Welcome to the first day of our seven-day practice in which we expand our capacity to listen. We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Read the practice below and carry the invitation with you through your day. You may find it meaningful to explore the practice in the moment, and we encourage you to integrate it into your daily life as you explore the question: What happens when I make myself fully available to listen within and around me?
“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”
~ G. K. Chesterton
Tune in to the world around you by intentionally opening each of your senses and your body as a whole. You might begin by finding a comfortable standing or sitting position and simply bringing your attention to each of your senses, expressing silent or spoken gratitude for the extraordinary capacity of each sense. Once you’ve tuned in to each sense, consider how you can listen beyond your sense of hearing. Imagine that you are listening while you see, smell, taste, and touch. How does this change your experience?
You might further deepen your practice by imagining your body as an antenna: How does it feel when your whole body listens? How might your breath contribute to this capacity? You could also explore how your experience of tuning in changes with different physical postures. How are you enlivened when you expand the ways in which you physically listen?
Deepening the Practice
In this fascinating Scientific American article, Making Sense of the World Many Senses at a Time, we’re invited to consider the complex ways our senses are intertwined with one another — the many ways we hear the world with more than just our ears.
Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…
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the scientific American article is fascinating. I have read that in time to come, that we will all have these abilities to cross our senses. Maybe we already have the potential yet only some are active. I applaud their courage in participating. They are demonstrating our latent human abilities
To see the morning sky
Tells me God is with me
To smell the morning dew
To taste the tomatoes from the vine
I hear you
I pet my two cats,
hearing them purr
as I lovingly stroke their fur
God is with me
The light changes from grey to golden as dawn breaks through the clouds. My dog’s hair is soft and scratchy as I give her her morning back scratch, and the traffic sounds increase as the day brightens. The gifts of morning…
Listened to the stream in the woods today, watching the sunlight come through the trees, being reflected by the water and shimmering through the leaves- beautiful.
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves…
What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you…
An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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