“The greatest gift you can give another
is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss
The Art of Listening
Let me ask you a question, when was the last time you really listened? A time when your whole being was attentive, taking in all the sounds without judgment and comparison.
Just sitting somewhere and being very silent, not having your attention fixed to anything in particular, just relaxed with a very calm and quiet mind.
If you can listen with out effort, just being in a passive yet alert sensitive state, pay close attention and you will see something beautiful taking place. Listening like this can lead to an inner transformation that gives you insight and direct perception into the here and now. If you are like most of us, effective listening, is an art that is infrequently practiced.
The reality is that when most people listen they are simply listening through their own mental projections, taking what is being heard and molded to suit their own beliefs and prejudices.
Can listening in this way really give you a meaningful understanding into what the other person is saying? Listening at this level is very superficial, words can easily be distorted, and the message the speaker is trying to convey is beyond the words they are using.
To really listen effectively and lovingly is to be in a place of utter silence, having a very quiet mind. You simply can’t just tell your mind, “hey be quiet!!”. This state of mind cannot be reached through effort. Effort simply creates inner conflict and a mind in conflict will not be totally available to the experience of intense listening.
Effective Listening Means To Listen With Great Awareness
To have a calm and centered mind requires great awareness. This awareness can only be cultivated through self knowledge. If you don’t understand yourself at a deep level, how can you cultivate something which cannot be given to you?
When you understand how your mind works and you are able to observe it with out judgment or trying to distort your thoughts, you will see that the mind will become quiet on its own accord.
A mind that lives in comparison is never in reality; it is always living in the past and imagining the future. To listen in an integrated manner requires you to be in the present, to be in the present means to be free psychologically of the past and future. This requires you to have an inner psychological revolution, a revolution of the mind, to have an incredibly alert mind that lives moment to moment without clinging to anything.
If you really learn to listen with great awareness, attentiveness, and affection, it can become an incredible learning experience. This type of learning is not how we typically learn, which is just to accumulate knowledge. Accumulation simply leads you to be imitative. Knowledge is old, it is already known, and this type of learning experience is your own direct insight into reality, a vertical growth in your own consciousness.
Life is never old, it is always new, it is a constantly changing dream, so please remember to listen with your whole being, or else you will miss the magic.
Thank you for reading my article on the art of listening effectively, I hope it adds some value to your life.
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