"In Western culture listening has never been a prized pursuit, the way, for example, teaching or preaching has been. There will never be a Who's Who in American Listening. To pursue the desire to become a master listener, a 'listening warrior,' requires turning away from the dominant culture, a certain willingness to explore paths few have chosen," writes Mark Brady, who has taught graduate courses in deep listening for the last dozen years.

Brady has put together a very helpful anthology of 19 essays with sections on the promise, the practice, and the power of listening. Among the contributors are spiritual teacher Ram Dass; Cheri Huber, founder and teacher-in-residence at the Zen Monastery Practice Center; Christine Longaker, the former director of the Hospice of Santa Cruz; Fran Peavey, long-time social activist; Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication; Anne Simpkinson, an editor for Prevention magazine; Kathleen Dowling Singh, a therapist and workshop leader; and Rodney Smith, director of the Hospice of Seattle. Using a variety of terms to describe this type of communion with another — deep listening, listening with the heart, listening with the third ear, devout listening (a Quaker term), fierce listening, virtuoso listening — they offer suggestions, perspectives, and practices that will reinforce your intentions to be a good listener.