Listening is 'sadhana,' and it needs single-minded concentration. When we began to (negatively) react or (positively) respond while listening, then actually we are not listening. Then quoting Osho, Sukisivam (Sun T.V., 31st May, 2009) as usual very nicely explained how to develop the art of 'listening'.
But after his talk, while I was thinking on this subject I realized how it is practically impossible for most of us to listen without reacting or responding to it simultaneously. Of course there are many who can do it, but I am talking about ordinary people like me. The reality is that while listening to others, not only do we think of various things related what is being said, but we often fail to allow others to listen by passing our comments on it. As a digression I would like to mention here the way some people irritate others by passing comments while they listen the news or to some other programme. Some during a T.V. debate or panel discussion, we comment on some point, and we began our debate and argument without listening the entire programme ourselves or allowing others to listen. It is like changing the T.V. channel without seeing one programme properly. Some have this sickness which often irritates me and others also.
Well, coming to the point, as Arjuna rightly says, 'The mind is so fickle that sometimes it is easier to hold the wind in our hand than to control our mind' [Gita 6:34] (enabling it to listen without any deviation). And Krisha, agreeing with Arjun that the mind is so fickle says, 'By practice and determination (vairag) we can train it'(Gita 6:35). But, what is the evidence that we have achieved some success in this sadhana? If asked, I would say, 'By doing or implementing what we listened to.' Yes for me the real test of any TRUE LISTENING is practicing it, once we agree with it. Otherwise all our listening will end like hearing any other sound.
Gurukulam, May 31, 2009.