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Learn To Empty The Cup Within

Learn To Empty The Cup Within

We are often insensitive to the poetry of living life wisely. We are caught in the prose of what we want rather than what is truly wise. It is said, “God has given us two ears and one mouth, to listen more and talk less”. Have we learnt the art of wise listening? We go to listen to lectures. Why? Have you asked this question of  yourself? We collect more words, more concepts and they become our memory bank. Next time you listen to some other lecture, your memory bank becomes a kind of obstacle without your knowing it, for you have invested in what you know. Hence our knowledge of the past becomes our block. Is it not?

Are you reading this article more to confirm what you know or are you searching for something new? Listening or reading to find out something is very different from confirming what you know already. If you are listening more to confirm rather than to find out, then your listening has no significance, is it not? How can one’s listening be anchored in “finding out” rather than as confirmation of what one knows?

Try this out next time. When you listen to a lecture, be sensitive to the beginning and ending of any concept that is spoken and get the whole picture. See the “newness” of what the speaker is saying; see what is it that you can practise from what the speaker is saying, can you be alert to be “open” to what the speaker is saying and not allow your knowledge to interfere in your understanding? Try this out and then you will learn how to find out.

To find out something, one has to be open and fluid. If you have observed a river, how it flows, you will notice sometimes on the backwaters of the river, there are small ponds. Water stagnates in a pond, there are no fishes. But the river water is fresh, vibrant and flowing. If you become like a pond, you become stagnant to what you  know, to your positionality, to your opinion, to your dogmas and so will end up missing the quality of freshness of the flowing river.

Our listening, when it is caught in our opinion, in our dogmas, in our likes and dislikes, we miss the freshness and openness of listening. When you are listening, learn to be open and flowing. Give space to the speaker, give space to your doubts, giving inner space, in being open. And from that openness when one listens, there is a different quality of understanding. Next time your boss is talking to you, don’t be caught in your disagreement, give space to your preferences and give space to what he is saying, then you can intuit what he is saying.

Next time your spouse scolds you, just be open, don’t get lost in what you want, give space for your spouse to say and from that openness listen to your spouse’s scolding. You will understand better and not be bitter. Once you are bitter, you get isolated and in that isolation, you can’t connect to your spouse. Isolation creates conflict and when \ in conflict, you get filled with \ frustration and your inner cup is filled with restlessness.

Learn to empty your inner cup.

~ Swami Sukhabodhananda