Empty listening

If you listen, you will perceive truly; when you speak, you will perceive in error.


Most of us make a practice of listening to our own physical voices. We like to talk. We want to express our thoughts, and possibly even emotions, to others. We feel the need to be heard, and often we’ll use discussion as a means of processing our feelings. We want to talk things out.

Listening is harder for most of us. We’re usually better at speaking than hearing. Many times, as another person talks, we think of our rebuttal or next contribution to the conversation, rather than placing our full focus on what the other person says. Our perception of what the other person’s message is colored by our thoughts.

If we listen—truly listen and nothing more—we hear what the other person says more accurately. By giving him or her the gift of our full and engaged attention, we give ourselves the present of clearer perception. Communication becomes easier and more fruitful.

This dynamic is also true of communication with the divine, whether we are praying to God or talking with our spirit guides, totem animals, higher selves, or inner voices. When we are busy expressing ourselves, our spiritual ears don’t function well. We hear the divine much more clearly when we simply listen and wait for the message.

An expression of the divine resides within all of us. It is simple and easy to communicate with it if we quiet our outer and inner chatter. When we make ourselves an empty vessel, stilling all grievances, distractions, and thoughts, the divine is free to express itself through us. We can perceive clearly in stillness and emptiness.

Let’s devote a few minutes to experiencing clarity in conscious communication with our inner divinity—our sharing within. We will begin by visualizing our sharing within as a sphere of golden light in the center of our chest. At the same time, we will let our breathing become slow and regular.

Each inhalation feeds the ball of light, making it dense and bright. Each exhalation spreads light through and around us. The light is composed of conscious love—the divine loving consciousness of shared divinity: the sharing—and it sanctifies all it touches. We’ll continue the imagery and gentle breathing until we feel calm, composed, and steady, signaling our conscious connection with the divine.

We will picture the golden light emptying us of all preconceptions, thoughts, and concerns. We become nothing but light as we release our individual identity and sense communion with all creation. We are everything and nothing as we quietly breathe in and out and wait.

If distractions arise, we will simply let the light diffuse them, and wait. Breathing in, we are empty and receptive. Breathing out, we are empty and receptive.

At some point, we will become aware of knowingness, and recognition of perfection and completion will fill us. In this moment, we will perceive in absolute clarity, together with the divine. In this moment, we are the sharing, and all existence is beautiful and flawless. This is the gift of listening to the divine.

Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what realization comes to you in the emptiness of the wait? Please share…