The one thing in the world that produces love and understanding is the one thing most missing in our civilization. Listening is the key to healthy human relationships but we have never been taught to listen. It certainly is not modeled in governments thus not in public educational systems. Authoritative institutions do not champion listening because those at the top have no interest in listening to those at the bottom. Even husbands and wives do not listen deeply to each other and that is a principle reason marriages fall short and all too often end in divorce.
Most people assume they are good listeners when they are not. That assumption can be one of the biggest obstacles to communication and yet most are not aware that their assumptions in this regard control their ability to share and be intimate.
It is through our lack of listening that we maintain our separate ego selves thus, no one likes to directly challenge their listening skills, because they do not want to listen to anything that might suggest they might have to change.
Nothing shows off the quality of our love better than our listening skills and in essence listening is what keeps people together. People who listen to each other end up wanting to be and stay together for nothing connects us better than our listening to each other’s world of feelings. Listening is love and love is listening, they are qualities of being that reflect each other perfectly. Love does not exist in human relationships without deep listening.
Therefore, I am naming my house at Sanctuary Retreat Center (in Brazil) the House of Listening because wherever you find a poverty of communication you will find a poverty of love, and wherever you find a poverty of love, you will find a poverty of deep listening. Here in the interior heartlands of Brazil, we live listening as a lifestyle. It is our religion.
Most people have no idea how difficult it is to listen well. Deep listening, until it becomes well modeled and anchored by an open heart, is an exercise in attention and by necessity hard work. Listening to the real meaning, feelings and being of another does not come easy or naturally to minds full of themselves. (In a separate essay will share the mirroring process, which is how we learn and practice deeper listening.)
The pure heart is a perfect listener; it is totally open and receptive and can feel the world of another through its capacity of empathy and compassion. The mind on the other hand loves mostly to listen to itself. There is nothing more provoking to our emotions and feelings than having our feelings go unheard.
The heart can listen so deeply that it can penetrate into the inner world of the speaker and merge temporarily with, or become one with that person through a process of total identification. The heart has an ability to listen past the word level to the being level. The heart listens to the meaning behind words and thus avoids much of the confusion that is inherent in normal levels of semantic dialogue.
To listen is to suffer because we do not want to listen to anything that
might require a change. To listen is to change.
We cannot change without listening. Listening implies a change.
We need to change just to listen.
Deep listening is healing. The price of non-communication is conflict. Most of the suffering of the world, the conflicts within our inner worlds and the greater conflicts in the external world of societies and nations is a result of misunderstandings that arise from the poverty of communication.
My stated goal in creating and running Sanctuary is to bring heaven down to earth. A return to the garden where there is no shame is part of the trip here.
Love is the heavenly force that binds all as one, two as one, three as one and so on. Human loves are absolutely necessary as steps toward the divine. Love is the power that closes the circuit between beings. There is nothing more beautiful than true love, nothing more needed, nothing more hoped for.
Our pure beings need pure love, deserve pure love, live on pure love.
The House of Listening is about pure being sharing pure love.
The pure light of pure being, perfectly vulnerable, perfectly feeling, perfectly real.
There are many beings walking this planet with beautiful hearts that are deserving of our love, but the secret of course is to become one of them, a being with a love light shining out of our heart. We need to give what we would want to receive. Love answers love, likes attract. Few know though that the crucial key to finding pure love is found in our willingness and ability to be vulnerable. To treasure vulnerable love is the first law of a pure heart.
Most people do not listen with the intent to
understand, they listen with the intent to reply.
“I have been a listener all my life. However, unfortunately, I seem to attract motor mouths, which exhausts me. I have never been able to figure out how to extricate myself from someone who will not shut up, or at the very least, have a two-way conversation. It is extremely rude, what they do, and they seem to have no clue. Even those with a minimal awareness of their affliction might say something like, “Oh, I’m talking too much,” and then continue to do it. I have had to cut off friendships with such people because they cannot control themselves. You might say, “Oh, they are talking so much because no one ever listened to them,” but I think there is something else going on. In my experience, such people are so damaged that they cannot stand a moment of silence because then they might have to face themselves and what comes up in that silent space. Your thoughts?”
Dear Kate, you have to learn to be brutally honest or keep your running shoes on all the time when around such people. I had a neighbor who used to rape my ears. Was very painful so had to put an end to that. I do not allow anyone to do that and neither should you. I would not waste too much time trying to understand the why of their inner worlds you just need to protect yourself. However, they are cut off from their vulnerabilities, from their hearts, so much so that their minds and mouths cannot stop.
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