LIFE RELIGION FAMILY

a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

PRAYER………ACTIVE LISTENING

Posted by tawodi on May 31, 2007


There is a form of mental discipline called, active listening. No it doesn’t entail hanging upside down  from a tree or anything wierd like that,  but it does require a little effort to learn and understand.

The point is,  to get in touch with parts of yourself that you normally pay no attention to. In the daily “noise” of life we very often don’t hear what is being said clearly to us by those we are in contact with let alone the things  God may be trying to tell us.  We wake up to a clock radio in the morning and fall asleep in front of the T.V. at night and stagger off to bed to repeat the process the next day,  and so on,  and so on. Then when you add in all the conversation with spouses,  kids , fellow workers,  bosses,  customers and any,  and everything else,  clamoring for our attention,  it’s no wonder at all that we don’t hear God,  or ourselves.

I’m up early every morning, usually about two hours before my wife or daughter are stirring. This gives me quiet time to reflect, read or pray, and when praying I use this technique.

The very first thing you need is about half an hour when you KNOW you will NOT be disturbed. This is critical to the endeavor,  as to be interupted is sometimes worse than if you never tried at all!!  It is incredibly frustrating to begin and just get to where you want to be and the phone rings or some body in the family wants something and breaks your concentration. Unplug the phones,  turn off the  One eyed brain sucker, any thing that can prove to be a distraction. 

Now you need to have a comfortable position a recliner or easy chair or even the couch can be appropriate it’s up to you but you have to stay awake for this to work, just checking!  I also use a radio turned very low as a sort of “white noise” generator, soft music that can barely be heard,  for me,  is appropriate.

Start by consciously relaxing your head and neck,  then your shoulders,  then your arms and hands,  then your torso,  then hips,  legs and feet.  You get the idea.  now for about a minute listen to the “white noise” going in the back ground and ask a question, then wait for a short time,  then ask the question again. What you are actually doing is listening for an   answer from a part of yourself you don’t normally talk to,  or listen to.  I know that sounds wierd but given a moderate amount of time it will happen. Each time you pose the question ask it a different way. For instance,  Which of the two computers that I looked at,  should I buy??  Wait a bit, no answer…..Which of these would best fulfill my needs?  Wait a bit……Which of them is the coolest!!  Wait a bit……do I really need either one of them??  Wait a bit….Get the idea??

Will you hear voices,  maybe, some do,  but you will usually just hear yourself thinking . As you develop this skill different parts of your experience will come forward to help you formulate the answers and by listening to YOU for once  without the distractions we normally have around us,  comes clarity.

It generally takes about five or six tries before you get the hang of it,  but it does work and it’s not some wierd zen thing,  it’s just learning how to center yourself and see what YOU have to say.

There is one other benifit to this practice and it is that a considerable amount of relief from pain can be gotten,  using these techniques. I have suffered from severe back pain for over twenty five years and kept myself working full time by doing this with out drugs except Tylenol and aspirin up to the present day.  I am also gifted with heart problems and a colostomy as well as having broken two vertabae in my neck in 1984,  so trust me on this,  IT DOES WORK!!! 

This same technique is also that which I mentioned in regard to active listening with prayer, there again it is like a soldier walking around in a mild state of alert,  not really expecting any thing,  but ready to hear it,  if does come their way.

That’s it,  try it,  you may be pleasantly surprised,  by what you have to say to yourself!!!

Be Well All…..TAWODI

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