By Pritpal Singh
Never have we needed to listen more deeply. Our brothers and sisters are crying out. Our leaders are sounding the alarm. The Earth thunders the call. The sky is raining with tears. Our hearts beat out the rhythm to follow. Guru Nanak’s voice leads us into listening deep (Sunniai). And together we emerge with spirit reborn.
There are many circumstances now calling for us to change how we listen.
Though we may start out in utero as very good listeners, by the time we are adults we’ve learned to filter out and narrow down what we listen to.
We may even become fearful and insecure and choose to listen only to what we agree with—even those of us on the spiritual path. We hear only what affirms our beliefs and expectations. Our ego can become so fragile that it can’t handle what isn’t in our expectations.
The mind is not your true self. It’s a tool to serve the soul. We fall in love with the voice of the mind—the monkey mind, which just takes us further into narrowing what we hear. But the mind is like a spotlight on a stage: you can start to move the spotlight around the stage and find the stillness in the mind.
Deep listening is a gateway to understand more, to know and even embrace the idea that I don’t have all the answers. Let go of the need to feel we know everything. This keeps us from hearing the truth.
The 8th Pauri of Japji*
Suniai sidh peer surnaath
Suniai dhart dhaval aakaas
Suniai deep loa paataal
Suniai poh na sakai kaal
Naanak bhagataa sadaa wigaas
Suniai dookh paap kaa naas
Listen Sages Yogic masters
Listen to Earth suspended in Space
Listen oceans, dry land, Hades
Listen, know death has lost its sting
Sat Guru, devoted ones listen
Pain and suffering washing away
*From A Naad Translation of Japji by Hardhyan Bridgid Hess
Once we have the experience of deep listening, fears begin to erode overtime so we can begin to change. With deep listening you listen with heart instead of mind.
We are facing difficult times and difficult conversations: division, separation. We need to forgive, accept and listen to what is underneath the surface of what is being said. We need more patience, humility, compassion than we thought.
As we learn to own the willingness to step into not-knowing and be okay there, we become more open and willing to listen to new people and ideas.
When you deeply listen, you accept, surrender, step across a threshold to a new reality. Being exposed and vulnerable will become a place of strength.
[Note: this info was taken from Pritpal Singh's eSolstice Summit class. To watch the video, click here.]
Pritpal Singh Khalsa is the Director of Dharmic Education for Sikh Dharma International. He has been a Sikh and a student of the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan since 1973. Pritpal Singh is also a KRI-certified Lead Teacher Trainer teaching at various events around the world. He is also a sacred music artist with several recordings available.