Happy May! Isn't the joy palpable? Every one of us is delighted to feel the warmth of the sun and the breezes, aren't we? Longer days, birds singing, spring flowers popping... we are all relaxing, loosening up and shedding layers. It's a natural time to clear out the old and bring fresh energy to our endeavours.
I chose this month's image for two reasons. The first is the feeling of pure love expressed in this image. I see union, reciprocation and harmony. When I simply sit and gaze on these two sweeties, I feel happy and calm... And this is an example of the transforming power of art. It's one of the reasons I love Tarot so much too; through image, colour and free-association, we can come to new insights that free us. The second is my curiosity of all things Polish, as I continue my personal roots journey. Jozef Wilkon is a renowned Polish artist who paints and sculpts animals in a tender and skilful way. (Please click on his name if you wish to take a lovely internet detour.)
I also love dance, yoga, qigong, tarot and energy healing! These are all wonderful and complementary methods for self-awareness and self-transformation. Getting stuck in old ways and habits bogs us down. The truth is that we are never too old to continue growth and evolution. But sometimes we bump up against painful memories, thoughts and emotions... and this is when it is crucial to remember to love ourselves. In fact, it is so important that I will repeat it! We need to love ourselves.
I also love and believe in synchronicity. Sometimes the right thing or person comes into our environment at the perfect time. Is this random, or is it planned? It doesn't really matter, because what's most important is that it is a gift, a blessing. And we want to be available to notice these magical moments...
I had already composed a first draft of this month's newsletter on the theme of discerning between thoughts that liberate and thoughts that keep us stuck. I wasn't 100% happy with it yet, and knew I would play with a rewrite. And then a post that I had shared last year on FaceBook popped up in my newsfeed....I realized with a flash that the article that had magically appeared had it all! Everything that I had wanted to express was right in front of me, in a wonderfully clear and succinct form. This made me feel light and happy, and sometimes this is the criterion I use in order to make a decision. Which option makes me feel light and free, and which option makes me feel meh or heavy?
So, I would like to introduce you to my "guest columnist", Jiddu Krishnamurti, a great thinker, teacher and yogi. This piece is about the art of deep listening, of really hearing what is there, instead of jumping to conclusions or opinions. I have added my own captions for each paragraph; otherwise all the words are his, and they are filled with wisdom.
The Art of Deep Listening
I hope that you will listen, but not with the memory of what you already know; and this is very difficult to do. You listen to something, and your mind immediately reacts with its knowledge, its conclusions, its opinions, its past memories. It listens, inquiring for a future understanding.
Become Your Own Witness
Just observe yourself, how you are listening, and you will see that this is what is taking place. Either you are listening with a conclusion, with knowledge, with certain memories, experiences, or you want an answer, and you are impatient. You want to know what it is all about, what life is all about, the extraordinary complexity of life. You are not actually listening at all.
Stillness is Your Ally
You can only listen when the mind is quiet, when the mind doesn't react immediately, when there is an interval between your reaction and what is being said. Then, in that interval there is a quietness, there is a silence in which alone there is a comprehension which is not intellectual understanding.
The Art Of The Pause
If there is a gap between what is said and your own reaction to what is said, in that interval, whether you prolong it indefinitely, for a long period or for a few seconds - in that interval, if you observe, there comes clarity. It is the interval that is the new brain. The immediate reaction is the old brain, and the old brain functions in its own traditional, accepted, reactionary, animalistic sense.
When there is an abeyance of that, when the reaction is suspended, when there is an interval, then you will find that the new brain acts, and it is only the new brain that can understand, not the old brain.
Thank you for reading, and I leave you with this thought: Imagine what our relationships could be like if we could all listen to one another in this way?
Sending Blessings and Radiant Love to You,