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Listening - "eating" for the Soul

When we speak, we spend energy as if we're vomiting on someone - and then wonder why its so draining for us and so drenching for them.

When we really listen - instead of just waiting to speak - we can be fed, something can be 'taken in'. If we can digest it, it can nourish various parts of the Soul - otherwise, it is simply spat out again, wasted in endless talk.


If we could listen with the whole of the body, instead of just our ears, the instruments of perception could greatly expand like someone who was blind and given the gift of sight.


If we can create a space inside - between the constant stream of associations in the mind - an opening appears that could allow what is being received to enter.

The way to arrest associations - all the mind's chatter, restless feelings, emotional reactions, imaginings, twitchings and fantasies - is to connect, as strongly as we can, our attention with the organic sensations of the body.

Only the anchor of the direct and tangible perception of our own physiology - such as the rhythm of breath, warmth of touch, tingling of the skin, pulsations of the blood - can abate the energy of the mind's associations long enough for something else to 'come in'.

Without this, the associative mind acts like a barrier, preventing anything from 'outside' finding its way in. Worse, what comes from outside only feeds the associations, further preventing anything more meaningful passing through - prisoners in our own skin.


We never really meet another person, nor do they meet us. Without a present attention, only our associations meet, governed by the culture and fashion of the day and subject to all their caprices.


It is only what lies beneath the layer of associations that can have any meaningful contact. This can be unnerving at first as the mind's associations can't survive there - it is a foreign country.

But from this subterranean world, something else, more true, more pure, more refined, can begin to speak of its own accord. Here, a voice can come through, giving life to an ordinary voice that, up until that moment, was confined only to itself.

Real listening can become an 'exchange' between silence that no words can express, nor is there a need to.


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