One of the most fundamental practices for healing and opening to our greater feminine receptivity is listening.
Deep listening is so needed on the planet right now, yet it is seldom practiced-especially in our busy world where masculine output is valued more than feminine receptivity.
In processing a long sinus infection, I’ve recently incorporated the art of listening into my pleasure practice-which has been a humbling, ear opening experience!
Because true listening requires emptiness. And outside of yoga class, when do we allow ourselves to be completely empty? We are like Pavlov dogs with our cell phones! We pretend to listen, nodding while thinking ahead to our responses, looping into our own stories and how they might relate. We compare our lives to the other person’s-analyzing and coming to conclusions before they even finish-thinking how clever we are for knowing how to help them. Or worse, we start making lists of all the things we have to do when we leave or what we’re going to fix for dinner.
Occasionally we can offer our full presence to a dear friend who is suffering.
But when do we really stop to listen? To our spouses, our children, our pets, our friends, the people in our community? When do we take time to sit with a tree or the moon or the mountains or just be with our bodies and really listen?
There is a difference between hearing and listening, similar to the difference between observing and witnessing. When we listen, we actually feel another person’s experience and we allow their experience to touch our hearts.
Feeling is different than having an emotional response to something. Feeling is a flow of energy. It is the next octave of sexual energy. When we feel another we are flowing love with them.
But feeling is more of a passive flow of energy. It is not actively sending out love through our hearts into another person. This is a mistake many have made, including myself, thinking I am holding loving space for another.
This common response of beaming out love when we are listening to another’s suffering is usually because we are not receiving all the way into the back of our hearts.
Our need to beam out actually signifies a lack of emotional depth on our parts. Although we might have the best intentions, it is simply an egoic rescuer response, which lacks substance and will quickly dissolve when the person is no longer in our presence. Consequently, we might be left feeling depleted and drained in the process. This is because we are giving away our own life force rather than listening, receiving and allowing the loving energy of life to flow through us.
I can actually feel the difference when I’m listening from the front of my heart versus the back. My emotions get triggered more easily in the front. There is more peace and calm in the back of my heart. I can more easily listen from a place of compassion- detached yet touched by another’s experience. Resting in my feminine receptivity, I simply allow energy to flow through me.
If anyone is giving, it is my friend who is expressing her pain, because when she cries out, love responds and we both receive the gift.
The more deeply I learn to listen, the more pleasure I feel flowing through my body.
Though listening wouldn’t seem like a practice that would lead to more sexual pleasure, it does! Because through it we expand our feminine capacity to receive.
Listening is also the beginning of intuitive knowing, because in learning how to tune into the relational field through feeling into the back heart, we can start to sense how the energy of creation flows through all of existence. We can begin to see the patternal directions of creational energy, receiving them through the eye behind our eyes, allowing them to touch us and gift us with universal understanding.
This is the high seat of the Feminine-and where our understanding of desire truly shifts from a wanting for things outside of us to the power to direct creational energy.
In an earlier blog I spoke of Mary Magdalene and how her name means high tower. Though historians say her name was derived from a village on a mountain top near Galilee where she was born, which is translated into “high tower,” I believe everything in this world is a symbol of something deeper. In the language of imagination, high tower could mean the highest expression of the Feminine.
In the traditional hero’s journey, the hero must rescue his soul, in the form of a woman, from a high tower.
If the greatest power of the feminine is her receptivity, then perhaps this is the hero’s quest for both men and women-to reclaim our feminine in her highest aspect and re-member her wisdom in our bodies, so that all of humanity might come to live from a place of receptivity and surrender-where personal will becomes universal will.
Share your thoughts. I am listening.