Listening is considered a conduct because people normally prefer speaking to listening, and when they listen, they only listen to gentle words. Listening is a progress in which the listener stands on the speaker’s side and leaves aside all his prejudice and judgments. Simultaneously, he listens from the initiation to the end without a reaction. It is easy for him to listen to gentle words, but he is also able to listen to rude words.
Listening is simply to listen. Listening with judgments and comments is not listening or conduct at all. To be a good listener, we must bring love into our listening to sympathy with the wishes, happiness and sufferings of people. It is not that people do not know how to talk, but they have a lot of misconceptions, injustice experience, unfairness, and pains. When we have not done anything yet, but listened, the speakers, after sharing or confiding, are partially freed from their pains.
People suffer because they do not want to listen, and when they listen, they do not listen carefully or do not know how to listen. Nowadays, people prefer praise to criticism and agreement to disagreement. Listening is to accept everything, regardless of whether it is praise or criticism and agreement or disagreement. Many people do not know how to listen. They only like speaking, and when they speak, they speak of meaningless things which are unhelpful to their practicing and creating happiness. In studying foreign language skills, listening is the hardest one, and the examination score depends on the listening score. Life is similar, bad listening brings bad life. Our successes and failures depend on whether our listening is the right mindfulness or not.
Listening is Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s conduct. Those who practice the conduct will powerfully develop the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva energy in them. Everyone is capable of listening, and if they focus, they can listen to soundless things and what people do not speak out. We cannot listen because we are jealous and suspicious and because we set our own standards and use our own concepts to control the progress. We observe the speaker as a separate entity, and then we make use of our knowledge to share with them, thus the more we listen the more we do not understand, and what we think we understand is only our misconceptions or imaginations. In addition, we do not listen to anything, but we dare proclaim we totally understand. This is our justification for our idleness or what we understand is only our assumption.
I have met many people who make assumptions, and they suffer from or believe in wrong things. When listening, we listen deeply, keep our minds focusing on listening, and prevent trifling things from interrupting our practice. We listen with the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s love. If not, we will have reactions. Instead of helping people, we confront, disparage, criticize, and blame them. Many people give themselves the right of a judge to judge other ones while they themselves have accumulated evil thoughts and acts.
A child comes to his parent to share his thinking with them, but they do not listen or superficially listen to him, thus, they do not understand their child, and because they do not listen to him carefully, they misunderstand that their child goes with bad friends or falls into the virtual world, and then they scold or forbid him unreasonably. Also, the child does not want to listen to his parent with his love. He does not realize that his parent scold him because they worry about him, not hate him. But because he listens to his parent with his anger, he tries to fight against or speak ill of them, and then he hurts them.
We listen to all beings’ happiness to be happy and listen to their sufferings to empathize with them. We are commonly envious of their happiness and virtually happy when we hear of their miseries. This foolish attitude is the evil one because it takes us away from beings and makes us build our houses with the miseries unconsciously. Being happy with other people’s happiness is the mind of joy. Moreover, we are supposed to sacrifice our happiness for other people’s one.
There are mothers as happy as finding gold when seeing their children healthy and successful or living in happiness. However, there are other ones considering their sons’ marriage as losing them to certain girls, thus they try to bully their daughters in law, and then the problem between the mother in law and the daughter in law happens. They unconsciously hurt their sons. They assume they bring happiness to their sons by holding them tight. Listening to their children’s happiness, the parents will cover their children with happiness. The happiness here is the plentiful freedom without being restrained by the idea on hold or the excessive care. The son also listens to his mother. She has misconception of love. She assumes love is synonymous with holding and loveless means dropping.
Being hurt by people’s sufferings is the mind of compassion which means empathy and sharing. If we turn a blind eye to people’s pains, are cheerful to see their miseries, congratulate their sufferings, or take advantage of their depressions, we are too emotionless. We listen to people to see, due to their sufferings, their thoughts are violent, their words lack the right mindfulness, and their actions are wrong. Hence, we will love them more.
We like praising the good and fighting against the bad, but if we listen carefully, we will see, for the existence of the bad, we treasure the good, pity the bad, and stop the bad from happening and riding the high horse. Then, the bad will get familiar with the good. The bad is not a thing to destroy. It needs help and depending on the love practice, the bad will melt and give space to the boundless love. Is the bad terminated if a prisoner is condemned to death?
Listening is a manifestation of great wisdom and great compassion. A wise person knows how to listen more than any other skills. A manager who focuses on listening will learn a great deal of things. He will know what his customers and staff think about, and then he can develop an appropriate business strategy. If politicians know how to listen, the world will enjoy peace and their countries will develop in fulfilling their people’s wish. In a family, if its members listen to each other, it will take pleasure in a comfortable and happy life.