28, Oct, 2010

The Power of Listening

img4564Listening is power. It is an activity which brings the listener into the present moment. Active listening — being present for the person listened to — provides immediate benefit and strength to both speaker and listener. Listening is a powerful activity in our society today because it is so rare. Often, people are completely absorbed in phoning, texting, channel surfing, etc., that the opportunity to listen is ignored.

The opportunity to listen presents itself constantly, even / especially when you are alone. Try listening to some of your favorite music, for instance, but consciously listen to the music as if you were hearing it for the first time — be actively present in the moment. Now click off the music and listen to the silence — or noise — that fills the space, depending on where you are. Allow the sounds — or the lack of sound — to wash over you, and pay attention to every little detail that presents itself to your ears.

Observe how this process affects your physical state — are your muscles tensed, or relaxed? How is your breathing? Is it shallow or deep? Try performing this exercise once or twice a day, and see how refreshing it is to rediscover your innate listening power. Allow this process to become meditative, as it draws you inward and keeps you in the present moment. The power of living is in the moment. We access, share, and multiply that power when we are present, listening actively to another human being.

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