Tuesday August 3, 2021
I just love it when I wake up, it’s raining and I have no where I have to go. I can stay in bed, snuggle in and relax and just listen to the rain as if falls on the roof, on the trees and on our deck. My absolute favourite is when this happens when I am camping and am in my tent (and I’m dry!). I find it very calming, soothing and relaxing to listen to the rain. It becomes a mediation for me. I just listen. With my whole body. This is something the practice of meditation has taught me. I listen to the sounds in the distance and close by. Meditation practice teaches us not to judge, evaluate or create stories about the sound. Our ears become like sophisticated radar beams and we listen. When our minds wander we notice and congratulate ourselves for catching the wandering, and we come back to the listening. Sometimes I imagine my whole body as one big ear. Every cell listening. No matter where we are in life, there is always sound around us. In the woods, by the lake, in the grocery store, on the street, in a restaurant and in our homes. What I really love about the practice of listening is that the busyness of the world stops and I’m just in that moment enjoying being quiet and still and alert. In bodywork they say that the quiet and stillness helps to settle the nervous system and invite a sense of overall calm and ease for the body. We all need periods of quiet and stillness to “reset” our system. It’s kind of like unplugging the computer to reboot. We unplug ourselves from our busy daily lives and in this instant we are just listening. We give the mind something to focus on, because the mind loves that. Instead of worrying, doubting, fearing, anticipating, we are just listening. Being a good listener is very beneficial for our every day lives. I recently heard a podcast on CBC called “Inappropriate Questions.”The show was exploring what it was like for people with chronic illness and ways that they want to be supported. The ideas discussed included the importance of having someone who just listens and doesn’t offer advice, cures or suggestions. Having a good listener is so helpful. One man suggested that we spend 2 or 3 years learning how to talk, and then 80 or so years learning how to listen. The practices of yoga, meditation and qigong are really about practicing being present by listening, sensing, feeling, observing and responding. We practice on the mat and then we take the skills learned into our daily interactions with our family members, friends, co workers and people we have challenging relationships with. So I am always grateful for a quiet rainy morning, or a quiet rainy afternoon when I am off and can take a nap, so that I can enjoy listening to the rain. It’s good practice and sometimes it is the best thing we can do for ourselves.