The Art of Listening Simply

“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”

Rabindranath Tagor

Today’s topic is on the art of listening because I think this is something that we all need to work on.

For many of us as a result of our modern day lifestyles, our senses have become extremely dull. This is a good reason for us to get back into nature. If you can get back into nature you’ll notice that naturally, your senses become more alive. Think about our forefathers’ thousands of years ago and how much sharper their senses needed to be because their survival depended on it. If they couldn’t see out into the distance or if their listening was poor it could mean life or death for them. Our lives have become extremely comfortable. Many of us don’t even realize that we can sharpen our senses or that we can use them in new ways.

Listening Beyond Our Conditioning

We need to learn to listen simply because how many of us listen, is through our past conditioning. Where we listen to only what we want to hear. If we’re having a conversation with someone sometimes we’re already in the future listening with the end in mind. This is not really listening, this is just hearing a person talk. Since we’re so preoccupied with what we’re feeling or thinking most of the communication has not even been received. There’s no real relationship going on. We need to learn to just simply taken in auditory data in a simple way, which means we need to become extremely receptive.

If you’ve seen some of my videos you’ll notice that I have a certain theme I always talk about, which is about finding inner quietness. That stillness inside. We want to become a very passive alert witness to our inner world. A helpful example could be to think about being just like a deer in the forest and they’re chewing on some grass. Then if hear any little noise, immediately they become alert and still. I think that’s a good example to describe this kind of inner experience, of being in a passive alert state.

Learning To Passively Oberserve Our Thoughts

Learning to stand beside yourself means standing back and observing your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Just finding that utterly still place that’s open and receptive. If you can find that place within you and then from there move your attention to just your auditory sense you will absorb the data unfiltered. This is listening without having that screen of your thoughts come in between. Our senses are basically tentacles for consciousness. They’re the interface that interprets all this external data. Depending on how refined or how developed your senses are it will give you a completely different view of the world.

What we’re trying to do now is to improve our listening so that we can get a new experience of the world. Potentially it can help us have an inner transformation, just through the sheer act of listening. When you get in that highly receptive state and you listen in this way you’ll notice that something subtle is happening within you. I want you to discover these things on your own. You’ll see that you can get into a state whereby taking in that data unfiltered you’ll gain a new energy. This influx of energy can help you become even more alert and more aware.

If you can find a park bench or go out into nature, find a nice place where you can sit down in a comfortable position and take in all the sounds around you. Just close your eyes and find that inner stillness. Allow yourself to relax completely. If you need to do a full body relaxation method or through simply rhythmic breathing. Find that inner quietness first and then from that place just taking in all the sounds in a simple way.

Becoming One With Listneing

Don’t try to interpret anything that you’re hearing. If you hear a dog off in the distance don’t begin to think what kind of dog it is. You might start to wonder if your dog is OK at home. No interpretation. You’re just giving your full attention to the act of listening, become the listening. Make your own discoveries.

Play around with this. You’ll see that the whole world comes alive. When you close your eyes you immediately shut off a big percentage of your sensory data. Our visual sense is very predominant, by just focusing on what your hearing you’ll see that you’ll hear sounds that you weren’t even aware of just a few minutes ago. Be all-encompassing as you take in all the sounds, but also if there’s a sound that comes to the foreground put your attention on just that for a bit. Listen to it simply and then when you’re finished move on to the next sound.

As you develop this skill, you may discover that it transforms your normal day-to-day communications. You’re able to go beyond the words that people are using to catch additional or deeper meaning to what they’re trying to convey. Also, if you’re outside in nature and you hear a bird chirping as the sounds enter your inner space you’re able to capture the energy and even feel a very intimate direct relationship with the bird.

This is something that I loved to do when I was in my early 20s. I used to live in Prague and around Prague, one thing I loved was there were hundreds of park benches all around the city. I would pick a park bench in a new neighborhood and people watch for a while. Then I just closed my eyes and take in all the sounds. I would spend hours sitting, it was a very beautiful time in my life. I encourage you get out into the world and try to listen in this way.

See how it transforms your experience, maybe you’ll see that you haven’t really listened in this way before. This can also be a tool used for inner growth. The world is always trying to wake us up and now with listening it can be another medium for you to wake yourself up. As you refine your senses you’ll see that how you perceive the world will changet and be able to penetrate and go beyond mere appearances.

Leave a reply