Are we listening?

A quote from Quantum Listening: From Practice to Theory To Practice by Pauline Oliveros:   “Listening is the key to performance. Hearing is the passive basis of listening. Hearing is involuntary. Hearing protects us from unseen dangers. We can hear without listening. (Unconsciousness) We choose to listen inwardly or outwardly to the past, present or future. (Consciousness) Listening actively directs one’s attention to what is heard, to the interaction of the relationships of sounds and modes of attention. We hear in order to listen. We listen in order to interpret our world and experience meaning. Our world is a complex matrix of vibrating energy, matter and air just as we are made of vibrations. Vibration connects us with all beings and connects us to all things interdependently. We open in order to listen to the world as a field of possibilities and we listen with narrowed attention for specific things of vital interest to us in the world. We interpret what we hear according to the way we listen. Through accessing many forms of listening we grow and change whether we listen to the sounds of our daily lives, the environment or music.” 
How often am I hearing, rather than listening – deep listening?  And when I’m really listening, how many layers – how many dimensions – can I recognize? 

2 Responses to “Are we listening?”

  1. Wendy Says:

    In our world, due to the way people speak and listen, often the message being shared is not spoken or heard as it was intended. The words of a husband or wife saying good-bye in the morning, may come out crisp and sharp due to hurrying off… when received, the receiver may hear anger or impatience. A parent speaking from fear may deliver a fearful message of a wrong action being “bad” – and the child may hear that he/she is bad. These examples being delivered in the warm and loving environment of home are just the tip of the iceberg when you step out of the home into society where people are less sensitive to the impact on individuals.
    When someone goes to a quiet place to pray or meditate, how much of the baggage of their past goes with them? How quiet do they get? What creeps in to the mind and is called words from God?
    I was raised in a home where an idle mind and hands were “The Devil’s Workshop” – and I am struggling to this day with clearing my mind and permitting myself to go within in peace, to provide the opportunity to listen without chatter. I don’t think I am alone in this struggle.
    I thank you for the guidance and the love to help me learn.

  2. Toni Fish Says:

    Wendy: I am sure that you are not alone in this effort – our world is, by its nature, so frenetic – and it takes a disciplined daily effort to find that quiet space. What is truly awesome is that, at some point, the daily discipline becomes our second nature and so many things begin to slow down. We actually do take that deep breath before we say something or we find that we can hear between the words! Then that “idle” mind has beome “peaceful”!!!! What a difference.

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