Listening presence

The noise my life and in my own head often gets in the way of my listening . . .  my listening to others as well as myself. Our brains are programmed to instantaneously respond to all stimuli. Our awareness of that fact can help us be present enough to really listen for what is important. I know that when someone starts talking to me, my brain is beginning to formulate a response. When I am listening to my thoughts I cannot be listening to what the other person is saying so I don’t really hear them. I need to be mindful of adopting a meditative listening so that I can really hear what the other person is saying. In other words, I make the other person’s words my thought and wait until he or she is finished speaking; then, I reiterate what I heard them say to make sure we both heard the same thing. Note that I only do this when having a normal conversation (or even an argument) with someone. If someone intentionally means me harm and my brain is telling me to get the hell out, I am going to listen to me first, them later.

Listening to our selves give us the wisdom we know we need but often don’t want to follow. We often want to follow the crowd, do what will please others and make us acceptable, even when we know it is not good for us. Learning to listen to that deeper, more present knowledge is sometimes harder than listening to other people. I try listen to voice that comes from eternity, instead of the voice that comes from my ego. This is not to say the eternal voice and the ego voice are always at odds. Often, they agree because I was given an ego to be human and survive. My eternal presence knows and respects this knowledge.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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8 Responses to “Listening presence”

  1. Snoopykg1 Says:

    Thanks for the great thoughts.

    You are right dead on, so many times I find myself forming the response whether in words, feelings,or emotions. I also focus so much on the response that I don’t express the other two very well. Something to think about today.

    That’s the great thing about blogging, I can give the response my full attention…and we are listening even when someone doesn’t realize we are. Reading between the lines is needed.

    Have a great day.
    I am dodging the rain this morning on the way to a board of directors breakfast meeting

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Kim, someday you have to let me in on the secret of dodging raindrops. No matter how much I run around, they keep finding their target (me). I was very much aware today of how my mind kept responding to what was being said to me and, at times, my thoughts were coming to conclusions and solutions to what the other person was saying before that person had even finished their talk.

  2. sandiwhite Says:

    Thanks, Barbara. I needed to be recalled to the truth of listening. Lately I seem to be taking too much of my own advice instead of seeking and listening to the wise words of others. Perseverance is what will help me right now, when it seems that so many want what I have not accomplished yet. This is a seasonal thing, it will even out at the day. Like everything, Spring, too, will pass.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandi — well, I would take your advice over just about anybody else’s advice so you have a dilemma. I know you are caught up in the busyness of school and planting and are exhibiting true wisdom: everything comes to pass.

  3. holessence Says:

    Barbara – I exercise active listening (taking in what the other person has to say), as opposed to passive listening (focusing on my response). When I look at the other person I am aware of their inherent divinity — this prevents me from interrupting (I would never interrupt God).

    I really appreciate your blog this morning. Another thought-provoking post.

    Laurie Buchanan

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Laurie — I know you do. You could never do the work that you do if you did not have the capacity to truly listen. If you did not listen, the response you would give would be for you, not for your client! Everyone could take a lesson from that. The interrupting thing is also at epidemic proportions in our society (sigh).

  4. Snoopykg1 Says:

    Thanks for reminding me of focusing on the divine rather tha the response!!


  5. Snoopykg1 Says:

    “Learning to listen to that deeper, more present knowledge is sometimes harder than listening to other people.”

    I am too nice and let others take the credit or decide things…..Something to ponder this evening…

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