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I’ve become better at listening to the chatter in my head and not trying to change it.
I listened well today. I listened at my zoom meeting with my trustee and my therapist and when I heard something that was not true or out of bounds I immediately corrected it.
I listen to my friend who has mental illness and her complaints and her stories about her life. Even when I try to speak about my life my day and she wanted to talk about her life her day I still listen to her.
I listen to my ESL students carefully to see if they were pronouncing the words correctly and if they were choosing the correct answers. I listen to the tone of their answers to see if they were really getting it.
Early in the morning I listen for the birds to hear the holy Spirit talking to me through them.
Today, I try to listen to my self talk without arguing with myself or judging, just listening and acting on what I hear. I try to do the same with others, but its more difficult for me. But I’m proud of myself when I succeed. Being present is the key.
Listening to someone speak is something important that I need to work on. There are times when my monkey mind has taken over and because I am stressed I don’t hear everything being said. A means for me to focus on the present and to stop the ruminations is to listen to what’s going on around me… a cardinal chirping, the wind blowing through the trees, water lapping on a beach.
The practice of listening to the sound of the bell – as it drifts off into the silence. But at the same time, let myself be immersed in the silence as it envelopes the listener.
Listening with my ears, I hear the lawn mower and am glad my windows are closed to keep out the cut-grass air. Listening with my new hearing aid, I’m still learning when to use it and when not – not during my line dance classes, because the instructor speaks into a mike, which gives static.
Every day, I attempt to listen without judgment or projection. This is nearly impossible for me, but when I become aware that I’m doing this, I try to re focus on what the other person is saying. Very much like meditation.
All this talk of music has inspired me to set up my drums today and start playing them again. Thank you 🙏
Rhythm is most healing and can bring us in to a higher level of consciousness. Rhythm, sound, melody, harmony. Isn‘t it what the universe is made of? It’s all vibration. Though I sit for one hour early in the morning for my meditation practice, I wouldn‘t like to miss practicing music. I immediately can see the state of my mind, or lack of concentration while practicing music. You hear every wrong note or if you play boring. In so-called meditation you can sit for years building castles in the air. Meditation takes time, a lot of experience, and an attentive mind not to drift away. In music from the first moment you get an immediate result. And if you fall asleep you will hear the drumstick falling on the ground. What a good idea to make music. Have fun 👍
As I have been preoccupied with what I want to communicate and express, I am likely falling short on my listening. Could it be that if we listen openly, the right form of expression will follow. Maybe expression is like exhaling and listening is like inhaling. When you inhale fully, exhaling takes care of itself. Maybe when we listen most fully, we will express most clearly.
excellent comparison Chester!
My daughter is struggling through her first year of high school. I need to listen to what she is saying and not saying – and honour her experience and perspective – rather than trying to convince her of of my ideas
Good plan, Marnie! – good luck 🙂
When I read this question, I thought of my pastoral studies class on the Old Testament. I was taught that God is faithful and all God asks of us is to be obedient. The problem can be our understanding of the word “obedient.” We connect it with wrath and punishment but both the word “obey” and the word “obedient” come from the Latin word “obedire” which literally means “listen to,” but is often used to mean “pay attention to.” I have found that I listen more fully when I take time to Stop, Look, and Listen or as Psalm 46 says to Be Still and Know. For many years I tried to understand what God’s Will was and I finally realized that for me God’s will is that I deal in reality. That I grow in self-awareness; that I be willing to own my thoughts, actions and feelings. The 12-steps have been very helpful in that journey and also Toltec wisdom which teaches me to be impeccable with my word and use it in the direction of truth and love. It reminds me to take time to change my perspective and not always take the behavior of others personally, It urges me to be willing to walk in another’s moccasins. It warns me against assuming and urges me to ask my questions. And last but not least it reminds me to do my best under whatever my current circumstances are. In a nutshell I listen more fully when I am willing to pay attention. It’s taught me that I am trustworthy and so is Life when I don’t fight or flee from it.
Thank you, Carol. I much prefer “listen to” rather than our modern definition of “do as your told.”
Amen to that…
Michele wrote,’To listen more fully one needs to be focused’. That statement resonated with me as I am trying to answer emails and messages with several windows open on my browser while my husband talks loudly on the phone nearby. My challenge is to learn to retain my focus in the midst of distraction.
How true, Little Creek! I try to remember not to read emails and such when I’m attending a zoom class or something 🙂 – it’s so tempting to do those things when the class gets just a bit boring..
I show up in that moment and just breathe, and listen, and breathe and listen ……. this is everything to me. I’m in awe!
I had a realization years back when I felt like I wasn’t being heard… I was not being a good listener, so of course I got what I gave. I have since made my best effort to be a good listener. To stop my inner citta and be fully present with whomever is speaking to me.
Today, actually tonight, my husband and I will be listening to live music, and I’m so excited! One of our favorite bands is playing at the coliseum, and these ears and this soul is ready!
I am listening today with full gratefulness, with my heart and soul. To listen more fully I will be silent and more present in the moment.
This question reminds me of something I read years ago in a book by Henri Nouwen. He found himself mentally complaining one day about all the interruptions that were keeping him from his work: Adam, the young disabled man he cared for at the L’Arche community, was having a difficult day and needed extra attention; staff had questions; the phone was ringing; etc. Nouwen became irritable until it dawned on him that all the people and interruptions annoying him were actually his real work, not writing.
Recalling that anecdote helps me focus on others, and in turn helps me listen more fully.
Henri Nouwen is a good person to learn from, isn’t he, Laura?
Yes, he is. I read several of his books years ago and was thinking that I’d like to re-read some of them.
This story resonates for me. My work life includes lots of meetings and I often find myself thinking of them as not giving me enough time to work. I have to remember that the meetings *are* my work as much as the thinking/analyzing deep work time.
One of the things teleworking has allowed me to do is to turn some meetings into walking meetings by putting on my headset and going out the door. I listen more fully and deeply this way than if I’m at my desk tempted to “multitask”, which I know isn’t real and yet I’ll just do those few emails….and that other thing….and click on that link…. If I’m walking through the parks near my house I’m oxygenating and reawakening my brain and will be a better participant in the meeting.
Cooking can work the same way. It gives me something I can do while listening, as long as it isn’t a new, complex recipe I have to think about. I have a 90-minute meeting today that’s perfect for one or the other of these. I always love eating that bowl of soup or muffin that’s the side effect of my meeting.
This is a great idea to start walking during meetings
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