Learning to listen to the inner teacher or inner Light is a core part of Quaker practice. In addition to listening intrapersonally, we can also learn from others' experiences and inner wisdom in addition to our own. But too often, we listen to others from a posture of response — thinking about what we will say next, how we might also be known in the conversation, or whether we agree or disagree.
In this MIDWEEK, we will engage in deep and active listening to others — or listening to understand and to know. Through this practice, Ryan and Jen hope to show the connective power and revelatory nature of deeply listening to others in our communities.
Ryan Higgins-Newman is a Quaker, fundraiser, and Friends House resident and board member. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from BU School of Theology, where he focused his studies on Religion and Conflict Transformation. Professionally, he works for MIT as a development and events assistant. Personally, he finds joy and value in listening deeply to other people (and baking bread!).
Jen Higgins-Newman is a Quaker, theologian, writer, activist and currently the Program Manager at Beacon Hill Friends House. She holds a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School, with a focus on religion, gender, and sexuality studies. Jen understands the transformative power of deep and active listening in helping heal our divides, connect others on a spiritual level, and even create change —and she hopes to share that with others.