Listening to someone and being mindful

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Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby purple planet » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:29 pm

I guess this question was asked a million times in different ways but i never got the answer -

i remembered it watching this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDsCFhD ... ure=relmfu

that got the sound removed from it and i was thinking : noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!

so the question is : how to be mindful while listening to someone and to actually listen to him and not just saying in the head "hearing hearing hearing .... "
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:47 pm

purple planet wrote:I guess this question was asked a million times in different ways but i never got the answer -

i remembered it watching this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDsCFhD ... ure=relmfu

that got the sound removed from it and i was thinking : noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!

so the question is : how to be mindful while listening to someone and to actually listen to him and not just saying in the head "hearing hearing hearing .... "

Listening is an active process, if you do not listen you can not answer.
keep in mind what they are saying, take your time to understand what they are saying, and question them, reflect what they are saying back, and take your time to respond.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby purple planet » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:00 pm

What you are saying is true and it seems to be part of right speech

but what about the part about noting listening while listening ? its hard to get what your being told when you note " listening listening listening ...."
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:01 pm

purple planet wrote:so the question is : how to be mindful while listening to someone and to actually listen to him and not just saying in the head "hearing hearing hearing .... "


Saying in the head "Hearing, hearing.." is not being mindful, it's a tool to help establish mindfulness not the mindfulness itself.

If listening to somebody then mindfulness is paying attention to what they are saying, as well as noticing any reactions that arise in your body sensations, without drifting into daydreams or thoughts about how you will reply.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:05 pm

purple planet wrote:What you are saying is true and it seems to be part of right speech

but what about the part about noting listening while listening ? its hard to get what your being told when you note " listening listening listening ...."

what are you doing, being mindful that there is some sense input at the sense door or listening?
if you are listening, listen! don't doing something else at the same time! try noting reading while reading this post and see how much you remember of what is said.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:26 pm

I think the noting technique was designed for silent retreats, so there are cases where what you're doing isn't apropriate for the noting technique, such as having a dialogue.

Anyway, I'm curious to see more answers as I have dificulty in this area, because your awareness becomes intense enough so that you don't have anything to focus on when there's a pause in the speech, such as "erm...", for example.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby purple planet » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:42 pm

Thanks for the answers so far -

i totally got things wrong i guess - i understood that you simply cant be mindful when you speak listen or study ...

I followed the monk yuttdhammo teachings and his way of teaching - i allways get things wrong so probobly i got this thing wrong also -

i thought i should note everything - so i would like people who do this type of mindfulness by noting explain to me what they do when they listen - do you Cittasanto and Goofaholix use noting in daily life - or at least use to use it in the past ? and if so did you stop it when listening

edit : and of course i would love to hear anything anyone wants to add also if he does zen also
Last edited by purple planet on Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:26 pm

purple planet wrote:i thought i should note everything - so i would like people who do this type of mindfulness by noting explain to me what they do when they listen - do you Cittasanto and Goofaholix use noting in daily life - or at least use to use it in the past ? and if so did you stop it when listening


What you've described as "hearing, hearing" is labelling. Noting is being aware that hearing is happening, labelling is repeating the word "hearing, hearing" in your mind as a mindfulness exercise to keep you on track.

When you get good at noting you can drop the labelling.

In day to day life labelling is often far too clunky to practise because there is usually too much going on, and you can't expect noting to be as thorough and methodical as on retreat either.

When engaged in complex activities give your full attention to them, this is mindfulness, when engaged in simple activities then you can practise your mindfulness exercises if you want.

With day to day activities I've found the most useful practise is to just notice the quality of attention throughout the day. Notice when the mind is fully present with what you are doing, notice when its drifting or scattered, and keep trying to bring it back.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby purple planet » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:33 pm

Thanks i think i got my answer in general - i think what you said is what i will do

but -

Anyway, I'm curious to see more answers as I have dificulty in this area


i agree so anyone who wants to keep adding about the subject explaning more - saying the same thing in a different way is more than welcome :popcorn:
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:50 am

purple planet wrote:Thanks for the answers so far -

i totally got things wrong i guess - i understood that you simply cant be mindful when you speak listen or study ...

I followed the monk yuttdhammo teachings and his way of teaching - i allways get things wrong so probobly i got this thing wrong also -

i thought i should note everything - so i would like people who do this type of mindfulness by noting explain to me what they do when they listen - do you Cittasanto and Goofaholix use noting in daily life - or at least use to use it in the past ? and if so did you stop it when listening

edit : and of course i would love to hear anything anyone wants to add also if he does zen also

You may not of gotten things wrong but out of context.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu suggests listening to Dhamma talks by keeping 99% of your focus upon the breath. this sort of advise can be misunderstood as being universally applicable, but it isn't. depending upon the context the ratio changes or the object needs changing completely.

Don't try doing things slowly in daily life, this can be annoying for others who do not know what you are doing, and even then being to slow in interactions can be annoying after a while.

in what ever you are doing be clear about what you are doing, and try to be focused on that.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Alobha » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:09 am

purple planet wrote:
Anyway, I'm curious to see more answers as I have dificulty in this area


i agree so anyone who wants to keep adding about the subject explaning more - saying the same thing in a different way is more than welcome :popcorn:


Listen, as if your life would depend on not missing a single word said. Listen, as if the person talking is the most important person in the world to you. When you see it like that, I guess there will be less interest in keeping the mind busy with mantras like "listening, listening, listening" or "hearing, hearing, hearing."
A calm and peaceful mind is helpful for listening for it does not engage in mental chattering so much (thinking about what to answer before the other person even finished talking, thinking about something totally different, daydreaming, shifting mindfulness to a different object).

Instead of "hearing hearing hearing", the continual flow of soundwaves given by this other person is the point where to focus the mind on.
You can be mindful of inner activity (hearing hearing hearing) and outer activity (the actual words coming to your ear). In active listening, the meditationobject is the outer object.

Goofaholix wrote:Saying in the head "Hearing, hearing.." is not being mindful, it's a tool to help establish mindfulness not the mindfulness itself.

"hearing, hearing, hearing" is being mindful, but not mindful on words said by someone, but on the activity of hearing itself or on a mind-object (as in a mantra.)
The appropriate object for active, mindful listening would rather be the outer object of the ear-organ, the sound. Mindfulness on mental activity, on mental objects and the inner and outer sense-bases (ayatana) are all objects useable for mindfulness.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Dan74 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:38 am

:goodpost:

Another take on it is let go. Take a nice slow breath as the other person begins to talk, don't be in a hurry to respond, don't worry about the content - "is it right?" "is it wrong?" "is it good?" - just open yourself up to it, as if you are hearing your mothers lullaby. Nothing to defend against, no need to react, let the words and the sound work on you. Let them go deep into you. Feel them in every part of you like music. It is an experience - not a battle. Let the content of what is being said sink into you and let the response arise naturally without hurrying it. Do not feel the need to respond, to sound a certain way, to make an impression, to argue or to agree. Trust the process.

Listening is an art that takes a lot of patience as we master it and a lot of equanimity. It takes time.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:20 pm

Hi Purple Planet,
Just to add another voice, as you asked for:

I find that most exercises for mindfulness are more about establishing mindfulness and getting centered. Once my mindfulness is established, so long as I stick to wholesome activities (not indulging sense pleasures, incl thoughts) then mindfulness stays strong with only minimal maintenance from a little tiny part of my mind that just looks at the situation fully. In a conversation, if I start to feel less than fully engaged, that part of the brain may note "distracted" and once I return to fully engaged I can let mindfulness run on semi-auto-pilot. I find it a balancing act: not enough intention to maintain mindfulness, to stay engaged with the moment, aware of the appropriate object of awareness, and mindfulness will deteriorate rapidly. Too much intention to maintain mindfulness and attention is not on the appropriate object because it is on mindfulness itself.

The best way to work on this is to meditate a couple of hours a day (30m morn, 60m afternoon, 30 evening is my routine on a wholesome day). When I can do this, my mindfulness tends to stay strong throughout the day. Otherwise, it takes a little more effort and deteriorates over the course of the day. However, if you can not meditate that much, just keep meditating as much as you can, and remember to re-engage with the moment when inattention arises. Its a practice.

Mindfulness killers: TV, internet, talking (instead of listening), studying facts instead of mind-body processes, thinking about food, sex, or money. Anything that stirs up passion creates a distracting force, making it hard for mindfulness to keep attention on the appropriate object.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby purple planet » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:40 pm

Thanks all posts are great - i dont ask cause i dont know enough to even ask but i like reading the answers

studying facts
- what do you mean by this ?
Last edited by purple planet on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Yana » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:56 am

purple planet wrote:What you are saying is true and it seems to be part of right speech

but what about the part about noting listening while listening ? its hard to get what your being told when you note " listening listening listening ...."


hi,

This was one of the first things i noticed would be a problem if i kept doing it. "noting'..the ONLY time i do this i when i am meditating or i find it hard to focus on something. For example if i am currently reading something but my mind is flying somewhere else day dreaming and i lose track of what i am doing..the moment i regain mindfulness i would say in my head. 'just day dreamed and now reading,reading,reading.."

So in daily life when you are mindful your not noting or labeling..you are "absorbed" in what you doing with total awareness...

Just lift up a glass..are you aware that you are lifting up a glass?..THAT"S mindfulness.

Now try lifting up a glass...and in your mind hear yourself say lifting lifting lifting..naturally your experience of lifting up the glass wouldn't be a clear as when you were just naturally aware of lifting up the glass.

If you note what you are doing for example reading that means you should note that your noting..noting noting...so it's very distracting..

When listening you are listening..your not noting while your lisitening...your not Thinking about listening..your whole focus should be absorbed in listening!

And you can do this.Mindfulness is being absorbed in what you are doing with awareness.It's very different from noting or labeling which serves just as an anchor when you need it.

I hope this helps. :anjali:
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Kamran » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:14 am

Part of your attention is on the speaker the other part is on your body, or breath. Depending on how much attention is needed to understand what is going on you may need to put 80% on the speaker and 20% on your body, 50/50 or whatever. Just don't let your awareness completely go out of you. I believe the 99% that Thanissaro recomends is specifically while listening to a dhamma talk which he gives to monks while they are meditating(i.e not when your at work or in a class ).
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:31 am

purple planet wrote:Thanks all posts are great - i dont ask cause i dont know enough to even ask but i like reading the answers

studying facts
- what do you mean by this ?


I find it very hard to remain mindful when I study. I cling to knowledge and this takes me to a very restricted mind space, with very little mindfulness of the present moment. Only clinging to facts. If I study too long, hours can pass without notice, and then when I try to re-engage with the moment it can take a great effort to shake off the habit of clinging, clinging, clinging. Maybe this is just me?
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:35 am

Kamran wrote:Part of your attention is on the speaker the other part is on your body, or breath. Depending on how much attention is needed to understand what is going on you may need to put 80% on the speaker and 20% on your body, 50/50 or whatever. Just don't let your awareness completely go out of you. I believe the 99% that Thanissaro recomends is specifically while listening to a dhamma talk which he gives to monks while they are meditating(i.e not when your at work or in a class ).


Yes, Ven Thanissaro gives his dhamma talks in a dimly lit sala house after chanting for quite a while. What's really fun is that if there are any people from the Thai community in the sala house, he gives a second dhamma talk in Thai. It's quite interesting to listen to him give a 15 min dhamma talk in Thai while you are trying to meditate.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby xtracorrupt » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:52 am

purple planet wrote:I guess this question was asked a million times in different ways but i never got the answer -

i remembered it watching this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDsCFhD ... ure=relmfu

that got the sound removed from it and i was thinking : noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!

so the question is : how to be mindful while listening to someone and to actually listen to him and not just saying in the head "hearing hearing hearing .... "


I think one must want to be mindful towards that person in reason of wanting to end suffering.
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Re: Listening to someone and being mindful

Postby pegembara » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:10 am

purple planet wrote:I guess this question was asked a million times in different ways but i never got the answer -

i remembered it watching this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDsCFhD ... ure=relmfu

that got the sound removed from it and i was thinking : noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!

so the question is : how to be mindful while listening to someone and to actually listen to him and not just saying in the head "hearing hearing hearing .... "


When that someone has something useful to say eg. Dhamma talk, you pay attention to what he is saying.

But if that person has nothing useful to say eg. hurling abuse, useless chatter, making hateful speeches etc use "hearing ...."
In this way unwholesome thinking is not allowed to develop.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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