Last weekend, I revisited one of the practices that I love the most during the facilitator training: real listening.
Not only with my ears, not only with my body, but with my soul.
With presence, with integrity.
What a beautiful and profound experience, which should be a daily experience.
Have you experienced it?
“Listening with only two ears is one thing. Listening to understanding is another. But listening to the spirit is not limited to any faculty, the ear or the mind. So it requires the emptiness of all faculties. And when the faculties are empty, the whole being listens. There is then a direct understanding of what is right before you, which can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind”. (Book The Way of Chuang Tzu)
I share below a text by Rubens Alves, which describes in a light and objective way true listening.
Try and feel the difference.
I always see oratorical courses announced. I’ve never seen a listening course announced. Everybody wants to learn how to speak. Nobody wants to learn how to listen. I thought I’d offer a listening course. But I don’t think anybody’s going to enroll. Listening is complicated and subtle…
I paraphrase Alberto Caeiro: “It is not enough to have ears to hear what is said; there must also be silence within the soul. Hence the difficulty: we can’t bear to listen to what the other says without immediately giving a better guess, without mixing what he says with what we have to say?
Our inability to listen is the most constant and subtle manifestation of our arrogance and vanity: deep down, we are the most beautiful…”
I have an old friend, Jovelino, who moved to the United States stimulated by the revolution of 64. He told me about his experience with the Indians. When the participants are gathered, no one speaks. There is a long, long silence. (The pianists, before starting the concert, in front of the piano, are sitting in silence, opening voids of silence, expelling all strange ideas). ) All in silence, waiting for the essential thought.
Silence from outside is not enough. It is necessary to have silence inside. Absence of thoughts. And then, with the inner silence you begin to hear things that you did not hear. I begin to hear.
Fernando Pessoa knew the experience, and referred to something that is heard in the interstices of words, in the place where there are no words. Music happens in silence. The soul is a submerged cathedral. At the bottom of the sea – those who dive know – the mouth is closed. We are all eyes and ears. There, free from the noises of chatter and the knowledge of philosophy, we hear the lost melody that makes us cry with its beauty.
For me, God is this: the beauty that can be heard in silence. Hence the importance of knowing how to listen to others: beauty lives there too. Communion is when the beauty of the other and the beauty of the people come together in a counterpoint. Let us listen to the cries of the hungry and the dispossessed of humanity that we insist on neither seeing nor hearing. It is time to renew, if nothing else, ourselves and thus become better human beings, for the good of each one of us.