Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
Reverence is a form of respectful listening, a sensitivity to all that is.
Your listening is what stops contractions – in the cells, in the muscles, in the nervous system – allowing you to stay in the flow of the present moment.
~Elena Brower (yoga teacher and author)
…Just for a moment, imagine walking into a huge empty cathedral.
…Next, imagine coming up on a doe with her fawn in the forest.
Both of these situations would elicit the automatic response to get quiet – very quiet – and still. Not because we “should” be quiet and still, but because of the sense of privilege, honor, and reverence that would envelop us. And that sense of reverence would render us sensitive, present, and awake. This is the state of “listening deeply.”
We don’t create this state of listening deeply, but rather we tune in to it. It’s there inside us, a part of our true nature. And when we tune in to it, we relax, we open up, we stop the chattering of the mind for a moment and release into the vastness that is silence. For that moment, it’s like coming home — to ourselves, to our heart.
The noise of everyday life can be numbing. We have to tune out so much just to keep our sanity. Trouble is, we end up tuning out silence as well. We become like the fish that asks, “Where’s the water?” The fish is so busy swimming it forgets that all around is water. As fish swim in water, sounds swim in silence; but we get so caught up in the noise that we forget how to hear the silence that’s all around us. It is our contracted nervous system (our fears and defenses) that shuts us down.
Respectful, deep listening stops that contraction. It opens us up and allows us to dive into the vastness that is silence.
Eric Schiffman writes that “yoga is a practice of moving into stillness.” We do all the poses so we can dive deeply into the stillness at the end of class. Similarly, reverence is a practice of listening into silence. We cultivate a sense of reverence in all that we do so we can listen deeply into the silence all around us.
Invite yourself to listen to the silence that encompasses every sound. Tune in to a sense of reverence, and notice the space created in the heart and mind. Feel the release of the contracted places ~ and stay in the flow of the present moment.
Wishing you a reverence that opens your heart,