Listening mindfully, with an awareness that is relaxed and open; ripens into unhindered receptivity to the unfolding words, emotions, and presence of another.
Pause – Relax – Open – establishes the conditions for being fully present in the mutual, emergent moment and, in turn, the potential for listening and speaking from awareness. Without careful attention to meditative qualities, words link us to concepts and emotions that can disrupt mindfulness and concentration. But with meditative awareness, the skillful use of language established with the guidelines Listen Deeply and Speak the Truth, has the potential to carry the Dhamma directly into our lived experience here and now. This is true now as it was in the time of the Buddha.
To Listen Deeply is to listen with a kind awareness, fully present and receptive to the speaker’s offering. It is listening with the generosity of patience, unhurried by personal agenda. We do this by practicing Pause, Relax, Open. Attuning to Emergence, to “don’t know mind,” we need not interrupt our listening with internal dialogue about how we might respond. With Listen Deeply, we acknowledge the value of observing our internal fabrications of others’ stories, to understand and empathize. However, we also cultivate the ability to re-establish non-identified mindfulness of the body, emotions, and thoughts. This allows us to sustain a grounded presence even when stories are compelling or relationships emotionally charged.