It requires certain maturity, openness to understanding values and points of view very different from our own.
I have heard Osho say that if you listen to the birds in the morning you will be able to listen to people throughout the day. Why has listening become so important these days? Because everybody exclaims: “Nobody listens to me!” Whether it is a child or a parent, a teacher or student, everyone feels they are not heard. It is so frustrating that you cannot share yourself with others.
Listening is never easy but it is crucial in relationships. It involves overcoming the habitual tendency of the mind to block itself. People have stopped listening because they have stopped connecting from the heart. Everyone loves to hear the sound of their own voice but not that of others. It is interesting to know why people avoid listening to others. To listen deeply means to be vulnerable, to expose yourself to the other, to change your ideas and values.
It requires certain maturity, openness to understanding values and points of view very different from our own. When we really listen, our own ideas and values are sometimes altered. Therefore, listening is considered a spiritual quality. It is called “shravan”, or right listening. But it is not the unconscious hearing that everyone does. Right listening requires deep silence in the heart.
As Osho explains: “Once you know how to listen, in deep receptivity, sensitivity, you are not there. The listener is not there, only listening. And when the listener is not there, there is no ego: there is no one who listens, only listening. And then it penetrates to the very core of your being.”
“If you listen to me with a mind, you will miss. If you listen to the waterfall without mind, you will get. It is not a question of listening to me; it is a question somewhere concerned with you, with the listener. What I am saying is irrelevant; the whole thing is: are you surrounded by a deep silence? Have you become non-existent at that moment? Do you find suddenly that you are not, that you are a deep emptiness, throbbing with life, full, but empty, a tremendous silence, with not a single ripple of thought? Only then do you attain to a plane where truth can penetrate you.”
“So try to be a listener. Just hearing is not enough. Hear, you can; listening will need great discipline. If you listen, you are already delivered because in that listening, suddenly you find yourself.”
Therefore, listening to sounds will be very helpful. Like the noise of the train... the traffic, dogs barking... an airplane passes by, all have to be accepted. Not that you have to concentrate on any sound — listen to all sounds from everywhere. You just have to be alert, listening, with no choice. By listening inclusively you become the centre of the sound. That is the key to your meditation.