Spiritual Development

Page 86

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It's often said that the wise one's listen and the fools talk. Did you know that the average person
remembers only about half of what they hear no matter how carefully they think they have
listened? Did you know that 2 months later only 25% of the information initially presented is
able to be recalled? We use our eyes and neglect our ears as a rule, and I believe this is because
it's just plain easier to see what's going on, it's something that becomes a crutch, we "take it in"
through our eyes and let our ears grab what comes around the fringes, while our minds are busy
being distracted by thoughts that come randomly or have found a way to preoccupy us. Before
you know it you're a ball of sensory input that is multi-tasking out of control. The art is to bring
the sensory input under control and to listen it takes all our senses being in working order.

Did you know that as a rule reading consumes less than 10% of our communication skill?
Writing to communicate is slightly higher, less than 15%. Speaking consumes under 30%, and
listening is over 60% of the way we receive information? How important is that? It doesn't take a
rocket scientist to figure it out. The influence of what we hear determines a lot about the way we
conduct ourselves. The opinions of others get our attention and can dictate how we dress, what
style we wear our hair in, how we rear our children, and what we feed our families. What the
jury hears determines the outcome of a case on trial. Spiritually listening is the art of attunement,
and what we hear from our Guides, Inner Spirit, and mentors falls prey to these same statistics.
Now a poor listener is not a stupid person, they are simply a person with poor listening skills and
that brings their own insight statistics down to a very low level. If we are not listening well, and
a good listener recalls only 25% of what they hear in the long term, imagine what a poor listener
recalls. Listening is a social activity, those who read choose their surroundings carefully to close
out distractions. When listening that option is not always possible, conversations take place in
environments that are less than optimal and for this reason you always see people moving "off to
the side" to convey their thoughts more clearly, to find a little privacy so they can focus. In
spiritual matters this is the reason we seek our sacred space to meditate where there is little to
distract us and where we can gain the most from our experiences.

Where a listener must adjust themselves to the pace of the person speaking or the pace of
information that is coming at them, the reader can set his own pace by reading fast or slow. The
listener simply does not have that option and we must learn to hone our ability to speed that
reception up and down accordingly. If you care about what you are taking in you have to care
enough to use your ears. By listening carefully you pick up information that took others many
years to acquire...bits of wisdom that would otherwise be lost. This places you in an
advantageous position and allows you to shortcut your way on various levels, promotes
breakthroughs you may be seeking, and allows you to incorporate bits of wisdom into your own.

Listening well allows you the advantage when you are not in a position to question for
clarification and gather information that is not always written down somewhere else. In this way
we add new facts, pick up clues as to where to research information further (perhaps something
we would not have considered ourselves) because when listening comes first we often find it
stimulates the silent reading research of that material and deeper understanding as a result.
Listening is not a passive act, though many believe it is and they get in the habit of appearing to
listen when things tend towards boredom often missing important facts they need. Listening is an
aggressive act that takes conscious awareness and a desire to extract as much information as
possible. Listening, good listening, demands effort on our part to successfully retain as much as
we can.

Good listening skills stimulate our oral expression, help us release tensions, and change our
attitudes as well as behavior patterns for the better. We all have something to say if only
someone would listen to us...how many times have you said that to yourself? Well our Spirit
Guides and Helpers feel the same way. So does Spirit. Often we're like the brick wall that takes
nothing in and blocks understanding. A good listener is attractive to others, gains wisdom from
what they hear, and goes a long way toward reaching their goals successfully because of that.
The more we pay attention and listen the faster we grow and gather our information. Just as the
therapist is a good listener allowing the patient to bring forth their deepest troubles, a good
student needs to be a good listener to bring forth the deeper insights that will solve their own
spiritual problems. This applies to all levels of understanding be they mental, physical, emotional
or spiritual.

One of the first and strongest ways to improve your listening skills is to find within yourself the
desire, the self-interest in what is being presented. Get selfish. It is in your best interest. Get
greedy. It is in your best interest. Want to grasp what is being presented. It is in your best
interest. The more you take in the more you will find you are able to receive. We grow internally
before it shows externally. Take it in. This is how we learn, it is internal first. What we learn is
assimilated through thoughts, feelings, emotions, experiences, facts, ideas and we modify,
rearrange, refine or expand them as we need to. No one can do this for us, but if we become an
active listener we can do it for ourselves quietly and objectively. The conscious mind must learn
what is going on in the subconscious to bring it under control and good listening allows that to
happen, while it will never do harm to listen, it will often produce good results. When all our
senses are involved we are entering into what is called ESP...extra sensory perception because
we are focused.

Listening takes energy and there is an exchange for the speaker, be it an individual our Inner
Spirit or a Guide is exchanging their knowledge with us and we are receiving. It becomes a twoway
communication when we listen for we allow them the opportunity to serve us in what they
share, our reception is replaced with gratitude for what we have been given and they are then
able to receive that and with it a sense of having served which is in itself a blessing for them.
What good is knowledge if it is not shared? Energy contains information and by listening we
gain that insight. If we are talking the thing we are able to hear is our own voice echoing our
thoughts. But if we listen we hear the voices of others. Through silence we learn things and we
receive information. It is wise to be silent when we need guidance, or a lesson that will help us
grow in some fashion. Even if we are not asking a question openly, holding that question in mind
and looking silently for the answer it will come to us throughout the course of our day or week as
the case may be.

Listening is an art. It's not just being silent, but paying attention to that silence and what comes
to fill it. When we create space, in this case the silence, we create a receptacle to receive and it
will fill with whatever we need to come our way. The ears can concentrate. Being aware that we
think much faster than we talk we can sidestep the issue of impatience when someone speaks
slowly and we get overly anxious to get to the point. For some this is difficult and painful while
for others, those that are by nature slower speakers it will be easier. For the faster speakers that
are listening to the slower input they can wisely use that spare time to assemble thoughts and
organize them, placing the information as they go.

We are all able to dart off with a thought when listening to someone else and this is often a
dangerous habit for in the darting away we may miss something...especially if we have an
enticing thought and find that we have to refocus quickly skipping over what was missed ...
something important perhaps? A good listener is going to think ahead of the talker creating
interest in what is going to be said next, periodically reviewing what has been presented, and
searches between the lines for what is not necessarily being addressed but is still important. In
this way there is more taken in and other dimensions of the information come into play. As this
happens the listener becomes an active participant rather than an idle one and concentration

If we guess ahead and are right at what is being revealed the impact is strengthened. If we are
wrong then we learn and are impacted by our inaccuracy. In either case our evaluation takes on
greater proportion. We validate what we are willing to accept in this way and how expansive we
will be with our own thinking in the process. We begin to see how we can use the information
and apply it to our own needs and when the session is ended they re-evaluate to further the
comprehension...the assimilation process. Being aware that we filter with our emotions, how the
information makes you feel will color your comprehension if you do not see it for what it is. If
we don't like what we hear we tune it out as our automatic defenses come up and if we like it we
can open our ears wide to embrace it. We are not to alter what we hear based on our own
emotional attachments to the information, but to see it for what it is and then adapt to it or reject
it. If we allow our emotions to dictate then our logic is tossed aside and we learn nothing.

As good listeners we gain new ideas, improve our concentration, learn to tune in and out of
things, make better choices and decisions, become more creative, and are better able to
participate in events that take place upon our paths in life as we integrate what we have learned.
One way to practice this art (especially for those who have a hard time with not talking) is to sit
on your hands. Most of us gesture and by sitting on our hands we keep our mouths closed. In
Native fashion we can pass the Talking Stick to others giving them the floor while we listen to
what they say and take from it what we need. There are other ways of listening too. We use
prayer to voice our own thoughts and needs, but it is through meditation we learn to listen for the
answers. In silence we learn to hear the voice of the Inner Spirit, of the Self that we truly are, and
there is great wisdom in that. The Inner Spirit is the sum of all past lives and it knows many
things about us that we could benefit from. Again the state of meditative contemplation becomes
an asset. As we learn to listen to our Self we learn the value of listening to our Guides and others
as well.

Entering the state of meditation we enter the Silence, we come to know the oneness within us
and from there we can enter the oneness with Spirit or our Guides as the case may be. We create
the space for that meeting to take place and it is there that we listen to learn being filled with the
enlightenments shared with us. We may listen with our ears, with our eyes as to what we see,
with our noses to the message of aromas in the air, with our sense of taste to tell us what
something is like (sweet or sour, tasty or foul), and with our hands, feet, or through our skin we
touch the world and we listen to what it has to say. All of our senses are ways in which we listen
to life. Get to know yours and bring them to conscious awareness. We observe in these ways and
in that observance we come to understand things or pursue them further until we do understand.
We're curious creatures, we humans, and what catches our interest we follow. Learn the art of

When we listen to the words and actions of others around us we learn of their needs by the things
they do or do not do or say. In that observation we begin to understand the silent language that
guides us day by day, moment by moment, and slowly we begin to trust in it and stop second
guessing ourselves. Validation comes when we continue to pay attention to our environment;
when we observe what we perceive from our growing perspectives our understanding grows too.
This serves us not only in the physical reality but in the spiritual reality as well. It is through
these methods that when we enter into a prayerful or meditational state we learn to hear the
heartbeat within us as we practice deep breathing. We learn to listen past that and hear the
heartbeat of Mother Earth, and beyond that to the heartbeat of the Universe itself. At that point
we have entered the oneness through the heartbeat for it is the pause between beats that is the
Silence where Spirit resides. There we open to dialogue and two-way communication.

There are tools that can be used to heighten this experience. A favorite is the Drum. As the
rhythmic beat of the Drum creates a reverberation of its manifesting energy, those waves pass
into us and our own heartbeat will naturally match its rhythm. Then we can shift our focus from
the beat to the space between it, the Silence, where Spirit resides. The sound of water can take us
into a meditative state when we listen to it flowing, or the dance of flames burning across the
face of logs, or a candle that burns. As we move into the flame with our vision we may begin to
see things in the silence we give space to. The element of Earth gives us connection, foundation,
and when we merge with it we are held in the arms of the Earth Mother where we come to feel
her pulse. Each of the elemental forces offers us a way into the Silence, each a bit differently,
and what they bring forth is unique to their perspective but through our senses we listen and see
many things reveal themselves in the most uncanny ways. Putting this skill to work for you will
serve you well.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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