Children of the Earth - The Art of Listening
April 29, 2020
“When listening to another person, don’t just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body. Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen. That takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without the the mind interfering. You are giving the other person space - space to be. It is the most precious gift you can give. Most people don’t know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking. They pay more attention to that than to what the other person is saying, and none at all to what really matters: the Being of the other person underneath the words and the mind. Of course, you cannot feel someone else’s Being except through your own. That is the beginning of the realization of oneness, which is love. At the deepest level of Being, you are one with all that is.”
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now​​​​​​​
Conscious listening is an art and a gift. You as the parent/guardian/caretaker have a special connection with your children which gives you a heightened capacity to listen to them; their words, their energy, the song of their soul. Every time that you pause and listen with full presence you are nourishing your children. When you consciously listen you are not only giving them love in the present but also modelling listening skills for them to develop. Below is a nature listening activity to share with your children.
Listening to the Earth
Gift yourselves a nature walk. As you wander pause from time to time and invite the children to listen. Start by bringing their attention to obvious sounds, for example bird songs, the wind, or the moving waters. Invite them to tell you what they hear. As your adventure continues draw the children’s attention to more subtle sounds. Explore listening to trees, rocks, and the soil. Invite the children to search for something to listen to, perhaps a flower or a bug. I then invite you to explore listening to silence together, listening to the space between sounds, the space from which all sounds come and all sounds go. When it feels right find a place to sit and be with the songs of nature. You can all sit together or each choose your own spot. This is a nice time to give everyone a clipboard with paper and coloured pencils to draw what they hear. Finally, I always love to share a story and snack. One of my favourite stories for nature listening is The Other Way To Listen by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall.