Recently I was teaching Radiant Child Yoga at Kripalu. We came to the Deep Listening section of Level 3, the summit point of the entire 30 hour training. I was so appreciative of the section written by my husband, Kartar. I decided to share it here so many more can benefit from its wisdom and insight:
Suspension of Judgment and the Creation of Safe Space
How many of us remember conversations with our parents in which we only wanted to share ourselves, or we longed to reach out and be heard, and what we got back was automatic, unthinking judgment and a quick dismissal.
The creation of a safe space is the foundation of the support process. When our children feel safe coming to us with their problems, when they sense that they can make progress by working things out in our presence, a crown jewel of communication has been created. Not only children, but all of us, have to feel emotionally safe before they will share honest thoughts and feelings.
A safe space is created when the speaker and listener are connected without a sense of me-you, weak-strong, inferior-superior. Suspension of judgment not only means engaging one’s witness self to observe any judgments rather than identifying with them, it means the full and joyful acceptance of even the worst in the other person. That is the true meaning of compassion.
In fact, embracing the darkness actually enlightens it, and true compassion is a co-creative act of blessing and release. We become enlightened not by imaging figures of light or grand modes of behavior or holding onto ideals, but by making, one step at a time, the darkness conscious (enlightened).
It means having compassion for a fellow human being at a timeless moment and seeing the wisdom and power that lie with the other.
Moving beyond judgment means:
Opening the heart
Sacrificing ideals of perfection
Living the mystery
Written by Kartar Khalsa
From Heart and Soul Work with Children Training Manual, Radiant Child Yoga, level 3