Notes on learning to listen deeply

Deep listening is an art.

The ability to listen deeply is more than simply hearing the noises of the city or your office or home. When you take the time to listen to yourself, your body, the earth, nature, spirit, other people, you receive information that helps you understand and grow. Listening deeply brings awareness.

Listening is an underrated ability these days. We are rushed and prodded and shamed and pushed to go faster than ever before, to not take the time to listen. Listening requires time and space, and if you have little to no time or space for yourself in your daily life, you won't be able to hear a lot of things, including and especially yourself.

Listening is more than hearing sounds or that there are sounds, but what those sounds, words, tones and vibrations, mean. This is an ability, one to cherish and practice.

Meditation invites you to create the space to listen.

A meditation practice helps you create a space to even begin to listen. Once you do this, beautiful messages, ideas, and inventions come to you, without effort. Just show up and that stuff does too. Nearly every article I've written came to me as an idea or inspiration while I was in meditation, including this piece. I was practicing deep listening and the idea for communicating it to you arrived. So here it is.

My inspiration this week came to me from learning about Pauline Oliveros, a composer and the founder of the practice of Deep Listening, who described the practice as “a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible, to hear no matter what you are doing.” There’s more to listening than meets the ear!

Wishing you some peace and deep listening time.

  • ©Kris Cahill

  • Image from Unsplash