Prototype: Listening

Listening can make a person curious.

I have enjoyed speaking and listening in my life.

It is easiest to speak to a group when you focus on a single person you want to engage and relate with.

It is difficult to attempt to speak to a group because there is no one you are speaking to,
and how can you speak to someone if there is no one there?

When speaking, it's enjoyable to listen to the sounds of the words being spoken.

If you listen closely enough, you can hear the sounds instead of the words.

If you are listening, you can hear the pauses in between words.

It takes effort to provide inner commentary in response to a speaker.

You hear someone speaking.
You think about their point.
You think about your responses to their point.

You want them to know that you know.

You want to respond, to tell them what's right.

You're looking for their inconsistencies, errors, mistakes, to dismantle their point.

Or, you are waiting for them to say what you know. "Aha, yes, I've heard that before. I remember that."
"That is exactly what I think, I thought so too. You brought up my thoughts."

All the while, there has been no listening to the speaker,
the listening attention is on the voice of your inner reply.

You have got to keep up with your thoughts.

If you don't, the speaker might say something judgmental that might hurt you.

You have to make sure that you're the one judging him, you're the critic in the room.

The speaker is not your friend but an adversary.

At any moment he might say something you don not like and you have got to be prepared for it.

The speaker talks about his past and brings you into memories.

You relate to inner experiences,
but sometimes, the speaker isn't talking about anything at all.

You say,
"What is this guy talking about?"

He's talking about birds and clouds, he's asking 'Why is the sky beautiful?' 'What it makes it beautiful?'

When you talk to someone,
when you recognize their voice,
if their voice is relaxed enough,
if you feel you care about the person,
if they are opening up to a deep place of vulnerability,
then you might care.

At that point,

you might set your intention to try to listen to their disclosure of their secrets and worries.

Then, you're trying hard,
intending to listen.

Then you disappear into a memory, lost in thought, and you come back and notice the person is still speaking.

You have missed what they tried to share with you.
Dare you ask them to repeat it, letting them know you were not present, not paying attention?

What does it mean to be present to pay attention?

The Greek word for Idea also includes the meaning, "present".

In its original context, an idea needs a person to be present to receive the idea.

Why do we need to be present with someone in order for it to be meaningful that we listened to their vulnerable disclosure?

What is it that is lost when we were not present?

What does listening have to do with being present?

Why is it that when we listen to someone, we are present with them?

Why is it than we are listening to our own thoughts, or engaged in our own memories, we are not present?

Why is it felt as a loss if a person realizes you were not listening to what they wanted to share with you?

Why is listening related to sharing?

Why is being present related to sharing?

Why do they say in meditation,

"Sharing the gift of presence"?

Does presence have a cost, does it require effort and expense?

Do you need to think to be present?

Is there a danger in being present?

Someone can change your thoughts,
there is a danger there.

Can they change your presence?

Is there a danger there?