The Art of Listening
Autumn is my favorite time of year. As the days begin to shorten we are called home earlier in the evening. Early sunset implies permission to slip into the comfy clothes sooner. The early mornings feel extra quiet, slow, and sacred when rising before the sun. It's like a special, secret time, intended for only a select few. It's during these times I feel aligned with my practice. And it's in this quiet space that I am able to truly listen.
People often assume that I am a morning person. I'm not really, but it's the time I've been able to carve out of my day to have the space to listen. To listen takes practice, but the more we practice, the more we are able to access the skill when we're distracted and under stress.
When I meditate, I am listening to my breath and what my body is telling me. Am I hungry, am I uncomfortable, can I feel the clothing on my skin, do I have a sense of the environment around me? Can I shift my body in a way to be more comfortable, or can I listen to the sensations I am feeling?
I am listening to the sounds around me. I am listening for the quiet, the subtle sounds within. I am listening for individual thoughts, rather than the onslaught of thoughts. I am listening for those things I’ve forgotten or not yet heard. I am listening for lessons. I am listening to that voice that is supportive, curious. I am listening to the space within. I listen to become receptive.
Sometimes, I’m listening to those voices that are persistent, that doubt and judge. But if I listen carefully, can I learn something from them?
I am listening to my thoughts, without thinking about them. Without dwelling on them or traveling with them down a rabbit hole. Or at least, I'm doing my very best to.
The art of listening requires coming back to it again and again. Perhaps there is a time of day that speaks to you. Maybe your lunch break or the quiet time before bed is your best time to listen. To hear those lessons that are within. We have much to learn from the wisdom within, but only if we give ourselves the space to listen.
“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars.
I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”
~ by Rumi ~