Do you know that listening is the fastest way of learning? Do you realise that most people around you hardly listen? They may be pretending they are listening, but their mind is too busy trying to formulate a response to you or they are having a separate conversation with themselves. Once I was suffering with the poor listening skill. It was only after I started my spiritual work on myself that I realised everything in life starts with authentic listening.
The human race is suffering from one serious degeneration in learning ability i.e. transmission of knowledge through listening. The listening skill of the modern men has suffered so much that the younger generation is also losing the innate ability of pure listening at a quicker speed than their parents! The problem that our society is facing now is – listening has dropped so much; instead the logical thinking has taken over.
When the first root pattern of alternate compensating cognition happens at age between 1-10 year old; we start to move away from the pure space of Advaita (non-duality) resulting an incompletion our inner space. When this happens, we destroy the cognising and reduce the listening too. As an individual accumulates more and more incompletions in the process of growing up, cognising is destroyed and listening is tremendously decreased. What this means is that we make more errors in life and the speed of learning is drastically reduced. From a spiritual perspective, this is the most unfortunate thing that happens to human beings. As a species, we are not learning at our optimal level!
Why is listening so important in life?
Here is one straight truth, catch it: It is in the space of listening that things happen. Everything starts with listening, through listening then everything starts with life.
In general, there are 3 types of learners. The first type is called the Oratory Learners i.e. simply by listening to the sound vibrations of the speakers or environment. This is the fastest learning method as compared to the other 2 learning methods. Our mind functions in a binary rhythm i.e. 0-1, 0-1, listening, cognising, listening, cognising continuously. As a child, we listen more and cognise little. In this way, we are able to “intranalise’ and pick up a lot more information about the outer world through pure listening. Hence, it is very important for parents with young children to have the understanding and knowledge in terms of how to keep their child/children in the space of listening. This will tremendously aid in a child’s ability to learn and discover about self and his/her world. To do that, the parents themselves must lead by examples by being good listeners. Constantly, parents should do completion with their children every night before bed time; this will ensure a child’s inner space is kept pure for listening and learning to happen.
The second type of learners is called the Kinaesthetic Learners who learn by touch, they are also called the experiential learners. This is the second fastest learning method after oratory learning. That is why in the Vedic tradition, young children are taught Hatha yoga and various Vedic arts & craft, which utilise the body and hands in sensing, touching, knitting and moulding. Lastly, the third type of learners is considered the Visual Learners who learn by power of visualisation.
In the ancient Vedic tradition, listening is considered a spiritual practice. The Vedas (source of true knowledge) describe the relationships between silence, vibration, and sequential creation. According to Vedic science, the source of both creation and experience is Samhita – undifferentiated absolute Silence. Being pure awareness, Samhita has the capacity to become aware of itself. Through this process of self-referral, it begins to move within itself, setting up the initial vibrations of the evolving universe. These vibrations unfold sequentially according to the laws of Nature. When the sequence loses its connection with Samhita, then mistakes and disease are the result. Cancer is an example of cells that have lost their “memory” of the silent source of natural law and begun to “march to the beat of their own drummer.”
In the Vedic creation puranas (mystical happenings), the five subtle senses are created first and then objective creation manifests as the objects of the senses. Sound is the first and most subtle sense, making it the most powerful. Sound’s object is Akasha (ether), the most subtle element. Since it is the most subtle sense, sound is used extensively in Vedic culture.
One great example is all secret knowledge is transmitted through sitting in Upanishad (sitting at the feet of the master) with a guru in a relaxed receptive mood with a deep trust. The teachings are secret in 3 ways. First, they were esoteric in that they would originally have been oral teachings, passed down from master to disciples. Second, they were secret because they came from deep insights the yogis or seers who composed them, from a space of hidden mystery. Third, they were secret in that, like all true wisdom teachings, the knowledge they express conveys the real secrets about the world, true knowledge about how to find liberation (Moksha). In the deep silence, not only experience is transmitted, a deep communion also happens where 2 entities dissolve into ONENESS.
J.Krishnamurthy, a master once says ” Listening is God ” , it means in your listening, god is happening to you, don’t interfere.
So how can we get back to the space of pure listening?
First and foremost is to stop the talking or the doing, just BE, being in a state of restful awareness to witness everything around you – the river, birds, plants, animals, rocks, trees, traffic, people’s breathing sound etc.
Second, start listening to people so that the space of listening or silence can expand. Any emotion you feel disturbs your listening. You can only listen when there is nothing standing between your listening and the speaker. No other thoughts should be allowed, one should only be established in the zone of pure listening.
Third, learn the science of completion with your past and completion with others. By completing with your past and others, your inner space frees itself from all unnecessary inner chatters caused by incompletion. With a larger free space, your listening will exponentially increase, and then you will experience a new lease of energy and a new life!
Finally, according to Patanjali, a Siddha Puruasha (realised sage) who composed the Yoga Sutras, he gave the technique of using sound as a technique for enlightenment. He said that “Every sound is mantra, every sound can lead us to enlightenment, every moment the possibility is open”. Learn the sound samyama (yogic technology) which can lead us to experience the eternal sound of the Cosmos (Nada Brahma). This experience of the eternal sound not only leads us to physical healing of all problems related to hearing, seeing and speech, it also awakens extraordinary powers (Siddhis) in us and ultimately the experience of enlightenment itself. Namaste 🙂