Beginners Series: Beginning to Listen

Welcome to week three!

How did you do with the first two exercises in the Beginner Series? Do you feel like you are becoming more in control of your posture and your breathing? Did you notice any differences between the time of day, week or month you practiced?

This week we are going to begin to listen.

We are all constantly listening to something, but just how often do we really hear?

The world is so full of beautiful sounds – birds singing, children laughing, music, the whoosh of the wind, even silence has a sound. But in our busy lives noises become intertwined are they rarely get the attention the deserve. For example; I am sitting right now and the TV is on, three kids are playing in the room next to me shouting and whooping. The back door is open and I can hear the traffic going up the street. I am paying attention to my computer screen, the noise is in the back ground and all the sounds are blending into each other.

“Let go of your mind and be mindful, close your ears and listen” – Rumi.

Listening mind fully it is about paying attention, in the moment, to the noises going on around you. It may just be that you are sitting in your garden paying attention to the noise it makes or it may be you are listening to your friend or colleague speak – giving them your ear.

  • Set your posture (seated, kneeling or laying down) and if you wish, close your eyes.
  • Simply inhale and exhale for a few moments.
  • Now, bring your attention to the noises around you, pick one to focus on and give it a name.
  • After a few moments choose another sound, focus on it and give it a name.
  • Continue this way for ten minutes, choosing sounds, focussing on them and naming them.
  • Note now what sensations the sounds brought to you. It could be they brought a feeling, a memory or even a smell.
  • Practice this excercise each day this week and see how your skills of listening change.
  • If you are keeping a journal, makes some notes on your experience.

Next week we will lay the practice down with a simple body scan, exploring how the body feels as you examine it from toe to top.

I hope you will enjoy practicing this basic listening exercise.  We love to hear about your personal experiences, so if you would like to share or have a question, leave a comment below.

Have a wonderful, mindful week everyone.


Learn more about Mindfulness.



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