Opinion

The Practice Of Listening


Many of us attend discourses by spiritual masters to learn the ‘art of living‘ and feel all inspired and enthused. However, the very next day, when asked to summarise the contents, we tend to struggle and that leaves us wondering about our woeful retention and listening skills.

That’s why our scriptures prescribe Shravan, Manan and Nididhyasana as the key steps to master spiritual practices. Shravan refers to listening, manan to reflection, and nididhyasana to meditation. They are like the first three steps of a ladder, but if we fumble right at the first step, we will never be able to reach the top. Contrary to common belief, shravan is quite different from hearing. Hence, the key to understand our inability to retain lies in recognising differences between the two.

Hearing is a physical process like cross ventilation between the two ears with no retention, whereas listening is a complex psychological process, more so when confronted with highly cognitive, intangible and abstract subject like spirituality. While struggling to listen or even meditate, our mind always tends to distract us by its stray thoughts, or through self-talk.

During such time, we need to take control of mind and silence it. Listening also requires emotional engagement, faith, humility and setting aside of the ego, much like Arjun did. Such a serious attempt at listening will lead to the second step, manan, and then nididhyasana will follow.



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.