A few months ago, a client commented that she was really glad I was talking about “listening". She felt it was the big hole in personal growth literature. I have to agree and I wish more spiritual writers were talking about “how to listen. " Why is it important? Because it's how you cross over the bridge from an intellectual spirituality to a knowing.
It starts with the principle that true knowledge, wisdom, spirituality are formless and you can not hear formless through your personal thinking! You can only absorb true knowledge through a feeling. So you want to listen for a “feeling. " But how to do that can't be explained with words! Frustrating I know! You have to listen deeply to understand how to do it!
So what do you do? First, don't give into frustration or judgment that you can't figure this out! That will block deep-listening right away.
Here is a spiritual fact: you naturally listen deeply! If you just make the effort to quiet your thoughts when you listen, your wisdom will guide you back to deep listening. If you have trouble doing this, it's ok! There is nothing wrong with you and that thought certainly won't help you listen deeply! Just relax and keeping letting those unproductive thoughts float by.
Experiment with that simple guidance. See what happens! I mean I'm not asking you to rip your eye out or anything! In both weekend workshops this past year, I would say half the workshop was devoted to talking about and doing “deep listening".
Simply, deep listening is not listening through your thinking but listening from your natural quiet state.
(Greg, could you please give me some instructions!) Keep it simple. Just sit back and relax your mind and listen to that person's heart. If thoughts pop in while they are speaking, let them float by. Be totally committed to letting that person finish what they need to say. Let all your senses open up as you listen.
For me, deep listening is about getting very humble. When I am with clients my intention is to show them that their thoughts and feelings are important, especially the wonderful women who come through my office. I just go totally empty, clear away any thoughts on my mind and focus all my senses on that person. If thoughts or guidance come in my head as they are speaking, I let them go-totally. I am trusting that my spirit, my wisdom will know exactly what to say when the client is done speaking.
I think it's helpful to see what “deep listening" isn't! So I came up with a few more examples! And I am guilty off all these at one time! Some are these are certainly specific when you come on retreat or vortex experience, so take notes-smiles!
Trying to figure out what the person is saying-listening: If you're sitting across from a person and efforting to figure out what that person is talking about, meaning using your personal mind, then you are missing what they are saying. You take yourself out the present. This happens on retreats quite a bit!
Trying to get something-listening: Another innocent intention on retreat! It means you are attached to outcome! And I understand this fully-totally guilty of this! Of course, people who come on retreat want to get something! But that need impedes them from hearing deeply. Need and wanting will always block your wisdom and deep listening. Make sense, brothers and sisters?
Looking for inconsistency-listening: This is a very sneaky one and what I also call waiting to pounce-listening! Part of you is always looking for the inconsistency in what someone says so you can dismiss their conversation and go back to what you know it right! Because it's important that you be right! There's a book in this subject, I can feel it! That's me listening deeply to myself! Here's a clue: Did this article make you smile or laugh? If it did, you are listening deeply!
Gregory Drambour is the author of THE WOODSTOCK BRIDGE , the well-acclaimed book about Native American Spirituality. He is the owner of Sedona Sacred Journeys and guide on your Sedona Retreat & Sedona Vortex Experience . For more inspirational stories go to: Sedona Sacred Journeys