The Art of Learning to Listen



     As we have noted in other lessons, our mental and emotional filters play a role in almost everything we discern. Learning to listen for guidance is an art form.  We must approach the source of guidance as though we are coming with an empty bowl to be filled.  Translated, this means coming without any expectations for a particular outcome.   We will not have a meaningful exchange if we look upon guidance as though we are coming to a cosmic vending machine, or seeking a Jeannie in a bottle who announces that it will grant three wishes.

     We may remember the story of the man vacationing near Big Sur along the California coastline.  While hiking along the ridge observing the surf crashing onto the large rocks below, evidently he stood too close to the unstable edge.  The ground gave way and he found himself sliding toward an almost certain death.  As his arms flailed about wildly, his hand caught a shrub that stopped his descent.  He started praying, O God, you know Ive not lived up to my potential.  Ive squandered much of my life on frivolous things, but I know you are a merciful God who forgives 70 times 7.  I need your help or I will die.  No one knows that I am here.  Please help me.  I promise I will do you bidding for the rest of my life.

     A VOICE materialized in his mind that was clearly not his.  It said, You are one of my sons. I have heard your request for help.  In order for me to help you, you must let go.  The young man pondered that guidance for a time and then asked, Is there anyone else up there?

     We can sit quietly after requesting guidance for something very specific and we may not believe what we hear to be authentically coming from our guides.  Our orientation has been to pray to an external being we know as God.   Guidance from our spirit guides, however, does not come from an external source.  This is not to say that guidance never comes from such sources, e.g., a book, a lecture, or an inspirational setting.  From our past experiences, we know that guidance comes in many forms.  We will consider that theme later.  Let us consider communication that forms in our mind, clearly coming from a source different from our will and desires.

     For example, we find ourselves in a stale marriage and we ask our guides for a strategy in dealing with it.  We might be expecting the answer to come in the form of marriage counseling, or therapy for ourselves.  What would we think if the answer we received guided us to attend graduate school, to take computer courses at a local Strayer campus or to join a gym and become enrolled in a serious physical fitness program?

     Why would such guidance be provided?  The answer is the same for every problem in life.  The issue is about us, not our marriage.  We are unhappy and the marriage partner is the first area we look for the cause.  Discerning our problem in this fashion is not only unfair, it is a misplaced responsibility to assign our happiness to some external source, particularly a marriage partner.  When our goal is to cope creatively in every environment, happiness is our responsibility.

     We must always bring happiness to the table in spite of what is happening in any area of life.  Our guides know this and want us to look within, not to the external form of a relationship, a job, or any circumstance.  Coping creatively is always about our attitudes, our predispositions and our behavioral patterns that boost the velocity and quality of our evolving spirit.

     What kind of orientation toward us do our guides possess?  They use our voice patterns, but not the voice of our desires.  Guides are very light-hearted and possess a humorous disposition.  They are always loving, supportive and friendly.  They do not tell us what do you; they offer suggestions about various alternatives.  They do not judge us, nor do they flatter us.  They do not attempt to control us.  What we need to remember is that our guides will remain inactive and silent until we ask them for guidance.  Once a relationship has been established, an intuitive dialogue will replace our need to make such requests.

     What gives us an enormous sense of hope is the realization that we are not alone.  For those who have learned how to use this resource, making ego-driven decisions would never be considered.  Even when the circumstances of life seem intolerable, people who have learned to access this infinite resource, committing suicide would never be part of their universe of choices.  We can understand why Jesus referred to our inner world as a treasure chest hidden in the field.  Our inner world is the pipeline of energy, our umbilical cord that links us to our homeland, the place of our origin.

     Jesus once taught that those who have will even more be given.  Those who have not, even that which they have will be taken away.  For those who have no understanding about spirit or the remarkable resources that are available to them, living in their solid form can be mundane, routine and totally reliant on the skills of self.  For millions of people, this is their existence because this is all they know. 

     We remember seeing the television commercial years ago where a couple purchased a home.  They found a brochure after their purchase that showed other houses that they would have preferred. The tag line was, I didnt know those houses were there. This is the way it is for people who come and go in our world generation after generation.  They live in ignorance of the meaning and purpose for their incarnating on the earth.  Yet all is well even when ignorance has temporarily blocked access to the realm of spirit.  Living at a different frequency from ours is a sin in the sense that others are missing the mark.  One day, however, they will understand that all alleys in the physical world are blind.

     The art of listening is like engaging in a gradual dance with your dearest, intimate friends.  They know you.  They will not make decisions for you because they know this is your sojourn, your adventure and your desire to be in a life form that blinds you to your true identity.   From our blindness, each of us must create anything we wish through how our spirits perceive.  Most of us do just that or we perceive that we have to content ourselves with finding our way in a world that is filled with illusions, i.e., forms that are constantly changing.

     Once we have established a relationship with our guides, there is no one who can argue with logic sophisticated enough to cause us to doubt the importance or integrity of that relationship.  Our task is to tune into our guides regularly enough so that the relationship quite literally becomes our sixth sense.