There is a great deal of benefit to
be derived from simply listening in almost every dimension of life but in
particular in the spiritual life.
To listen is a requirement for any
spiritual evolution. It is the foundation of change. Without listening we
cannot transform ourselves.
It is listening that keeps us young
and flexible. And it is not listening that ages us and makes us stagnant and
To listen to another is the first
doorway to the flow of love between you.
To listen to oneself is the doorway
to the infinite flow of love within and between all things.
For us to truly listen, the first
thing we have to do is to make ourselves quiet. Noise is all around and
inside us. There is a cacophony of worries and doubts and fears that left to
their own devices are self-perpetuating and delight in the loudest of
volume. The best and really the only way to truly silence the noise is via
concentration. Just as in a crowded noisy room, we can concentrate and
listen to the conversation we are focused upon, so it is we can concentrate
and put our attention on whatever we choose.
This is the best way to listen to
another person. With our full attention and complete awareness. Have you
noticed how poorly you listen when you are not concentrating, perhaps
thinking about a worry or fear and at the same time trying to listen to your
It is also the most powerful way to
listen to ourselves. Only it is very difficult for most of us to know what
to concentrate on, so that we may listen.
This is what meditation is. It is
above all else, a listening. Whilst in prayer perhaps, we speak, in
meditation, we listen.
To listen normally, we take notice
of words and sentences and derive meaning. In meditation, it may be that we
feel those words and sentences intuitively. But the listening we experience
in meditation is also much broader that just words or sentences, sometimes
it is a knowing, or a creative vision that we hear, an expanded sense of
awareness, sometimes it is the most powerful silence that we need to listen
Some call this our conscience or
inner voice that we listen to. In meditation, we feel this voice is the
voice of our heart.
Finally in meditation, we must feel that is not our mind
that is concentrating, but our heart. When we use our mind, we struggle and
fight. When instead, we are able to feel that is our heart that is
concentrating, then our meditation becomes effortless.
Listen to every sound. Every external
noise. Just notice them. Not to analyse them but to let them be. To realize the
multitude of things going on around you.
Then feel that your breath is instead an
energy flow, in and out of your heart. A flow of love in and gratitude out.
Let your heart effortlessly and
instantly focus your attention.
Then concentrate more and more with all
of your heart upon your heart. Ask your inner voice, your conscience to guide
you. Ask it to speak to you.
Then watch your thoughts. Discern which
is the dialog of the noise and which is the voice of the silence. If it truly is
your heart, then you will get a feeling of joy and you will notice that whatever
is being said or felt will increase the flow of love in your life.
Listen in this way for as long as is
Ten or fifteen minutes is fine.
26th class you will have;
Realized that to really listen is
found listening lies at the heart of
what real meditation is about. Indeed it is the heart of authentic