AND Listen From the Heart

November 16th, 2014

In recent workshops, we were practicing mindfulness meditation. By pausing to listen to every sound, such as noisy trucks or loud heating and air conditioning systems, we shifted our focus from being distracted by background noises to integrating those noises in a way that allowed greater focus on the conversation in the room. What happened might help us in other parts of our lives.

By not resisting the noises in the background, we avoided frustration or anger with the apparent intrusion. By focusing on integrating them into our listening and thereby accepting them as part of what was happening in the moment, we discovered that they dissipated. In other words, they became white noise in the background.

Instead of speeding up heart rates, associated with anger and frustration, we slowed heart rates and found a peacefulness that settled in that moment. Resistance to anything causes friction, eats our attention, and distracts us from what we had intended to use our energy to do. Usually the resistance comes from our attachment to how we expected or wanted something to happen. By stopping to simply recognize that the conditions are different, noticing them, and focusing on hearing or acknowledging them, we can integrate the conditions or noise with whatever we are doing in the moment.

So, the next time noises enter your awareness, try welcoming them by shifting your focus to hear them better rather than trying to get rid of them. And see what happens when you do the opposite of what rational thought might have recommended. Sometimes we can discover a peacefulness that warms the heart and eases the mind when we let go AND listen from the heart.

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