Our Sounds

They are like a lasting kiss, our sounds, when they are tender.

How else would I want to speak to you except in a way that unfolds your curves, rolls you out like a heirloom tapestry across a rare sky?

You have an important story to tell. It is like mine. Yours is nearly complete.

The last minute, though, is 1000 times more packed than all that has happened so far.

If you can soften your look on someone you have not been kind to for a while,

Your power will increase, and in this world that is handy.

Who would not want the ability to say to sadness,

Be gone you rascal, and have it respond – “Okay.”

-Rumi

right-speach-smI’ve been reading a lot of Rumi lately. I usually choose one or two poems and take small bites, savouring and thinking on the meaning of the words. Or more specifically, I tend to reflect on how they land within my own meaning making.

This poem, ‘Our Sounds’ makes me think on a blog post that I wrote on conscious conversations (click here) a while back. In my post, I spoke of really being present for someone, and how important it is to listen mindfully. This can be quite easy when you are in an exchange with friends; however, it can be slightly trickier when we are dealing with someone who ‘you have not been kind to for a while’. And not being kind doesn’t necessarily mean in actions, it can be that you have not been kind to someone in your thoughts and speech, too.

Where my blog post on conscious conversations addressed the issue of listening mindfully, this poem by Rumi focuses more on how we speak to one another. They may seem like opposite sides of the coin, however, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Master, explains that deep listening is the foundation of the Buddhist moral discipline of Right Speech. We need to really listen to the other in order to see things from their perspective and to respond in a way that does not cause pain and disharmony.

And like I said, this is alright when dealing with friends and people we generally feel kindly towards, but it gets a bit trickier when we are meeting those we struggle with. In fact, it can be a challenge!

So I thought, wouldn’t it be a good weekly challenge for our mindfulness peeps? Can we practice deep listening and Right Speech with those we are in disagreement with? Not just our friends! I am sure that there will be plenty of opportunity to do so with the aftermath of the UK election upon us. We might meet people who have differing view-points with and we might find ourselves engaged in political discourse. Or, can we move towards meeting a family member or a distant? acquaintance who generally pushes our buttons with an intention for deep listening and Right Speech?

As Rumi says, can we soften our look and increase or power?

Let us know how you get on!

-Jane

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