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On Listening

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

To listen is a gift. It is a gift I believe that we give to ourselves, to others and the world at large.

Living the human experience, one of the ways that we share experiences with each other is through our voice and our ability to communicate through words our thoughts and feelings.

As we listen to each other, we open a field to connect on all the levels of our being. Not only does this happen together and for each other, but also for ourselves.

The past few weeks I have been contemplating this art and skill that is the human capacity for deep, full bodied and present moment listening.

Present moment listening I believe builds on the skills we develop in cultivating a practice of mindfulness.

Expanding this awareness to include the subtle body field, means listening at all levels of being. In particular, listening with an open heart rooted in compassion and loving-kindness.

I recognize in myself that I am not always present. I observe my mind drawing me into it’s unsettled state of distraction, multiple thoughts and filters. It’s in these moments of distraction that listening switches to hearing, the voice of the other person becoming part of the background as thoughts move into the foreground.

I’m particularly interested in the way we become distracted through filtering, because I believe that the filters that come into the foreground when listening to others is similar to the way we may or may not hear our own deepest inner voice.

This prompted a question for me: how do we stay present and return to full bodied presence once we’ve recognized the mind is distracted? And how do we prepare ourselves for the kind of deep, full bodied listening that opens the sacred space of meaningful connection?

What arose was not so much in me as much as it was gifted “into” me is something that could be considered a mantra of sorts:

“Here I am. Here you are. May we meet on the field of loving awareness.”

Each time I read and re-read this, I feel the timeless quality and power of being connected to a field that is loving awareness.

We each have a gift to share with each other, and one of the ways I believe that we can begin to do this is through the deep, full embodied present moment listening where the ears, eyes, mind and soul essence of the heart can reach out it wings of loving presence.

May we all meet on this field of loving-awareness.

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