I’m all ears

01/03/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

One of my 2023 New Year Resolutions I was talking about yesterday has to do with better listening. Listen better. Listen with more devotion to really hearing. Every day this year.

As this “listen better” has been some kind of awareness calling out for my attention for quite a while, the way I’ve been thinking about it – before it landed up over there on my wall, hanging via blue tape with all its Resolution sisters and cousins – is that better listening requires less talking. Like, yeah, I can eat an avocado and walk down the street at the same time – multitasking – but listening and talking not so much. Especially when I’m thinking about my response to what I’m not hearing the way I should because I’m thinking about talking – you get it.

And then a funny thing happened on the way to Monday night. I brought my resolve to the OB meditation meeting last night and – voila and yay – I experienced listening more profoundly. More there. The opposite of Gertrude Stein’s “There’s no there there.” There was way more there there, last night, sitting in a circle. Hearing more.

So – here’s two things: The Zen Koan “Each being’s eternal radiance appears before us” has been alive and wild for me the last four or five weeks, and I brought that to the Monday night circle, seeing each being there’s radiance. And I heard more. I honored my fellow being’s radiance, which I was seeing. Meaning, I was hearing with my eyes. If that’s a little bit too esoteric for you, I know a rat’s butt you can hang out with.

The other of the two things is I did talk, and quite a bit, at the end, not preparing what I was going to say because I was being such a cool, devoted listener. So I walk out into the rain and there’s perhaps a “Duh” moment when it comes to me, that better listening this year does not necessarily mean a constant vow of silence. Listening and talking – not two?

Just seeing better.