Pause – Relax – Open – establishes the mind state for being fully present in the mutual, emergent moment. In this aware moment, we communicate; we Listen Deeply and we Speak the Truth. Our fifth meditation instruction focuses on Listen Deeply.
Communication is astonishing. The speaker’s emotions or thoughts become sound-language that touches our hearts-mind. We then interpret that sound-language with our thoughts, emotions and images in order to understand. Rarely, however, do we observe the conditioned and subjective nature of everyday communication. In meditation, mindfulness reveals this nature and our reactivity. In Listening Deeply, we become still to allow this reactivity and attention to our needs to die down.
Listen Deeply rests on personal silent practice. To Listen Deeply is to drop mental noise (Pause) and enter the receptivity of Relax. We open the senses, heart and mind to receive the moment, words, emotions, and energies of our co-meditators fully. Our listening is appreciative, kindly, and patient; it is unhurried by a personal agenda. With the mind expanded by Trust Emergence, we are tranquil and do not interrupt our listening with internal dialogue about how we might respond.
Listen Deeply has active and receptive aspects. In active listening we absorb detail and seek understanding. The receptive aspects emphasize stability and sensitivity of awareness. We are calm, vigilant, non-grasping. Such delicate inward listening enables receptive listening.
In Listening Deeply, our focused attention to changing meanings, emotions, and energetic presence can also shift to a wider listening that encompasses the overall flow and direction of the communication. We may become aware of changes in pitch and loudness; we may perceive energetic shifts as changing sensation.
Thus, Listen Deeply teaches us to discern impermanence in all sounds; this is wisdom. It also teaches us to discern the pains and joys of shared human experience; this is compassion.