Where We Listen
After 8 years of listening in the Downtown Transit Center in Anchorage, AK, we’ve branched out into a few different areas of the city. Our volunteers currently serve at five locations:
Mondays – 5:00-7:30pm at the Brother Francis Shelter
Tuesdays – 1:30-3:30pm at the Brother Francis Shelter
and 11am-1pm at Central Lutheran Church
Wednesdays – 11am-7pm at Mt View Library
Thursdays – 11am-7pm at Loussac Library
and 5:00-7:00pm at Brother Francis Shelter
Fridays – 10am-1pm at Sitka Place
Saturdays – every third Saturday of the month at Central Lutheran Church
Who We Are
We are you. We are regular folks. We do what is natural, though in our busy society, not common. We listen. We listen without judging, advising, counseling, suggesting, or cheer-leading.
We all need to share who we are, what life has brought us – joys as well as sorrow. We all need to be able to share that joy or sorrow without being judged.
Listening is a simple though profound offering from one human being to another.
Listening Post volunteers understand the value of accepting people just as they are. Guests arrive at the Listening Post either with personal stories to share or for quiet time so they may meditate, pray, or simply sit in solitude in a safe and quiet space.
Volunteers at the Listening Post receive ongoing training in the sacred art of listening. As natural as listening is, it benefits from paying close attention and regular practice.Our training and volunteer meetings offer that to each volunteer – attention, practice, awareness, time to recognize the holy in the smallest details and intersections. Volunteers at the Listening Post are willing and able to hear you.
When you visit the Listening Post, you will be greeted by volunteer listeners who understand the value of your story and the capacity to keep it confidential. You and your story are safe with us.
Why We Listen
“What we all need is a good listening to”
Listening is natural. That said, we often need reminders to quiet our own minds down enough to actually listen to another. Listening is complete in unexpected ways. So many of us have busy lives and pressing responsibilities it is as if we’ve been trained to notice problems and to fix them or at the very least manage them and keep things under constant control. That habit undermines the sacred art of listening to another human being.
Often in the rush to fix and manage, the heart of a person get passed by. Listening seems too simple to be able to address the urgent issues of our lives, yet when we are heard something shifts. When we tell our story without being intruded upon with assumptions or advice or cheer leading, we have the chance to be whole and be respected exactly as we are. Even if we’re suffering, or especially if we’re suffering, being listened to respects our individuality, and surprisingly it also respects our privacy. The act of listening is not invasive, yet offering advice can be. When no one interferes in our story we get to hear the story ourselves. It is possible that in sharing our stories we experience a resolution more effective than prescribed advice could have been.
The sacred art of listening is actually rather simple. It is, in some way, “just” listening. What makes it a sacred act is the willingness to do it. To truly listen to another is the willingness to accept that person just as they are. Attempting to fix another’s situation creates a subtle and unintentional message that they are not acceptable, not whole, not lovable as they are right now – joys and sorrows, smiles and suffering, and all.
To be listened to is a moment of being received without having to prove anything. And who doesn’t need that?
To listen, as well as to be listened to, brings forth a moment of humanity – a natural hospitality in an often inhospitable world.
If you need to share your story, please know you are welcome to do so at the Listening Post.
The Listening Post has served Anchorage, AK since 2008 as a 100% volunteer operation, 100% donation funded. We can do together what none of us can do alone.