5 June 2004

The Resonance of Listening

Sound resonates in our very being. As the sound reverberates in our bones, in our mind, and in our soul, it reaches an acoustical alchemy that resonates within the source of our Being. Our ears are tuned to hear these sounds, ready to prickle as the invisible waves pound an emotional path to unexpected destinations.

Through a touching and very dynamic conversation with George Por this past week, I realized that we need a rhythm of listening with someone to be able to create the space where meaning and significance can emerge and grow into something of value. Once this begins to happen, what emerges is real, unique, and adds true value at depths we rarely reach because we are too busy thinking about what we want to say while someone else is speaking. This was one of those �Aha!� moments for me.

All of a sudden, many things began to fall into place.

Several of us are involved in trying to solve the problem of how to stop a vicious circle. I realized that one of the fundamental barriers to solving that problem was our inability to slow down and find a rhythm to our listening. Our human being-ness is over-ridden by our need to do, to solve, to get somewhere fast. We set our listening preferences to �low�, receiving just enough information to keep moving. How can anything resonate with you if you have filtered out your acoustical imagination? That is selective listening.

What happens if we consciously ask ourselves every day for several weeks, �What is my rhythm of listening? When I have tuned in myself so that I really hear what someone is saying? When do I actually recognize that someone or something resonates with me?�

Is there a possibility that we can make ourselves more aware of how we listen? Is it even possible that we can make ourselves aware of how someone else listens? I started closing my eyes so that I could hear the sounds, the words, the music � I wanted to feel them and not just hear them. I realized that I have an inner-monologue running inside me all the time, overriding most other things, until I consciously gave it permission to fall into the background and still itself. I tried again to listen, to hear not only the sounds and words, but to feel the meaning. This exploration with listening phenomenology is not only changing how I listen to others, it is changing how I read.

Everywhere, people are shouting. �Listen to me.� �Lend me your Ear.� �Read what I�ve written.� We are skimming through everything. Where do we find the time to get through all of it? The point is, we won�t. We have to make choices. We have to focus. We have to listen. In the act of really hearing, we recognize what resonates with us. It becomes so plain and clear � like a tuning fork humming with our being.

The problem is, if we do not find our rhythm of listening, we won�t find what resonates within us.

Each of us wants to share what sits inside our heads. We broadcast at every possible contact point. What happens with you when you start exploring your own rhythm of listening? I really want to know. Please share your thoughts and experiences with me as you experiment with this.

2 comments:

Jay said...

We Hear (what) we WANT to hear
rather than (what) we NEED to hear.

What's being said
We Fail to (mostly) hear
and ignore the nonverbal hear (behavior).

It feels good to hear you, though.

Warm regards.

Ton said...

Hi Colby,

Great that you've opened a blog! That will make it easier for me at least to be able to listen to you more often.

My thoughts on listening changed after a conversation with a linguist a few years ago. He described listening as drawing out threads out of your forehead from that which you know or know about to that what the other is saying. It transformed listening for me from a more or less passive/consuming activity to an active even physically active thing. And the picture of all these threads from my forehead to the other's also showed that the more I'd listen well, the tighter I'd connect to people.

Best,

Ton

(the link under this comment will probably point to my old blog on blogspot, but it currentely resides at: http://blog.zylstra.org )

Oh, and if you want help with e.g. adding RSS to your blog (I'll explain what it is on June 22nd to you) so that even more people can listen to you, I'll gladly assisst.