Empathetic Listening

Empathetic Listening

9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Cost: $250 per class

Grades 4 – 8

Limited to 24 students

(bring a bag lunch)

Place: Timberlake Earth Sanctuary

1501 Rock Creek Dairy Road, Whitsett, NC

If you would like to register for an Empathetic Listening program, you may reserve a date through our online system by clicking here.

Within 24 hours of receiving your request, we will send you an email with instructions for sending in a $50 deposit, which is required to confirm your reservation. The deposit is due within 14 days of your reservation request.


Our children live in a fast-paced, competitive and high-tech world, in a culture where continuous partial attention and multi-tasking are becoming the norm. Are we losing our ability to truly listen to each other? Do we carry an attitude of respect that allows us to listen to the meaning and feeling that come through another's words?

The “Empathetic Listening” program engages children in a practice of deep listening to each other and to the natural world.

The program begins with an introduction to empathetic listening, a way of listening that creates mutual understanding, trust and respect. Can we learn to listen without judgement? Can we listen without interrupting? Can we reflect back what we think we have heard? Can we sense the feelings behind the words? These are some of the practices that children have an opportunity to explore together in pre-selected pairs.

During the second half of the program, the children are invited to listen deeply to the natural world during a solo writing time in their own special sit spot within a beautiful earth sanctuary. They are invited to become still, to deeply notice the place where they are sitting. What makes this particular landscape special and unique? What are you hearing in your special place? What might nature reveal to you? In the rare experience of silence, a voice begins to emerge, their own, inspired by the wonders of nature.

Our highly experienced staff members carry an attitude of deep respect for all life. We seek always to embody new ways of listening to nature and to each other, ways that are respectful, reverential and relational.

“I am not myself without everything and everyone else.”

~ Thomas Berry