Reflections: Listening is an act of love. The ability to hear others in silence
We live in relationship to our surroundings in ever expanding circles of relationships. From the inner circle of oneself to the intimate relationships of family and friends, an expanding circle including coworkers and neighbors, wider circles of the people who you know and so on to include your whole surrounding human and non-human connections.
The one most important and rare quality in relationship is deep listening. When there is a conversation the mind hardly hears the spoken words of others. The mind is busy planning the answer or just dreaming, or getting ready to oppose, or attack, agree or disagree, interpret an insult, judge, assess and so on. The mind is far from being present with the person who is speaking. The reactive mind is on the run.
So relationships too become a cycle of reactivity looping around the same pattern over and over again. We change partners, places of work, places of worship and neighborhoods yet we do not change the patterns of relationships to them. Unintentionally we fall prey to the same “Program”, the program that runs our life and our relationship to life, our thoughts, emotions reactions and behavior. It is the same program on the personal level as on the global level, history repeats itself.
Embracing silence in the realm of relationship we become quiet mirrors to our partners, we reflect like a deep calm lake their love, their concerns or their anger. In the lack of reactive thoughts, emotions and actions relationship can be seen naked, what truly it is: the longing for love, connection and acceptance. Deep listening in silence is an act of love. The deep reflection in the calm lake penetrates the deep water of the heart and love can be seen and felt and shine through from whatever shore you stand on.
Exercise: next time when you are talking with your friend, feel your breath; notice your partner’s breath. Notice your body; notice your partner’s body. Listen to the tone of the voice, see the facial expressions, and absorb the presence of your partner consciously. Notice your reactive mind and let it be. Just listen. How does it feel?