Skáldskapr: Listening, a lost art.

QUEST: Learning to listen.

I have a hard time paying attention to my spouse, and hearing what she is really saying to me.

In my studies with the Eastern Beringia Shamans I have already connected with many of the underlying understandings of the wisdom and peace that can be found within the journey. The first practice I’ve learned is the art of listening. Throughout my quest of discovering a “religion” that both my heart and mind could agree on, I have always had rampant thoughts bouncing around within my brain. I used to think that maybe I had some form of ADHD or attention deficit. That was until I started listening, and focusing on what these thoughts were trying to convey.

In this modern day world of the “me” generation, most are more interested in talking, rather than listening. In many of the text book speaking on this subject, most will give us an idea that we need to focus on what is being spoken instead of forming our retorts or replies. This art form has been lost in today’s world of social media posts and 140 character tweet. So, how then do we engage in actual listening, in-lieu of just hearing. The first step is we must calm our spirit, and fully absorb the information being received. Allow the speaker time to consider their words, and pause an extra second to ensure your reply is appropriate.

TEACHING

How does one calm one’s internal spirit? It actually takes quite a bit of practice. So, let’s try it together. Find a comfortable place to sit. We’ll start my sitting, but soon you’ll be able to do this anywhere. Once your comfortably sitting, imagine a blue sky. Close your eyes. Continue to imagine the clear blue sky. Mentally force yourself to only focus on the sky, nothing else. Breathe deliberately. Breath in and out. Continue to picture the blue sky. In my beliefs this is paying homage to the spirits of the winds. As we work at and succeed in our abilities to remove all thought interruption, you can invite other to join you. You will want to invite them to speak to you, engage with them. Listen to what they say. Envision what they are saying. This is how we practice our abilities at stilling our spirit.

Listening also contains the desire to hear. This is very important.

The sounds of the birds floats on the breeze as the Fox journeys through the forest in search of a meal. The Fox digs through feet of snow as his stomach growls. He is so hungry. Yet the bird’s song continues to bless the world with its beautiful sounds. Meanwhile the Fox grumbling and mumbling as he loudly stomps through the snow.

The message is to stop your self focused grumbling, be still, and listen to the world, and in many times the answer you seek will present itself.

The greatest task to hearing someone is to concern yourself to what they are saying. Like all things, there needs to be a desire to hear the sounds. So, focus on putting a higher priority on what the other is saying, and the words will become clear.

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