Tell Me Your Story

Shippensburg University

Mindful Listening by Toru Sato

What is Tell Me Your Story?  It is an event in which any university student or employee can have a 1 on 1 meeting with Toru and speak to him about whatever s/he feels like for 1 hour.  Toru will try the best he can to listen compassionately and mindfully without interrupting.  Unless he is explicitly asked to do so, he will not offer any feedback or suggestions.  His roles is just to listen and try to understand by putting himself in the other person's position.  It is a space designed for voicing ourselves, grieving, venting, as well as self-discovery through contemplation and meditation (i.e., Who am I and what do I really want?).  If asked to do so, Toru can also guide the student or employee through meditation exercises to help bring about some clarity.  Whatever is discussed in the session is confidential to the fullest extent possible under law.   

How do I sign up for a Tell Me Your Story session?  If you are interested in a session, please send me an e-mail message to tosato "at" ship "dot" edu with your name, days of the week and times you are available.  We will try to find a time we are both available for an hour and schedule a session.  

Why does Toru want to listen to your story?
 See quotes below...

"When you listen with your soul, you come into rhythm and unity with the music of the universe." John O'Donohue

"You wish to see? Listen; hearing is a step toward vision." St. Bernard of Clairvaux

"When you know how to listen, everybody is the guru, speaking to you right here...  Always." Ram Dass

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing... that is a friend who cares."  Henri Nouwen

"The best gift we can offer our beloved is our true presence, our true listening. We can ask our beloved one, 'Darling, do you think I understand you enough? Please tell me how you are really doing. Please open your heart and help me to understand your joys and difficulties, so I can understand you and truly love you.'"  
Thich Nhat Hanh

"Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention." Simone Weil

"Everything's already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again." André Gide

"Attention is the most basic form of love." Tara Brach

"We live in an era of radical brokenness.  In all our relationships everywhere we look in the global family, disconnection and fear of one another.  [It is] an increasingly noisy era.  People shout at each other in print and at work.  The volume is directly related to our need to be listened to."   Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"The first duty of love is to listen." Paul Tillich

"To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear." Mark Nepo

"One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people." John O'Donohue

"I have come to think listening is love, that's what it really is." Brenda Ueland

"Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his or her heart. Even if s/he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give that person a chance to suffer less. If you want to help her/him to correct her/his perception, you wait for another time. For now, you don't interrupt. You don't argue. If you do, s/he loses her/his chance. You just listen with compassion and help her/him to suffer less. One hour like that can bring transformation and healing."  Thich Nhat Hanh

Thank you for listening.

Toru Sato's Homepage

Psychology Department Homepage