To listen deeply to another person is one of the greatest and transformative gifts we can offer.
To do this effectively requires that we can take the time to be still and quiet long enough and often enough to listen to ourselves. When we practice the art of silence and listening to what takes place in our minds and hearts, we are better equipped to respond appropriately to whatever comes up in life.
We spend a lot of time bombarding ourselves with information through texting and tweeting and facebooking. Not getting caught up in all of this and taking time to step away from it every day is crucial.
Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes this beautifully in his interpretation of the fourth precept.
Noticing what we are putting out there in a facebook status posting or tweet is more important than many of us realize. Crapping all over cyberspace because our minds are struggling only creates more discord and crap in the minds of other people.
The words and symbols we put out there matter.
Suppose that person "A" leaves a banana peel on the floor and then person "B" proceeds to slip on it, fall, and get seriously injured.
Who is responsible for that suffering?