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few(er) words

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A friend wrote to say that she’d enjoyed our evening together, especially “your silent attention.” Another commented on my ability to hold a conversation by “mere presence.” I’m taken aback by their observations, yet deeply touched by the feedback. I do like to talk and chat and even gossip; I also value silence and have been cultivating a listening stance for a while. Seems that there’s been a gradual shift — for which I credit my meditation practice and vow to be of service. 

In last weekend’s New York Times, actor-director Alan Rickman (one of my favourites) speaks of advice he’d been given by the director of Sense and Sensibility.

“It goes back to doing less,” Mr. Rickman recalled. “Ang Lee is wonderful to work with, but his English is a little — well, it wasn’t his first language. He gave us these notes. Mine was, after one scene, ‘Alan, be more subtle — do more.’ By which he meant, do more of the subtle stuff.”



3 responses »

  1. the longer i live alone, the more i value a quiet house guest/ it took a talkative one to teach me this about myself

  2. Someone who truly listens – a most precious gift.


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