writingmybrain

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Meet Experience Openly…

“Listening is not reacting or responding but meeting experience openly, the way a lake is filled by streams.” Seven Thousand Ways to Listen—Staying Close to What is Sacred by Mark Nepo P85.

What a beautiful image these words form for me. How integral it is also to the art of listening. I am inspired by its sentiment and realize also that I am far from finding that middle place and space of balance, yet I strive towards its intention.

Of course like thousands, we work towards that middle way, that balance. And yet, in interactions we are perfect in our imperfections, and can only be present when we are able. I find this lack of presence in daily activities, a great goal, yet so hard to either achieve momentarily and certainly to maintain.

In fact, I am hopeful in my working towards, but hopeless in my presence. Not because of anything other than I am pulled, like thousands before, after, and generationally in many directions that tug me away from what I’d like to work toward in myself first, and the community as a whole—be it family, friends or a public forum. I can only esteem towards this when I work on myself in an attempt to reduce my own glitches.  

I may be pulled to a text, a phone call, an email, an ad flashing up on my screen, a meeting, a family need, an atmospheric adjustment due to an outside influence, or simply pulled to respond, or react to something that intersects my path within the hours of my life. This is definitely an intersection. Another is in conversation. Presence often wraps itself in confusion, complication, circumstance, or complexity by anything that intersects that moment.

What I have come to realize is those intersections are all about choice. Even in the most seemingly difficult scenario there is choice. It seems bizarre, almost contradictory, but choice exists with both intersections and conversations. We can listen, we can connect, and we can be present — even in the most trying and grim times we face in our lives, and on the planet—yes, we do have choice.

As our best and worst, we remain one molecule; a droplet in a stream on its journey to the lake; to the sea.  We are part of the whole, one moment at a time. Listening comes from inside out, rather than outside in, and listening within our conversations for the choices, is one way to make a difference in our lives as well as those around us, and life as a whole on the planet. In making choices, we aim to listen well for the intersections and conversations and leap into the whole without reacting or responding but meeting experience openly as the stream meets the lake; the sea, and is part of the entirety.

Writing Practice: A Reflective Pause—Journal Question excerpted from: Seven Thousand Ways to Listen—Staying Close to What is Sacred by Mark Nepo P.88.

Watch someone doing something they love. Listen to the motion and rhythms of how they work. Name and describe the song of their work. Journal this experience openly and be amazed.  


Rivets, Nuts and Bolts

nuts-bolts “What use is there in a blunt truth thrown like a stone, which breaks the heart? There is no virtue in truth which has no beauty.”  Hidayat Inayat-Khan, sufi teacher

What is it that fastens me? What is it that pins me down? Snaps or screws (ties) me to a moment in time?

Is it memory, experience, perception, the story I tell myself of my life, my journey? Is it a re-telling of that story that tethers me to a given reality that I perceive as my truth?

Recently, I glimpsed an insight into truth. Truth is simply a variable dependent on point-of-view, filters, one person or another. Truth is a puzzle. To learn truth in a specific situation is to listen, then collectively fit those pieces together.

The truth– implies only one; one that is all agreed on, and to set that out as a cohesive unit is the only way. Time, perspective, variables will likely alter, sway, influence outcome of this type of belief in truth. The truth is paradoxical by nature, by intent and to find its kernel is individual rather than collective.

How then can truth be found in conflict? It is likely only found through listening, hearing, and finding a collective truth to agree on. Agreement is a path to understanding and acceptance—and out of its birth, a truth, not necessarily the truth of our perception, attachment or individuality, but a truth that is shaped, gathered and assembled by agreement that becomes a path to travel collectively.

Contemplation:

What is it that fastens, pins, snaps or ties you to a particular moment in time and belief? What are the stories told individually and collectively in your life that perpetuate an attachment to outcome, and/or influence both inner and outer conflicts? Where is beauty in such truths? How may your actions, beliefs and point of view influence and/or evoke this?