Do you know what baleen whale is? Now imagine applying this to listening. In constellation work the process starts with an interview, where facilitator would ask about the issue, intention and various facts about the family. This is what is seen. What is unseen is facilitator’s interaction with the client on the energetic level, the deep listening.
Richard Wallstein talks about deep listening as a process that invites a range of metaphors. Baleen whale is one of them. These creatures have filter systems for their food, so that only what is good for them enters their body. Similarly, facilitator has this neutral perception ‘baleen’ activated to sense into what is relevant and not, where energy goes, what is important in the moment.
The other metaphor is a hair cell. These are cells in our body that resonate with the vibration of the sound. Similarly as facilitators we resonate with the sound, tone, way of talking, body language of the client, listening not only to the story but to what is not being said as well.
In his recent talk on interviewing process Richard also mentioned a third metaphor - prairie grass fields. Just as the wind brushes and shapes the grass through the fields, facilitator is open to all the movements of the interview, not fixating on a preconceived idea.
Deep listening could be practiced in other settings in life. Imagine if we could sit with each other holding those metaphors in mind. Imagine listening in such a way to your garden beings, to trees and animals. How would this change what you hear?
I am fascinated by the Systemic Family Constellations work and everything shamanic. I study it, practice it, research it. Here, I am sharing what I learn and hope it can be of use to somebody interested in healing their families, communities and lives.
In 2019 I published some of my poetry inspired by systemic work in this journal. It is available as PDF, Kindle or printed at the link above.