Listening is calming. If we listen with our hearts rather than our thinking mind, something extraordinary happens. Our whole being engages with who or what we are listening to. It may imply using our ears, but we open our souls. So the act of really hearing what is being said involves little or no thought and rather than our ears, we employ our whole being.
Listening with the soul
This is soul practice. We can only engage in this miraculous act if we disengage. It involves disengaging from “who I am or how I should respond”. There is disengagement from self. With our whole being now available, we give it completely.
Everyone knows what it is like to talk to someone when the other person is only partially listening. We know this because this is habitual mode for most people. So in most conversations, the other person is not fully present. And before we say “aha – I knew it was the other person at fault here”, we all do it. Hearing the other person talk, we work out what to say. Or we listen, perhaps, with our own agenda in mind.
Being fully present
So in the normal way of listening, we are absent. We do not fully hear. Moreover, we are absent from ourselves because part of us is closed down. The mind is cluttered and the heart is deaf. Life is less than full. We are failing to realise our potential as real human beings. Satisfaction eludes us because we hold back. We don’t switch off but we close down the mental chatter that fills our minds for much of the day.
Four reasons why listening is good for you
1. By listening fully, your body and mind relax. Blood pressure eases and tension melts way. The mind becomes clearer and sharper.
2. As mental chatter reduces, we become happier. The act of listening carries its natural ease over into the rest of life.
3. Engaging with the other person helps to heal them. Whenever we help with another person’s healing processes, the natural law of the universe inevitably triggers healing responses in us. If we do it because we think we will benefit, though, it won’t work – that’s another aspect of natural law.
4. Life becomes more satisfying and, as it does so, the ageing process slows down. Stress and unhappiness age us unecessarily. By listening, we do the opposite. We also help to make a better, happier world. So that’s not bad, is it?
More like this in Awakening Heart and The Art of Not Doing