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Group Practices: Silence
The Talking Stick Practice
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Often when we listen to another we are already preparing our own response rather than attending fully. The Native American tradition of using a "talking stick" is a practice that encourages deeper listening. The group members sit in a circle, and a stick is passed around it. A member of the group can speak only when holding the stick, and no one else may speak, only listen. No one can jump in "out of turn" to respond--the stick continues from person to person around the circle. If someone has nothing to say, they may pass the stick on in silence. The stick can continue around the circle until everyone feels fully heard.

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