Ep. 24: Listening As A Spiritual Practice


In this podcast, Amadon DellErba explores the art of listening as a spiritual practice and the difference between listening vs. hearing. Amadon introduces the concept of triune listening; listening with the heart, mind, and soul. Truly listening to others with a desire to understand and empathize with them is a spiritual principle for soul ascension and healthy, growing relationships. 

He also discusses what we should and shouldn't be listening to. 



How does perception affect our ability to truly hear?  This is a question that I have been contemplating… how my perception distorts or prevents me to truly hear what is being said to me by those around me.  And I strongly feel it is at this intersection of perception and hearing that we come across the concept that I like to call “spiritized listening.

“Nothing You Do Matters Unless What You Do Matters”
I’m Amadon DellErba and this is “Get Real or Die Trying”

Hey hey, welcome to episode 24 of my podcast. Today's podcast is called “Listening as a Spiritual Practice.” You know, being a good listener is a very important quality, I think, to being a successful person and really to being any type of spiritually-ascended person.  It's actually one of the most important elements, I feel, to being a good leader, as well.  And, I'm talking about this, myself, because I need to grow in this area and there's been a lot of situations in my life personally recently where it's been really made clear to me that I'm not a great listener.  And so I've been contemplating this and wanted to talk about it. So I'm not here to act like I got altogether in this area. 

I was also inspired, you know, I was thinking about doing this podcast and then last night, I was in a meeting with some of the elders here in our community and Elder Tarenta shared a beautiful… personal thoughts that he had on listening to each other and the importance of listening to each other and what comes from that. And it really verified in my mind and kind of inspired me more to talk about this today. So thanks to my elder, Tarenta.

Also, you know, gotta give credit to my wife.  I think it's not an uncommon thing for men to hear from their wives that they don't listen very well.  And unfortunately, in my situation, I've been hearing that a lot in the last a week or two.  And, you know, I finally started listening to her and then contemplating, what does that mean when she says I'm not listening to her? It's not like, you know, when she's saying, “Honey, get the car seat out of the car and take the trash out” that I don't hear her.  It's a deeper type of listening that I want to touch upon here. And so I also thank my beautiful wife, AvaJaCyone, for inspiring me to look at this, to change, and to talk about it. 

You know, Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, he said, “It takes a great man to be a good listener.”  The more I explore this, the more that really does seem accurate.  You know, when we think of the lofty traits of the great ascended masters throughout time, or, you know, even what it means to be a well-balanced person now and, you know, what it means to be an ascended person, you don't inherently think of being a good listener as one of their key personality traits that we see in these great men and women throughout time.  And we don't think of it as like the highest attribute.  And I don't really hear a lot of people saying, “I want to be a good listener when I grow up.”  And it really is such an important aspect of a well-rounded soul that I think gets foreshadowed often in the rhetoric of history, in the way we analyze people, in the way we analyze ourselves, in what we think is a great virtue, quality and personality trait of somebody - we don't put enough emphasis on being a good listener. 

You know, I can talk about this now in this moment, because I'm beginning to realize at times, like I was just saying, that I'm not a great listener. I'm just beginning to see really the negative effects of that in my life, in my relationships, in my family, business associates, employees maybe… anyone who's trying to communicate something, and I'm not truly hearing them.  I'm not truly listening to them.  And so, just as a good leader needs to learn how to follow and be heard, you know, they must be good listeners.  A good leader needs to be heard, but they also need to listen. 

Let's talk about the difference between hearing and listening.  You know, hearing refers to one's ability, I believe, to perceive sounds by receiving vibrations through the ears.  It's the actual anatomical situation that takes place in the eardrum.  But listening is something done consciously.  It involves analysis and understanding of the sounds that we hear.  You know the word “listen,” interestingly enough, contains the same letters as the word “silent.” 

How does perception affect our ability to truly hear?  This is a question that I have been contemplating… how my perception distorts or prevents me to truly hear what is being said to me by those around me.  And I strongly feel it is at this intersection of perception and hearing that we come across the concept that I like to call “spiritized listening.”  And this really is when your consciousness controls your ability to hear.  You see, many people listen with the intent to just respond, not to understand.  And I'm guilty of this.  You know, my mind has already come up with the response when someone's talking to me and I'm honestly not even listening, I'm just waiting for them to be done talking, all too often.  I cease listening because my mind already has the response I think I'm going to say.  And I think a lot of people do this subconsciously. A lot of people do this more than they realize.  But the intersection of perception in conscious listening, in the spiritized listening that I'm talking about here, is what it means, to me, to be a good listener. 

And, you know, I think empathy is very related to being a good listener.  The concept of empathy is a very high spiritual trait because it naturally ushers in higher virtues, I feel. You know, understanding leads to compassion, compassion leads to love, love leads to peace, and ultimately peace leads to the Divine.  And so, when you have empathy you ignite and you inspire your higher-self to activate these higher fruits of the spirit, these virtues, and these different ways of going about life.  And thus enters spiritual listening.  And you see, listening really is the conscious action of hearing; bringing consciousness. You see, I can hear somebody banging a hammer across the street or honking their horn.  I hear it as an involuntary action that my ear can pick up.  And then it leaves my mind.  Oftentimes when people are speaking to us and sharing with us, we have the same type of hearing, but we're not truly listening. The listening part is when we take what they're saying and we filter it differently.  And what I'm talking about right now is mindfulness.  How can we be more mindful?  

You know, when we hear things, it is a physical process, it really, truly takes place in the ear.  But when we truly listen, it is a spiritualized process, and that takes place in the heart, mind, and soul.  And this is the triune aspect of hearing.  We hear with our heart, we hear with our mind, and we hear with our soul.  And when you engage in the triune level of listening that I'm talking about, I think you're really entering into a much higher level of consciousness.  That's where I would like to get to.  And to me, this is when change begins to happen in our souls because we're finally listening on all three levels and that's the three levels that we need to listen on.  The medicine can finally be received when heart, mind, and soul is all hearing and applying.  It's not just the intellectual process of hearing what somebody is saying to you.  It's really taking it in. You know, our elders can often give us this medicine and it can only be taken in this way - the triune listening.  

For me, I think the spiritized listening is really the catalyst for action and application of the truths to take place in my heart and my mind and I have to approach listening with this type of consciousness.  And it's not something that just takes place in the moment when you're receiving the truth, or these words from somebody.  It's something that takes place in the moments after, in the hours after, in the night, in the silence of reflection.  That's when the listening takes place; the Triune listening.  You're taking into your mind, you're taking into your heart, and you're reflecting with your soul. 

And there's a lot of aspects to listening.  One of those is the chakras.  You know, in order to listen at a higher capacity we must begin to operate in a higher chakra in our systems, in our body.  And it really does have to be all of our bodily systems, our emotional body, our physical body, our spiritual body, and our intellectual body.

You know, The Cosmic Family, Volume 1 and 2, which is the Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation books that I study, are really quite incredible and they begin to teach on these incredible concepts.  Concepts like the Primal Absolute Hearing Ascent Capacity which, you know, what does that mean?  It's almost too much to get into.  You got to look it up - Cosmic Family, Volume 1.  But basically, to paraphrase, it's the ability to hear and to listen to the Divine.  But in order to get to that place you have to have virtue.  You have to have a willingness, and an ability, and a desire of purity to truly hear.  And that takes a conscious desire to set yourself aside, to set your opinion aside, to set what you think… and I'm saying this because I know, and I'm learning how much I get in the way of truly listening to my elders, to my friends, whoever it may be in the moment.  You know, the act of being a good listener really does take patience and it takes humility - two things that I know I lack. 

In The URANTIA Book, when talking about Jesus - the Master, the Creator Son who came to this planet and walked in the flesh - it says “He was a sympathetic and understanding listener,” and that he “unburdened men's souls.” And so, if Jesus unburdened men's souls just by listening, we also have the opportunity to do the same to our brothers and sisters and our loved ones around us, just by being a good listener.  And when we realize that we can have the super power of freeing a man, freeing a woman from their burdens just by listening, it's a powerful thing.

You know, I think inherently men seem to be more prideful and impatient than women. It's just something that is a trait of men.  And that's why oftentimes men are told they're not good listeners. And you know, women naturally, I think, listen to each other more; they have conversations.  Men don't have the patience and they don't have the humility, often, to take the time to be good listeners.  I speak for myself; something I'm trying to overcome.  

You know now comes the part where you might ask yourself, “well, what is he talking about? What is he…” What are we supposed to be listening to? What is it you're trying to hear?  I'm trying to hear the will of the Creator.  I'm trying to hear the loved ones around me as they express themselves.  I'm trying to hear the direction and counsel of my teachers, my elders, the advice of a friend, the concern of a family member, the thoughts and expressions of a loved one, the distress, the voices in need, the cries of the oppressed, the pleas of the unrecognized.  You know, the yearning and the calling out of the many, many people all over this world who feel unheard, unseen, unlistened to.  How can we hear them?  How can we listen to them more?  

You see, knowing is not enough.  You have to listen and then act upon that; hear their cries.  Humanity lacks empathy.  You know, what is it that we, as humans, personally, collectively refuse to listen to?  What is it that we don't want to hear on a day to day basis?  Is it the higher calling?  Is it the Creator speaking to us?  Reminding us to live, feel, and think, and be at a higher level?  Is it the standards of our ideals whispering to us to live them? 

You know, as Gabriel of Urantia - my spiritual teacher, my father - says in one of his songs, “the voice in the wind”; to listen to that voice in the wind.  All too often we ignore the higher calling.  You know, and a lot of people want to say, “Oh, it's the universe”, you know, “I'm going to listen to the universe.”  But it's much bigger than the universe because the universe was intelligently created, and is an intelligent universe because of a personality Creator.  And that Creator speaks to us in many, many ways, through many, many Celestials and through many, many human vessels - people around us.  Anybody who has a good heart and is pure, and has intention of love in trying to help you, can hear from the Creator and be a vessel. And so we, as human beings, need to learn to listen deeply; listen to our wives, listen to our sisters, listen to our mothers.  As men we need to learn to do this. Again, I say this because I fail in it.  I'm a living example of failure in this area.  And so I can breach it because I have experienced the pain of not doing it.  And so I encourage you as a man, as a woman, listening to this, to think about what it is, and who it is in your life maybe, that you're not listening to, and the ramifications of that.  

Feeling unheard leads to feeling disrespected; leads to feeling unwanted.  And when somebody feels these things, they lose respect for you.  They lose the ability and the desire to want to serve and love you.  And this happens in marriages, it happens in relationships, it happens in business associations.  But it happens in humanity, as a whole, to our brothers and our sisters down the street, to our neighbors, you know.  And again, I bring it up because most people aren't every day waking up saying “Today, I'm going to be a good listener.”  Maybe they are… but not as much as I would hope for.  And so, if that's a question and a desire that we wake up with…  “How can I be a good listener? Today I want to wake up and be a good listener” - I think the world would be a better place pretty dang quickly. 

Another thing is, we got to stop listening to the wrong things and the wrong people.  Why are you listening to celebrities?  See you're taking that data into your soul, into your heart, into your mind - the Triunity of your bodily systems - you're taking all that BS in and it's distraction.  What you need to listen to is the quiet voice within.  You need to listen to the voice in the wind, like Gabriel of Urantia says.  You need to listen to the people around you who actually care about you, because that celebrity does not care about you.  So they're not saying things to help your soul grow. They're not saying things to bring you into a higher place.  They don't care.  So listen to the people around you who love you.

So I want to close out my podcast today with a poem by Roy T. Bennett.  He's an author and this is from his book, The Light In The Heart.  

Don't just learn - experience
Don't just read - absorb
Don't just change - transform 
Don't just relate - advocate
Don't just promise - prove
Don't just criticize - encourage
Don't just think - ponder
Don't just take - give
Don't just see - feel
Don't just dream - do
Don't just hear - listen
Don't just talk - act
Don't just tell - show
Don't just exist - live

That's Roy T. Bennett from The Light In The Heart book. Thanks for listening today, tribe.  Thanks for listening every week.  And may we all become better listeners.  Pray for me and I'll pray for you.

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