Choice is your greatest power ... even a greater power than love, because you must first choose to be a loving person. Take the example of someone apologizing to you for having spoken thoughtlessly or hurtfully. In that one instant the power of transformation rests entirely with you. You can gtranscend the density of your anger and choose to forgive, transmuting that instant into an exchange that restores energy to both of you. Or you can repress your divine nature and cause the potential opportunity for healing to become a contaminated energy transaction.
A listening heart is always open, sensitive to the joy and pain of others, offering a space within itself for the other to enter. It gives each person what is so badly needed—an affirmation of their place in this world.
The discipline of silence was leading me not only to a keener attention to language but to an improved capacity for hearing. On silent Mondays, I began to listen differently—to myself, to others, and to the world around me. It was a listening I would call both active and without an agenda...I began to observe that when there was no expectation for me to respond, acknowledge, analyze...I listened differently. My ego relaxed... In silence I was hearing others more keenly and witnessing my own thoughts, too, and seeing how they served to separate or to connect me. I was learning not to turn away from the parts of myself that were difficult.
~ from LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE by Anne D. LeClaire
Monks take a vow of obedience...It means a loving listening: listening to the Word of God that comes to us moment by moment, listening to the message of the angel that comes to us hour by hour. The very word obedience means an intensive listening. The opposite of that obedience is absurdity, which means being deaf to life's challenges and meaning. We have the choice in our life between living with this loving listening or finding everything absurd...So the next time you say, "This is absurd," you might consider the more helpful question, "To what am I deaf here?"
~ from THE MUSIC OF SILENCE by David Steindl-Rast, O. S. B.
Perhaps we will see that listening is not a course you must register for, a new gimmick that will magically transform your social and professional life. It happens when you take time to look around you, to be still in the evenings, startled by mornings. To listen means to be aware, to watch, to wait patiently for the next communication clue. And, as anyone with a speech or hearing disability can tell you, listening is not always auditory communication...When earth's auditory energy is received as a whisper, or perhaps not at all, other senses become sharpened, grasping communicative clues we have forgotten, in the rush of life...Listening becomes visual, tactile, intuitive. Listening ... perhaps ... is just a mind aware.
~ from LISTENING: WAYS OF HEARING IN A SILENT WORLD by Hannah Merker
Listen in the silence for Spirit's Voice
guiding your soul
for service in the great renewal,
the new creation, the citadel of
Love here on Earth.
All are welcome together as One!
Listen, attune, and heed the inner Voice of Love.
For in sacred Silence, we open ourselves
to ever deepening communion with
the Source of all creation.
Ibn Hasdai writing in the 13th century said: "[Man] was given two ears and one tongue, so that he may listen more than speak." It is a privilege just to listen. And there is a fine distinction between "listen to" and "to listen." When we "listen to" we are actively engaging our senses of sound for a particular audible cue. But, when we choose "to listen," we are opening ourselves up to the sounds of silence and solitude; to ways and words unanticipated, unscripted and often—unfamiliar. We do not choose these words; they choose us.
Now is the earth most still.
No plows break the bare and frozen ground.
No creature stirs from its earthbound
burrow, tunnel, nest.
Matter is quiet.
hushed, we hear the rising of the star,
the morning light,
the seed within itself unfolding,
All is quiet and the earth most still.
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