Slow Listening – Fragments for Sharing

Slow Listening – Fragments for Sharing

Little notes, fragments, comments and other written/spoken poetic constellations constructed to summarize the second Testing Week exploring Slow Listening and to them share with guests at Listening Event II.

By Bureau for Listening, Carolyn F. Strauss and Christine Hvidt.

Listening and Slowness grow from the same place


Neither is dependent on the other, but they make a great pair


This text is not about slowness or listening. It is about

scale – receptivity – friction – traces – gesture – sacrifice – giving up the self – transformation

And that is enough.

Slow Listening is:


Attention to detail


Larger perspective



In the question of SLOW LISTENING – consider impact vs. Vagueness


I love the idea of the minor invitation and wonder if there is such a thing as a major invitation


There’s something about lingering that I find very poetic and would like to explore more


“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weill quoted by Christine Hvidt

Slowness is…

Attention to process 

Awareness of process

Awareness in process

Being in process

A process (verb)

“Challenge habitual rhythms and general comfort” 

a quote by Christine Hvidt


Being together


Meeting on a threshold

Plural realities


Living membrane



Minor invitations

Slightly stretched 

“Slow and Listening don’t need each other, but they share a force.” 

>> When the words are placed next to each other, they create both a tension and an in-tention

Slow Listening, like Slow research, insists on a framework that is:

Multi- and also trans-disciplinary >> the ‘trans’ being a more fluid intermingling of forces

Moving between different scales >> zooming into details and quieter voices or soundings, and zooming out to recall the larger ecologies from which they emerge and/or in which they are embedded. >> Like adjusting the focal lens on a camera… sometimes micro, sometimes macro, sometimes soft focus.

Comprehensive of different tempos and temporalities >> enter at your own pace and in good time, while also stretching your awareness to longer timeframes and even other understandings of how time works.


… “keeping complexity alive”

Echoing Brandon LaBelle’s invitation—from the last Testing Ground session here at AHC—to SURRENDER


What does it mean to surrender to Slowness?

To allow Attention to the moment and an embrace of complexity to exist simultaneously? Without judging whether you are doing it right… Practicing this, again and again.

Being IN process and allowing it to slowly, subtle-ly RECALIBRATE the way you move in the world, approach others, and encounter even your own self?

Starting up ritual #1: 

[A series of rituals/practices/exercises/check-ins… to mark and attune each ‘workshop’ day. Each ritual has a duration of 15 minutes.]


Walk as slowly as possible

– together as a group – perhaps shoulder to shoulder…

Walk for as long (or short…) as possible


We did this ritual at the center of the parking lot of the meatpacking district – and were able to walk at a pace of 2 minutes per meter. We felt that, with more time, we would have been able to walk much much slower… making it a question of practice, of balance…

Words I gathered from others during the event:



holding someone’s hand

it is itself

practicing balance

minor movements




offering time

being together



in process

giving up the self

material presence 

acts of care



listening to other bodies

connecting differently

ritualistic practices 

                                     … of

                                                 … lingering

Slowly drifting with the minor movements or tiny changes

observing the known and unknown rippling effects of this slow listening act

Listening as a gesture

of making yourself available

for what arrives

to you

where you are with the ones you are with

Listening as a gesture

of landing your somatic

and mindful awareness

to the place you attend to

Slow listening as starting point for

connecting with other fellow planet mates


For establishing continuous relationships

that deepen and unfold and

shape shift

the more you listen

I invite you to embrace the darkness 

and challenge your habitual rhythms and thresholds of comfort