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Art of Listening

Updated on October 8, 2015

Listening is an art

If one can learn how to listen rightly, one has learned the deepest secret of meditation.

People hear but they do not listen. Hearing is one thing - listening, altogether different, they are worlds apart.

Hearing is a physical phenomenon; you hear because you have ears.

Listening is an art. You listen when you have attention, when your inner being joins with your ears. You listen when you only listen, no thought or emotion comes in between. Your total concentration must be in that listening only.


Hearing without mind.......

Listening means hearing without mind; listening means hearing without any interference of your thoughts; listening means hearing as if you are totally empty. If you have even a small trembling of thinking inside, waves of subtle thoughts surrounding you, you will not be able to listen, although you will be able to hear. And to listen to the music, the ancient music, the eternal music, one needs to be totally quiet - as if one is not. When you are, you can hear; when you are not, you can listen.


Most of the people of the world do not think that it is possible for mind to be silent and as they do not think it is possible, they do not try.

Once you have learned how to join your inner being with your ears, you can join it with any sense. It can be joined with the eyes or with the nose or with the sense of touch or taste, and slowly, slowly you can join it with all your senses simultaneously. In that moment, your pure state is available. But it is easier to start with the ears. particularly for you it will be easier. So, start on a journey of divine listening.

Listen to the sounds of the birds, the wind passing through the trees, the river in flood, the ocean roaring and the clouds, the people, the far-away train passing by, the cars on the road - each sound has to be used. And listen without any imposition on what you listen to - do not judge; the moment you judge, listening stops. If you say 'good' or 'bad', 'I like it', 'I don't like it', you are no more listening; you have taken an attitude, and whenever one takes an attitude, attention disappears. Attention lives only when you have not made a conclusion.

The really attentive person remains without conclusions; he never concludes about anything because life is a process - nothing ever ends. Conclusion is possible only when everything has come to an end, and nothing ever comes to an end: it goes on and on forever. So listen without conclusion. Just listen - alert, silent, open, receptive. Just be there, totally with the sound that surrounds you.

And you will be surprised: one day suddenly the sound is there, you are listening, and yet there is silence. It is true silence that happens through sound. Escaping to the mountains is of no help, that silence is false. The real silence has to happen in the marketplace, surrounded by all kinds of sounds and yet silent within, utterly silent.

That pregnant silence becomes the door to your own Pure State.

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      aishu19 5 years ago

      Well said...we know that hearing and listening are different - but to have no thoughts while listening.... that is a skill to master and certainly would help us a long way

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      anustha 5 years ago

      i loved this lens.........great ma..........