Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aha moment: Mindfulness

Yesterday my friend Tara and I were talking on the phone about the practice of mindfulness and began to focus on mindfulness in conversation. I ended up having a big aha moment when I finally understood something my pastor was trying to explain to me last year. I had asked him about ways to practice listening and improve those skills. He suggested treating listening as a form of meditation. After Tara and I defined mindfulness in conversation it made me realize that this is what he was talking about.

A way to put this that is easier to understand is that listening should be done in a state of mindfulness. This can be done by:
1. Clearing one's mind
2. Actively listening to the other's speech and not thinking about a response while they are talking.
3. Practice intuitive response, listen to one's intuition for speech, silence, and don't enter parts of the conversation with haste.
4. Pay attention to tone, volume, tempo, body language, settings, and environment.

There are definitely more details to mindful conversation then we were able to identify in our 30 minute talk. I am sure that it is about as complex as the most difficult martial art forms.
I am sure I could write much more about this so I will conclude this for now; I am glad I had that talk yesterday because it really freed up a lot of mental energy I didn't realize I was using.

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