(Originally posted at Absolution Mediation)
(Photo Credit: Gabriel)
So the other day I issued a challenge to you. Clear your mind of thoughts and listen to someone fully without clouding your mind with thinking (Find it here). I got some great feedback via Twitter and Facebook about people that were going to try it, and people that realized how hard it was! Someone (@ENBDavies) said that it would be nice to have some practical tips on how to embody this behaviour. So I have come up with 5 tips in order to practice "thoughtless listening."
Put down that book, turn off Glee, put away your "email machine" and go to bed. Get your rest. In order to fully listen you need to be rested and rejuvenated in order to concentrate. Listening is hard work, you will be able to concentrate more fully if you are well rested.
I'm not going to lie, the first time I tried this, it scared me. I turned off my music, and just sat for 5 minutes. I picked something to meditate on and pushed all other thoughts out. It was hard. I don't think I even lasted for 3 minutes the first time. Try it out, practice it, it will help you listen to others.
If you are not comfortable you are going to be fidgety, you are going to be thinking about how uncomfortable you are (Why did I wear these pants??). If your not comfortable about how you are sitting, then change your seat! But please be polite to your speaker and let them know that you are not comfortable so they aren't confused by you randomly moving seats.
I have had it many times when I was listening to people, or presenting/speaking and then my phone started vibrating. It completely throws me off and I'm sure it does for you as well. Put your phone on silent (no rings, no vibrations) or turn it off. Don't let it distract you.
At some point, you are going to have to try it out. Don't worry if you can't do it for a whole conversation yet, or even for 5 minutes, use baby steps. Practice makes perfect. I've been doing this for a few years now, and I'm still practicing it on a daily basis. And guess what? I'm getting better at it each day. You can too. I know you can. You'll be great at it if you keep it up!
Leave a comment to let us know how it's working for you!