By: Laura Bonetzky-Joseph
What do we hear when we listen? To others? To outside resources like tv or radio? To our own inner thoughts? Take a moment and stop, listen, and observe. Listen to how your body responds. Stay in the present moment.
What do you hear? Are you listening or are you just hearing? The Webster dictionary says that hearing is "the process, function, or power of perceiving sound" and the definition of listening is "to pay attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful intention, give consideration; to be alert to catch an expected sound"
Are you listening you to you - your own inner thoughts - your body - your energy - your environment?
Are you where you are in your life or are you experiencing the daily stresses of life spinning your wheels?
Do you want your next five years to be the same as your last five years? If not, then what are you going to do to change?
It all begins with listening. Listening is the beginning to what is needed to make that change. Mastering the art of listening is not only crucial in your every day life, but the secret to successful meditation. Listening is also key to staying in the present moment.
If you are in a discussion with someone and they are speaking to you, are you listening or are you thinking of something else? Listening is passive and receptive. You must be receptive to hear what you are trying to listen with clarity and intent and remain present at all times. This works the same way with meditation.
Meditation has been scientifically studied for many years and practiced for thousands of years. It has been used to relieve trauma, pain, illness, stress, and much more. By learning to listen you also bring in a sense of oneness, clarity, and awareness that was never experienced before. This is not to mention that by listening while in meditation, your ego is set aside. By putting aside your ego, your inner thoughts relinquish the power to control your life and keep the fear and negativity from growing. Hence, you become detached from the environment that you know to be yours while observing everything in it at the same time.
In the beginning, this process may seem like a ping pong match inside your head. That is ok. This should not be a deterrent to not meditate. Just like you practice a sport so you may rise to the top, you do the same with meditation. This is not practice makes perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect.
See your obstacles as opportunities for growth. When you do this, listen. What is your body saying to you? Not your head or your ego, but feel what your body is saying to you.
When you begin to listen and use meditation, you gain an awareness of self. The awareness you gain during this transition allows you to monitor your inner dialogue, the opinions of others, and negative situations. When you begin to become aware, stop, listen, and observe. Take notice of the shift within yourself and situations around you. What do you notice? Are you staying in the present moment?
This process of listening and awareness does not occur over night. It must be cultivated with much attention given to it moment by moment. It must begin with concentration and focus. When you listen, feel the music of life. Listening during meditation allows you to cultivate your attitude to one of openness without the threat of fear, subjectivity, expectation, or our own stories. But just as you must cultivate your attitude, you must cultivate your listening too.
But I don't hear anything? Even in silence, there is something. This is why hearing and listening are separate. Look deeper, listen. This requires a deep intent, emptiness of self & the openness to the universe. What do you hear?
When you cultivate your listening and meditation with persistence, patience, and openness everything becomes more natural with a greater sense of flow.
Those who come to our groups have a varying level of experience. Those experienced, enjoy the comforts of the group energy and environment that enables the next stage of awareness.
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