Practice listening to a close friend or loved one without responding in any way. Do not give advice, opinions, or solutions. Do not judge or criticize this person or what he or she is saying. Watch your tendency to formulate a response rather than to listen. Be aware of nodding your head in agreement. Listen through all your internal noise, to the other person's words and their impact on you. Connect with his or her pain or joy. How does your heart respond to this person's emotions?

Rodney Smith in Lessons from the Dying