. When we get together, we choose a place where there will not be any distractions, and where we both feel safe expressing ourselves. We take a few minutes to connect in with ourselves, and then we decide who will go first. Whoever goes first is the one doing the talking and sharing. The  other person is the one that just listens.

Talker and listener

The talker tells the listener what question to ask them. So, for example, I might be working on an issue that is about happiness. I would tell my partner to say to me, “tell me what happiness means to you”. I would then talk about whatever feels alive in me right then. The listener does not say anything, at all. The listener is there to do just that, strictly listen. She doesn’t nod her  head, she doesn’t agree/disagree, nor does she offer any advice/suggestions or anything else. She/he is there to witness your process of exploring whatever you need to explore at the time.

10 minutes each

So, the talker gets ten minutes, for which you set a timer, and then you switch roles. We did this twice, so each person gets 20 minutes total. I was nervous at first to be the only one talking. But after about two minutes, I was loving it!! It was so nice to know that someone was just there to listen to me! And, it was easier to talk and share when I knew there would be no feedback. Sometimes I just really need someone to listen without offering their insight or advice or opinion.  And, since the listener doesn’t  provide any feedback, you can be assured that they really hear you.

Being the listener

I will say that being the listener was more difficult than I thought it would be! It was hard to not say anything, or even smile or nod my head. However, the more we practice, the easier it is. It feels like a gift from my friend that she is sharing her inner process with me. It also feels like a practice that is teaching me how to be present with others. It is so much easier to be present when I’m not thinking about what we are going to say when the other person is finished talking! I remember in Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, he said, “Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or role, but as a field of conscious presence.” Spiritual friendship feels exactly like this to me. I am being a conscious presence for my friend.

Beyond physical form

This type of friendship is unique. It is not a time that we get together and have tea and chat about our day. We designate this special time to taking turns listening to each other. We thank each other for sharing and listening, and then we switch places. It allows me to really feel as though I am seen and heard. It is such a deeper connection than just friendship. We are really seeing each other beyond our physical forms. It is such a gift!

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