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The Magic of Listening

· listening

I’ve been musing about magic lately.

On the eve of the full moon eclipse, I took a walk in the moonlight that can only be described as magical. The moon-soaked trees all looked like birches, the water in the creek glistened with ethereal beauty, and every sound was a whisper from beyond.

The next day my home was shrouded in mist and a wet drizzle hung from the trees. It reminded of my rain-soaked, green isle home of my childhood. It felt as if, at any moment, I would look out of the window and see three shrouded figures dancing around a cauldron.

Recently, I heard an interview with Alice Tarbuck on Radio Scotland. In it, she says “witchcraft starts happening when our bodies come right up to the edge of their linguistic and sensory abilities and life keeps going anyway”.

I simply love that definition of magic.

The place where words and our senses give way to timelessness. Where the five senses give way to their shadow selves. Where time disappears and yet each moment is precious. Where words are both simultaneously unnecessary and sacrosanct. That moment when we are invited to dance with the eternal and all the rules drop away.

So often, we experience magic as personal. The moment when something or someone appears miraculously in our lives or when we experience the timelessness of flow. We know the breathtaking spectacle of watching spirit flood through the body of a dancer, singer, or musician and we are awe struck by the presence of the eternal.

But what about the magic of listening to what the world – both inanimate and animate – has to share with us about life?

I used to be on a team of people from all around the world who were trained in a deep form of listening centered on simply listening to, and loving, the speaker. I found that when I really sunk into listening without interjecting my own thoughts, opinions and beliefs etc. it was a close kin to channeling. Both involve the ability to let go while being present to that which endures. Both give the gift to another person of being seen and known in the most intimate way by a stranger.

While I was on the listening team, I learned that what I say is not solely generated within by me but is also a function of the listener. I would be surprised by what would come out of my mouth when in the presence of someone who really could hear anything. Or watch, as in the space of different people’s listening, different things would arise to be spoken by me.

Our culture is focused on …

what is spoken rather than the space that is the listening.

to action rather than the space in which the action occurs.

to life, rather than the death and decay that generates that life.

A lot has been written and spoken about listening to the call of the eternal within us and being a vehicle for Spirit to flow through our lives.

Now, I’m wondering what it would be like to live in conversation with the world about the eternal? What if it’s not just a matter of seeing and sensing Spirit pulsating through us, but to us, in a conversation with us? What if we really listen to, and watch for, Spirit expressing herself into form through the arch of a cedar branch or babbling of a brook, and know that they are in conversation with us?

What life can arise in the space of my listening? If I were to focus on listening to, and loving, the world what kind of conversation would arise? I have no answer, only this question and a glimmer of hope that the conversation will be magical.

With love to you in the wake of this full moon lunar eclipse.