Deep Listening: Coming Home to our Essential Nature

August 18, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit

sail boats in the Toronto harbor

When I make a decision, especially whenever I set an intention for a habit I want to lose or cultivate, the turning point of actually making the choice is similar to waking up fully refreshed on a crisp, sunny day. Where I am and where I’m heading are crystal clear. Arriving at this new dawn might be the culmination of a gradual sneaking suspicion that something just wasn’t right, or the sum product of several significant experiences added together over time. Or it may come like a clap of thunder in an instant revelation – literally waking me up to a new day with a whole new perspective.

Maybe you were drawn to Touchstones of the Sacred because you are in a state of seeking and opening, maybe a state of transition or even stagnation. Maybe you feel a pull toward a whole new way of living and are just beginning to think about what that might even be. Regardless of where your life’s circumstances lie it is a universal human preoccupation to seek more. As the needs of our planet and our global community reach ever more critical levels and as daily life becomes ever more crowded, many of us are looking for more peace, more balance, more joy, more love, more meaning.

But how do we begin to pursue this when we feel lost or are seemingly trapped in a life that no longer fits? How do we find the time and energy to change our lives when life itself threatens to swallow us up with endless tasks and perpetual worry about the future? How do we make the time and space to attend to our souls in a world that reveres 24-7 multitasking and translates the longing for more meaning and connection into a longing for more stuff? Further still, how do we disentangle from the perspectives that bind us to the old way of doing things?

Often when watching animals going about their daily lives, swimming, eating, flying, standing around being animals, I think about the clarity and simplicity with which they live their lives. They work tirelessly and I dare-say joyfully to take care of their basic needs of food, shelter and water. They also take time to play and rest, unburdened by scolding internal voices that insist they should still be collecting nuts for the winter rather than wrestling around the base of an old oak tree with fellow critters. I see animals existing in a state of being that is fluid and graceful because they exist within their essential nature by simply being dog, cat, duck, spider etc.

We humans with our marvelously infinite potential seem to get disconnected from our own essential nature either early in life or when the rigors of adolescence or early adulthood hit; we forget who we are, maybe we never knew and maybe we’re afraid to find out. One thing is certain for many of us, the way things are hurts. We ourselves hurt on a very personal level but also on a larger collective level as we bear the physical and psychic wounds of war, pollution, poverty and other challenges of our time.

This is something we undoubtedly have the power to transform. Listen to the hurt, what is the quality of the feeling? Where does it come from? What does it have to tell you? By opening up to simply listen and begin to ask questions about what’s really true for you a profound shift occurs. You are no longer running from the unpleasant or unbearable feelings. You are sitting with them, hearing them and in doing so creating an opportunity to learn from and ultimately transform them. Whenever I find myself in a flare of frustration or impatience (my most common unpleasant feeling) it’s my last call to stop, get centered and listen to the message the feeling has to communicate before I proceed.

With compassion and dedicated nurturing, this listening and learning soon blossoms into confidence and empowerment, allowing us to fully witness all that is around us at all times offering support, connection and joy. We can stop flinching and freezing up at the unexpected and undesired, stop personally identifying with the unpleasant feelings to hear and trust the messages they bear.

Even in a place of profound hurt we can begin to shift our attention, begin to focus on something other than our own singular pain, the shortcomings, imperfections and straight up disasters in our own lives. We become aware of the thoughts and deeds that feed these situations and begin to feed a new intention and in so doing forge the path forward to more peace, more balance, more joy, more love, more meaning.

Recognizing that you are on your right path is something that affirms itself in a very personal way. I liken it to the exhilaration of guiding a boat down a swiftly flowing river. Once we understand how to properly adjust our sails by doing it time and again and listening carefully to the cues of wind and water, we are able to stay in the buoyancy and active ease of the current. Things begin to fall into place, you catch your stride, and transformation manifests.We can also make good use of the doldrums by using the still, quiet and seemingly dead times in life to listen even deeper and prepare for that next gust of wind.

Simply begin by making the decision to transform the suffering in your life and through meditation and contemplation open the door to understanding how.

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1 Comments to “Deep Listening: Coming Home to our Essential Nature”


  1. Thank you for sharing your inner peace

    1


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