11 Steps to Listening: a Buddhist Meditative Practice

1. Find an uninterrupted period of time, whether five minutes or an hour.

2. Find a quiet place that you can hopefully establish as your sacred space for regular practice.

3. Sit down on a cushion or your bed. It helps to have a cushion or pillow below your buttocks. Sit with your legs crossed.

4. Close your eyes partially or completely.

5. Tongue gently touching the roof of your mouth, the soft spot behind your front teeth.

6. Arms circle to meet just below your belly button. Right palm on top of left. Thumbs touching.
7. Relax and begin listening. First you’re likely to notice sounds around you. As you quiet yourself, you will hear the sound of silence.

8. Listen to the sound of silence on and off the cushion. Listen until you hear the sound of silence throughout your day.

9. When back at the cushion, listen to that which listens. Pose the question: “Who is listening?” Where the mind pauses at the end of that question, that is the entryway into that which listens.

10. Listen in that pause until the pause elongates. Listen until that pause punctuates your day off the cushion.

11. If you’ve now reached this stage of listening. Start listening to your inherent wisdom and compassion. You will know how to proceed from hereon.

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