Thursday, September 1, 2011

Making Meaning from Sound, better known as, Listening.

Yesterday, my son, took my face in his hands and said, "Mom, are you listening?"
Listening.
Listening closer....I hear the noise.
Unless you're outside in nature reading this blog , most of us are sitting in front of our computer, and likely, we're surrounded by a symphony of sounds....
in a coffee shop (espresso machine steaming, women gossiping, people chatting on their cell phones, children whining for a treat, the latest Adele song blaring in a speaker near you, or click click click... no one talking, everyone typing with headphones on); 
or at home (itunes playing, cell phone or text messages buzzing, the ding ding of incoming emails at five (or more likely) one minute intervals, the water running , tap tap tap of your fingers typing on the computer, sip slurp of coffee or water or whatever gets you through the day); 
or at work (co-workers muffled conversations over the cubicles, the buzz of the computer's CPU or printer, maybe NPR or Pandora streaming radio played at a drone so not to disturb your neighbors).

Stop.
As I turn off whatever I can. Anything I can find running. And try to remember and feel what's it like to just be still.
This morning, I tried mediation before the kids got up. I even tried after they left but found myself so distracted and tired that I couldn't sit still 10 seconds let alone a few minutes.
Trying again.
Now I'm listening more closely as my thoughts whirl.
Trying to hear my breath. Trying... it feels so full of effort.
I turned to my son and away from the computer and, said, yes. Yes! YES! I am listening. Now, tell me again what you just said?

I feel like I've jumped back into a life of immersion or total absorption into this crazy, "I have to be doing multiple things at once in order to be successful" mentality. A friend actually suggested that we postpone a project we're working on together simply "because". Well, "just because it can wait". But, it's on my life list, I exclaimed! I need to accomplish THE life list. Need and want are very fuzzy distinctions these days.
The blooming emergence of my life over the past 2 months still feels powerful and real. The patience, renewed joy, and a peace like I have not felt in years aren't just memories, they are part of me. But, it's clearly taking action on my part. Hitting the reset button every day on what I build up in my mind as the ingredients for success, is required.
I'd rather be transformed by emersion than by the predicable immersion of the culture that surrounds me. Listening consciously in order to understand to what my mind, body and soul need to be nourished and fulfilled.
One of the most positive tools of communication and influence (in my humble opinion) that has come out (via the Internet) lately are TED talks. I'm impressed by them and this one, by Julian Treasure, spurred me to listen with intension. One of the most powerful statements I heard was, "we are losing our listening. How can we instead, live to listen?" In case you'd rather not "listen" and just move away from the computer, here's a summary of the talk using the acronym, "RASA", which means essence or essential element of any work of art in Sanskrit.
Recieve (what's being said)
Appreciate (what's being said)
Summarize (what's being said)
Ask (about what's being said)
Creates Connection, Understanding, and Peace.



Right now, I hear the mundane sounds of life as "a hidden choir" and smile, knowing I am listening. fully.

2 comments:

  1. Pratyahara, withdrawing the senses through enhancing them and being present. You have a smart friend who love you BTW (she has some good advice, but it's up to you). XO

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you. I needed to read this tonight. As you well know I am immersed in my own brand of craziness and multi tasking and well, its really hard to even focus on my breathing some days, much less on actually, well listening. Love love love!

    ReplyDelete