22/4/2019 Listen to your mind
When we listen to someone, very often, our mind tends to be busy thinking about what we want to say or it wanders elsewhere. If only we can listen more, we can learn a lot. We also need to listen when others keep silent, allowing them to communicate in their own ways and in their own time. Often, we don’t really listen but try to give opinion or advice which can lead to more troubles. For example, when a wife tells her husband a problem, she just wants him to hear her out and listen attentively so she can off-load the emotional burden and feel better. Telling her what she should do instead may irritate her even more and an argument will soon start in earnest.
Listening to others allows us to understand them more. That leaves us one more person to understand: ourselves! How often do you listen to yourself – not in the sense of pleasing yourself but listening to your mind when it is upset, bored, angry, sad, distressed? Are you listening to what it is saying? Or do you turn to something else to distract your attention, trying to forget those unwanted thoughts and emotions? Only to find that you will have to deal with them later on. These unpleasant thoughts and emotions that you long to reject won’t go away but can be kept as emotional memories in the amygdala, the brain’s emotional centre, waiting to be triggered.
Troublesome thoughts and emotions are like fretful children. If you ignore them, they will throw tantrums. If you listen patiently to them, they will calm down and stop. To be a good listener, you need to be attentive; your mind and body need to be kept still. The more you listen to other people, the more you understand their thoughts and actions, the better your communication! The more you listen to your mind, the more you are able to understand its true nature, and the calmer it becomes. When you make a habit of listening to your mind, it is able to let go naturally. Emotional burden and confusion can be released, leaving you feeling more at peace . So why not listen more? As the Dalai Lama said: When you talk, you are only repeating what you know. When you listen, you learn something new!