© Pamir Kiciman 2010

Listening is a vital part of life, relationships, and the spiritual path. It’s also a lost art! There’s just too much noise in the world, and perhaps worse than that is internal noise. There are mental and emotional filters that block true listening. It’s impossible to get through these filters and be received, just as…as is. True listening is a commitment. It’s also the ability to sense what’s not being said, or what’s signaled in a subtle way. To be truly present to life, others, yourself and the Divine, the portal of listening must be wide open, and a dimension with which you’re intimately familiar.

Listening is so very powerful. To be so, it has to come from deep silence within. That silence is cultivated and isn’t available on a magical command. Listening is not hearing. You hear a car go by. You listen to someone’s suffering. In true listening there’s an unmistakable recognition. It is the meeting and merging of hearts. If you’re able to receive the person across from you from the ground of being, then something real is happening.

There are different forms of listening. In Nature, listening isn’t merely appreciating bird calls, but feeling the vibrancy of life and the heartbeat of the Earth. Within the individual, listening is that clear self-awareness that knows the traps, and also ensures we’re not absent from any part of us for too long. In the relationship with the Divine, listening becomes total receptivity and willingness.

If you listen openly and without filters or an agenda to another person, a great rapport is established. You become a receptacle for that person. Not an expert, not someone who will offer a diagnosis or advice; you’re not there to strategize or crunch statistics. You’re simply there. And you hold the other person’s suffering, shame, guilt, anger or other diminishment. Just hold it and hold space with them. When this is happens from cultivated silence within, this space becomes sacred, and what they share holy.

True listening yields information beyond the content of the sharing. It’s a chance for renewal and transformation. Insight becomes readily available for both parties. The story is acknowledged, and there’s a precious opportunity to transcend it. When you commit to listening, you commit to the person who needs you in that moment. It’s a bond. If you show up, it often encourages him or her to show up too. Then the mask can fall, and truth be revealed. There’s real strength in that.

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force…When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life…When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other…and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. …Well, it is when people really listen to us, with quiet facinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way.

 

— Brenda Ueland


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Listening