Deep Listening

Thoughts on Convictions 1 and 6:
"Dialogue, and the Poetic Power of the Imagination"

By Ann Diller

A couple of years ago, I had an absolutely delightful time participating in the 8th Annual Ikeda Forum on Cultivating the Greater Self. Virginia Benson and I entered into dialogue on the subject of Dialogue and the Greater Self. In my presentation I talked about the importance of listening inwardly as well as outwardly. I suggested we work on listening with compassion to all our inner voices including those that sound like a Lesser Self. On that morning, I spoke many words on this subject. Sometime later, I came across these very few words on the subject — in a poem by Sinkichi Takahashi. I offer his poem as a brief poetic commentary on core convictions one and six:


I don't take your words
Merely as words.
Far from it.

I listen
To what makes you talk —
Whatever that is —
And me listen.

* From Triumph of the Sparrow: Zen Poems of Shinkichi Takahashi, translated from the Japanese by Lucien Stryk with Takashi Ikemoto (Grove Press, 1986).


Dr. Ann Diller is Professor Emerita, Philosophy of Education, University of New Hampshire. Her publications include The Gender Question in Education (coauthored with Barbara Houston, Kathryn Pauly Morgan, and Maryann Ayim).




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