I’ve been trying out a new meditation technique recommended by Baron Baptiste in his book 40 Days to Personal Revolution. This approach doesn’t just teach you to quiet your mind. It also teaches you to bring awareness to your senses, particularly your sense of sound, in order to become fully present in the moment.
In practicing this technique, I was reminded of the adage, “God gave us two ears so that we would listen twice as often as we spoke.” I love this quote, probably because it’s a lesson I need to be reminded of frequently. Too often I’m thinking about the next thing I’m going to say instead of being fully invested in what is being said to me. I believe it’s a misconception I possess that my next words need to be perfectly formed in order to provide the most value to the individual with which I’m speaking. The key thing I’m missing, though, is that it is actually more important that I actively listen to what the other person has deemed important to share with me.
This heightened-sound state of meditation is serving as the reminder I needed that there are many subtle clues to be missed when we’re not really paying attention. Sharpening these senses through meditation will undoubtedly help me be more in tune with what others are saying, true; but what is of equal or possibly greater value is that this practice will sharpen the skills that allow me to recognize the most subtle shifts in communication – the ability picking up on a person’s cue that they’re anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, sad, scared, elated, excited, distracted, looking for advice, looking to give advice, busy, need to go, or want to give me all the time they have. There is so much more to be aware of than just the words. The words themselves are a tiny fraction of the conversation.
I continue to be amazed by these epiphanies discovered through my practice of 40 Days of Yoga. It’s only day 9 and already I feel I’ve learned a lifetime of lessons to practice. Growth can happen rapidly when you open yourself up to it.
I keep thinking about Buddha’s answer to the farmer when he was asked if he was a God. “No,” he replied. “Are you a saint?” “No.” “Then what are you?” “Awake.”