"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.... Never lose a holy curiosity." ~ Einstein
Deep listening at the World Domination Summit
"To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the 'music,' but to the essence of the person speaking.
You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is.
Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow your mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning."
~ Peter Senge
Over the past few days, in the lead up to the World Domination Summit I have had many stimulating, body tingling conversations. The kind of conversation that throws the background out of focus and brings you sharply into connection with another through shared values, aspirations, challenges and interest.
It's been happening over and over again. It's extraordinary.
I've been thinking about that feeling. That feeling of deep connection. The feeling you have when you are truly, deeply engaged in conversation.
As a psychiatrist in training who practices mindfulness meditation I'm often aware of the meta position through conversation. It's my job, to pay attention, deeply listen, not simply to what the other person is saying but what my own body is saying whilst in conversation.
I'm intrigued by different personalities and am aware of the dynamics of conversation.
Noticing the speed, depth, authenticity of conversation. Noticing those conversations that seem incredibly one sided and leave me wondering about the other persons lack of empathy.
I aspire to the I-thou conversation as described by Martin Buber. The conversation that is sacred. The conversation where I bring an intention to be wholly present to the other persons being. This is in contrast to the I-it conversation where one relates to someone else as merely an object for their own benefit.
As an extrovert, someone who genuinely derives energy and pleasure out of connecting with others, this conference runs the risk of getting me over excited and scattered. I can feel that urge inside me, that desire to reach out and meet, meet, meet.
I realise I need to let go of that desire and be present to the conversations that serendipity's dance creates. I know there are so many inspiring kindred spirits out there that will pass me by this year. It feels like being at disneyland and missing out on some of the rides.
My intention this weekend is to be present to those I encounter, wholeheartedly. I want to hear the music that is beneath your words.
Paying attention is one of the most important skills we can cultivate, especially in this age of distraction. Conversation is an opportunity to practice paying attention.
To those I don't get the privilege of meeting this weekend, there is always cyberspace (@meditatecreate Facebook Elise Lew) and next year!
How are you relating in conversation? Do you speak more than listen? Do you take in the whole person? Do you notice your attention straying? Any judgements?