The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him. – William McGill
In other words: speak less and listen more. Isn’t that what (most) spiritual disciplines would have us understand? In business as well as in personal relationships, listening skills are touted, for those who do it well increase their own ability to bond with others in more meaningful ways, build cohesion in teams, and increase productivity on various levels,
Meditation, yoga practice, daily prayer — all of these do not come easy to me. I’m a multi-tasker, always doing or thinking, on-the-go. It made no difference that I had tried “forever”; working within a church environment for years and being a leader/volunteer for many more before that still did not quiet my brain chatter enough to really Listen on a regular basis. Besides, learning how to pray and what to say — these are not the same things as Listening (with a capital L). Mind chatter, whether religious in nature or not — it’s still noise.
Somewhere along the way someone suggested I stop trying to carve out a daily space of time and just take time on the fly. So I tried it — while driving, stopped at a red light. Before dashing from bed in the morning. 2 minutes just after lunch or when I stood up for a computer break. While prepping supper at the stove top. Allowing myself to float for those few minutes was very freeing. That was so much easier, and caused me to add a level of gratefulness to my life I hadn’t yet experienced.
Do you feel it like I do? I mean, when you’re “trying” to get in the zone, thinking of all the things you’re grateful for…they just seem stifled somehow. Though supposedly called prayer, the thoughts seem like just words to stuff in a box. Yet, when “listening” — I mean being actively aware of my surroundings while rolling through my day, recognizing the beauty in a minute or two as it sits in front of my face — well, that is an eye-opener. I began to see how beneficial quieting the mind can be.
How to make it better?
A few years passed, and as Life would have it, I got busy again and my 2-minutes time-outs got a little sparse. That is, until I was introduced to Reiki. Oh no — that dreaded word that so many still don’t understand — Reiki. It’s overused and boring, right? To tell you the truth, I thought about it that way as well. Of course, I didn’t really know what it was — like prayer, or for healing, or for meditating it seemed. So, basically I ignored it as a potential helpmate in my own life and stress-management practice.
Have you ever noticed how when we don’t pay attention to the messages that come our way, we then get lessons instead? A few years ago my husband had a surgical procedure that was extremely painful during the recovery process, and a friend/Reiki Master offered to do some distance work on his behalf. What a great surprise to hear him say after the appointed session that the inflammation had gone down and the pain reduced. It worked faster than anything else he’d tried up to then. So how did she do that? almost as an after-thought.
But the spark of light was still in my sub-conscious, and little by little I began to read in chat groups about the strength that comes from Reiki practice. And, finally I Listened to that voice in my head and within my own training thereafter, it surely proved helpful as a healing modality. And as I began to incorporate Reiki as a daily spiritual practice, it had the impact I’d been seeking for years. It has proven to be a singular factor to turn off the chatter and hearing what I’m supposed to know.
While teaching students Reiki Level 2 practices not long ago, I invited them to share their personal experiences up to that point. Each of the people had varying degrees of understanding about energy work, and one of them had an established practice in another modality. She shared that her work prior to Reiki was very beneficial to others, but often took awhile for them to “see” results. Since learning Level 1 and incorporating it into her work, her clients were experiencing a much faster response rate. (Ok, another one for the healing aspect.)
The second bit of info she shared was a personal testimony to change — since beginning her daily self-practice, she was experiencing an influx of clients knocking at her door. My interpretation: She had been seeking abundance with no results…yet here, a bit of spiritual discipline was changing the scenery. Listening to the inner voice was making a difference.
Antoine de St. Expiry, the same man who wrote “The Little Prince,” said this: “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single person contemplates it bearing within them the image of a cathedral.”
Listen. That’s all there is to it. When we make time to listen, new options naturally present themselves for us to contemplate. Being open to hearing widens the possibility for opportunity thereafter.
So maybe you’re ready now too. Just ask yourself, “What do I want but haven’t yet found? Am I Listening?”