Sacred Communication: “Listening In”
The greatest gift that you can give to one another is your presence, the fullness of your being in a way that resonates pure love and acceptance.
“Listening In” is an opportunity to be present, to witness your Beloved as they speak aloud what is in their heart. This practice can transform how you hear yourself speak, and how you listen.
It is an opportunity to be in touch with your inner self as you allow words to flow. If being in touch with your “inner self” sounds like you’ll be asked to speak a foreign language, relax! Just follow the format, start speaking, and listen to what happens. This is an easy, yet powerful experience.
There is an ancient practice in Judaism, called “hisbodedut,” during which the practitioner speaks aloud to God. “Listening In” is similar… you let yourself speak to God, or your inner self, or spirit guides, or the universe in general, or whatever feels most right for you.
The difference here is that your partner is “listening in.” At first this might cause you to be careful with your words, perhaps editing them because your partner is listening. After awhile, you may find that you are no longer aware of them other than as a witnessing presence. You may feel as if you are speaking to yourself, your God, the world at large. What wants to be said?
Plan to give each partner the same length of time – 5 minutes to start with can be long enough, especially if one of you is not the “talkative” type. Or you can do it at different times.
Sit side by side, NOT facing or touching each other.
The listener is the time keeper. The speaker’s eyes will be closed or softly open. Shape this practice for your own best comfort and desire.
The speaker begins with a formal announcement of his or her presence. “My name is Richard. I am here.” (See the “I am here” meditation.) You can return to this same phrase, “I am here,” whenever you run out of things to say. Then allow yourself to speak whatever comes up for you at this moment.
You may have a planned topic or not. Bring your focus inside your body, especially along the internal sex-heart continuum. It may take courage to go within, or maybe just a bit of practice and know-how. Once within, as you speak, notice if your words feel true to you, notice how your body feels as you speak. Let yourself “go with the flow.”
IF while speaking, you mention your partner, DO SO ONLY IN 3rd PERSON. It is not appropriate to use the word “you” because, technically, you are not directing your monologue toward your partner. So instead of saying, “I was so thrilled when you offered to give me a massage,” I would say “I was so thrilled when Richard offered to give me a massage.”
Hear the difference?
Similarly, instead of “When you stayed working in the yard instead of giving me a massage, I was so disappointed,” I would say “When Richard stayed working in the yard instead of giving me a massage, I was so disappointed.” When I hear myself say that, I might find myself wondering aloud why I didn’t go outside to remind him…
This takes practice, and is well worth it.
As listener, you are holding a space for your Beloved. Your presence will be felt, simply by your being there. Your partner is the only one who speaks.
Unlike normal conversation, where sounds such as Mmm-Hmm encourage the speaker to continue, in this practice, complete silence is requested. You want to give your Beloved as much room as they need to hear their own selves.
Even if, as listener, you have emotions come up, this is not the time or place to express or even hint at them. Instead, notice the emotion, then guide your own attention inward, breathe, relax and stay present for your partner.
Listen without any need to fix, change, comfort, celebrate or otherwise comment. Feel for the intimate moment. Hold the space in Love.
When time is up, the partner listening says, “Time’s up.” Without speaking, roles are reversed. The other begins. When both are finished, give each other a bow, a Heart Salutation, thanking each other for this sacred and important time you have shared. It is best that there is no dialogue about the content of what was said at this time.
“Listening In” can create a sacred space in your busy lives, give you a moment to review your journey, to remember your dreams.