“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”
James 1:19-21 MSG
Lead with your ears. The Tea Ceremony utilizes all 5 senses: Taste, Touch, Smell, Sight, and Sound.
Today I wanted to look at Sound, or the art of listening. First off in communication, you have to deal with filters. When words are spoken, they have to break through the opinion barrier, the prejudice and pre-conceived notions on the subject, the body language and interpretation of you’re really trying to say behind what’s being said, and all this has to be processed and then compartmentalized for you get meaning out of it.
Unfortunately, since we go through all this, a lot of communication seems not to convey what deliverer wants to get through to the recipient. On top of the words getting through, there is usually noise happening internally and externally.
For words to reach you, we stop time (ichigo ichie), and enjoy the moment. Every word we share has meaning. Every image in our thoughts have clarity. This is why we set up a space to tackle the senses. For sound, we find a quiet space where we can hear.
Now that we have a space where we can hear, and lay ground rules for listening:
- We can talk fully expressing the thoughts we have without prejudgment.
- We ask questions without interrupting
- We won’t give advice unless we’re asked to
- We give attention to the person talking
- We set aside devices that may distract us for this moment
Fully embracing someone’s thoughts can be life changing for both parties if you let it.