Deep Listening

a poem by Mary-Elizabeth Cotton

Rev. Andrew writes:

Not long after I arrived at the Fellowship, a little over nine years ago, I was talking to Bob Smith about our Fellowship Circles program and he told me that our Nursery Attendant, Mary-Elizabeth Cotton, had written a wonderful poem that got to the true heart of what Fellowship Circles are all about. I asked Mary if she’d send me a copy of it, which she did, and I saw for myself that Bob was spot on. I have since used that poem as a reading in services and as a text for meditation and sharing. It has also been shared by the UU Small Group Ministry Network, helping Unitarian Universalists everywhere to embrace listening as a spiritual practice.

Let us listen…

Just for a while
Let us silence our minds
And open our hearts.

Just for a while
Let us listen from within.


Not to gain knowledge,
Not to formulate questions,

Rather to chance upon
Sacred bonds and
Profound wisdom.

Just for a while
Let us not seek information
Or answers.

Let us not rouse the intellect
But embrace the spirit.

If thoughts cloud the brain
May we let them pass.

If replies tingle on the tongue.
Let us breathe them away silently.

Return to them later
But here…

Here in this precious time of sharing

Let us listen…

Let the words wash over us
​And seep into a still, quiet pool.

Let us listen.

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