On our first call with the ”Awakening to the Evolutionary Relationship to Life ” teleclass at Integral Enlightenment we heard an impressive number of participants – over 400 people from 25 countries – that the course gathered. Rather amazing! During the call Craig went through a few principles of engagement for people coming together to practice.
One of them is that actually it is less important where we are on our journey than where we are in relationship to our edge. Craig pointed out the importance of allowing for the evolving edge by welcoming the discomfort and the growing pain of stretching instead of resisting or avoiding it.
“If we’re not uncomfortable, we’re probably not evolving.”
I find this to be very true for my path and maintaining a blog actually challenged me in ways I could not anticipate when I wrote my first post and which I came to appreciate.When comments starting coming in and when I started commenting on other people’s posts online, I saw how the way we listen to each other (or read) and respond to each other’s writing influences the energy between us and in itself can be used as way to deepen our practice.
The other day I posted a comment to a friend’s blog in which I shared what came up for me after reading the post but my comment deeply upset my friend. He felt that I misunderstood the point he was making in the post and thought I was lacking compassion when I replied to what other people wrote. That feedback made me reflect on my listening/reading/ skills as well as on what matters to me as someone who writes a blog (how important is it for me to be understood? ). I felt sad that my comment have created an emotional divide between us, wondering how I could have responded differently. From what place was I reading the post and what were my intentions when I was replying to it?
Before I rise to my defence,
Before I speak in hurt or fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?
Words are windows, or they’re walls,
They sentence us, or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.
from Words Are Windows (or They’re Walls) by Ruth Bebermeyer
When both the practice of listening and responding from a deeper place within ourselves (related to what in Buddhism is called skillful speech) were mentioned on the call by Craig, I perked up the ears. Those were the areas I’d need to focus on when engaging with other people. This is how those principles are defined in the course.
Deeper Listening (listening from the deepest part of yourself)
This means that when someone else is speaking, you strive to listen for the deeper chords in what they’re saying and respond only to those chords that ring with the greatest spiritual presence and power. When something profound touches us in what someone else has shared, we’re going to take the risk to reflect it back to them, or to share it with the group. By building a field of deeper listening, we are creating a powerful supportive container for each of us to step into when we speak.
Speaking from the Deepest, Most Authentic Parts of the Self
Each time you contribute to the group, seek to bring forward the deepest part of yourself. Take the risk to express the deepest truths you know, to be a representative of humanity’s highest potential. One of the most transformative activities we can engage in is speaking from the deeper parts of ourselves, because in doing so, we are coaxing them out of the depths and allowing them to infuse our personalities with their wisdom and Presence. And when we do this, that authentic wisdom and Presence infuses the group as well.
From the “Principles of Evolutionary Culture”
So how can we manifest those? I guess it is up to each of us to explore what those deepest parts of ourselves are and how we can engage them. I am looking forward to the practice periods in groups and to the stretching pains of growing beyond the ego.
How do you make sure you listen beyond your ego?
Do you have any insights to share about listening to others?
What is listening from a deeper place for you?
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
The winter practice of deeper listening:
in between polishing each other into dimonds we can catch a break and simply appreciate the sun
and each other’s company.