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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And what about hearing?

When you are able to listen deeply to another, you are hearing the overtones of intention, the undertones of emotion, and the melody of their souls. 

You are hearing the universe in miniature.

Deep listening is an art that can be learned. One begins by attending to familiar sounds-wind, rain, the purring of a cat, the sounds of dinner being made, the pouring of liquid into a glass, the sound of the heating system or air conditioner. 

You begin to realize that you are hearing not only with your ears, but also with the bones of your skull. Soon it seems that your entire body is listening. 

A sharp sound startles your flesh. A lovely melody relaxes and smooths your body. 

If you would like to try a fascinating experiment, listen to your favourite music as if you are the instrument and the music is playing you. 

You will understand the words of T.S. Eliot in "The Dry Salvages," when he writes of
Music heard so deeply

That it is not heard at all, but you are the music

While the music lasts.

It is a beautiful experience to be truly listened to. It is a gift also to truly listen to another. This was one of the most powerful things I learnt during my coaching learning how to really listen and be there for the person.