As I've been meditating on the idea of Listening, there has been an excerpt from Siddhartha that has been sitting with me. He comes to a point in his life where he feels as though he has lost his way, and comes upon a river and a ferryman that teach him important lessons. He begins to hear lessons from the river. The excerpt reads: 

"He learned from it (the river) unceasingly. Above all he learned from it how to listen, how to listen with a still heart, with an expectant, open soul, without passion, without desire, with-out judgement, without opinion." 

I find in my life, that I tend to block out the sounds that I don't want to hear. If they are words from other's, I immediately think of my defensive words as a tool to block the other's out. These are the sounds that end up filling my mind and my body. "They don't understand what you're going through," "What do they know anyways?" "They just need to shut up and leave me alone." 

But, if we can learn to tune out these sounds, to go deeper into WHY we feel the need to fill our heads with negativity, we can get deeper to healing. Deeper to a place of loving words, of nurturing. In Siddhartha, he learns this through empty listening. To become a vessel without judgement. To truly open your ears, your mind and your heart without fear of what you may hear. 

It's been amazing to me as I've been practicing quieting down my mind just how much it's filled with. I thought it would just be the day to day, what I had to do later, that my leggings were too small for me, was I sitting too close to the person next to me. When I close my eyes and center before class, it's so much deeper. They are sounds have been filling myself with my whole life. So often I avoid these by surrounding myself with MORE sound. Always walking around with headphones on, turning on the TV or scrolling through my phone when I get home instead of simply giving myself a few moments of silence. When I sit in this silence, I have begun to realize these sounds in my mind are harmless. What once controlled my life are just thoughts, just musings. What is more powerful is the light, the I Am that knows better than to listen to that. But to listen to my breath, to listen to my heartbeat, and be slightly reborn every time. 

In practicing this, I've found greater self awareness and greater peace and I look forward to what the second half of the month will bring.