THE ART OF LISTENING

Friend, listen deeply. There is an art to this listening. The art is in the falling.

Usually, listening takes place from a position: the position of self. In this case, it’s not really listening: it’s more like projecting. The self projects itself onto the screen of perception and so it hears only a distortion of its own mind.

The self hears only its own chatter, the interpretations and narratives it wraps around what it experiences. Clamoring in the hubbub of “I like”, “I don’t like”, “I want more”, “I want less” and so on, the clear ground of being out of which self arises is obscured by internal noise and reality is polluted by the heavy smog of projection.

It’s very rare to really listen. To listen from silence. To be so silent within that no image of self is projected onto life’s canvas. Silence requires a falling into the unknown vista of openness. And this is anathema to the self that takes center stage on the imagined podium of life.

It’s very rare to really listen. To listen from the deepest. To fall so deeply into yourself that there is no longer a center in you, and you are no longer the center of life. To fall into the deepest, in which you have disappeared and the totality simply is.

Friend, listen deeply. Listen from the deepest to the sound of birdsong, to the music on the radio, to the voice of your lover, your mother, your father. Listening from the deepest – without interpretation or narrative, without moving away from or moving towards – it is all the song of silence.

Friend, listen from silence. Listen to the air moving in and out of your lungs, to the blood pumping through your veins, to the synapses firing in your brain. Listening from silence – without interpretation or narrative, without knowledge or knowing – it is all the song of life.

When the song of silence and the song of life are experienced as one and the same, you have fallen into oneness. And now you can truly listen.

– Amoda Maa

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