Speaking and listening as meditation


In times like these many people are arriving at meditation as a source of relief from the stress of the unknown. What better time to begin a meditation practice than during a time when many of the most common distractions have already been removed from your life? So you’ve started a daily meditation that perhaps you do in the mornings which allows you to start the day refreshed and alert. Eventually though you check messages, social media, begin to engage with others and slowly but surely begin to wind back up again like a yo-yo.

Most people engage in life only on the horizontal plane of past and future. Replaying memories and thinking about where they need to go. As we interact with people this tape keeps playing and in many ways we become even more identified with it as we compare our experience to the person speaking to us. Denying the speaker with what they need the most, pure attention. Pure attention allows the speaker to feel liberated because intuitively they know they are not being judged through the lens of your prior experiences and opinions. We can see this attentiveness as the vertical plane which offers a point of discovery rooted in the now. That essence of now is ultimately who you are and is also liberating for you as the listener because it frees you from the compulsion of identifying with a false sense of self.

Here are some tips and questions you can ask yourself to become more rooted in the now and take your meditative state with you throughout the day:

Can you sense the energy field of your body? The aliveness in various parts of your body? Close your eyes and see if you can feel your hands without actually moving your hands. Sure it would probably be strange if you closed your eyes mid conversation with someone or whilst taking a walk. Fortunately you can also practice connecting with that energy field whilst keeping your eyes open. Also use your breath as an anchor of awareness to control compulsive reactions and thoughts.  Be with your breath first.

As you check in with your breath and body you should be able to sense spacious awareness at all times between you and whatever thoughts are going on in your head.  This spaciousness is also present whilst speaking, especially while speaking. Now a shift in consciousness happens because you’re not thinking as much, you’re simply responding to what is necessary. And when you are thinking you’re not identifying with those thoughts.

 This is what it looks like to be in the moment with people and to respond to the situation. Have you ever considered what it must be like to know yourself in the now, without relating to memory? Consciousness is not an object; it is your essence. Knowing yourself as this spacious awareness frees you from believing that you are your personal history, which is baggage you’ll inevitably bring into your relationships, setting the stage for conflict. 

It’s fine and fun to talk about stories, things that have happened, things that you’ve heard and know.  You can acknowledge the world of form whilst not being trapped in this dimension though.  In the moment of interaction, know there is another dimension present and practice connecting with it. After all, what makes a house a house is not all of the stuff within it, it is the space which enables things to be there. Slow down and identify with the space, not the stuff.

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