What does it mean?
There is a world of difference between hearing and listening. Listening requires you to accept whatever is being offered to you and actually try to apply it before moving on. That sounded vague but it’s only because you can listen in so many different ways.
When we aren’t listening, we only “hear what we want to hear.” Listening means you must reconsider what you know to be true, at least for a moment. To listen properly is a difficult task, but one that gets easier with practice.
Listen to the Universe
A scientist must always work with the observed data, no matter how much they wanted one outcome over another. Scientists ask questions and then listen to the universe when they conduct their experiments. We’ve found that the universe works in specific and predictable ways, but our best scientists cannot predict the complexities of everyday life.
Instead, it is up to us to interpret the random happenings of the universe and how it affects us. This isn’t to say a solar flare a few hundred light years away will affect your afternoon, but maybe a dead car battery will. The universe includes everything in it including you, your car, your family, and everything else you’ll ever see or interact with.
Throughout your life, unexpected things will happen and you have the choice to listen. A dead car battery means it’s hard for you to get to work so you’ll have to walk. You could show your frustration with each step of your journey, or you could take this opportunity to say hello to the neighbors.
Humans are known for their ability to adapt, it’s what got us to this point now. Just because the universe isn’t going the way you planned, doesn’t mean you can’t adapt to it.
Listen to Others
Everyone is limited, meaning everyone has information that you do not. Beyond mere information, everyone has love and stories to share. Listening to someone doesn’t only mean letting them talk, it means searching for what they are intending to share with you.
Every action has an intention and listening helps you to find the intention. If you have a conversation with someone, there is a reason for their words. There is a reason they didn’t choose to use different words or talk about something else. Listen to both what they say and why they are saying it. Even if they’re talking about something that you don’t care about, they do care about it. Listen, even if it’s just to understand why they care.
Listen to Yourself
You exist as a conscious being inside an organism. Nobody can communicate with your organism in the same way as you. You have a direct line of communication with the Organism and it’s up to you, the consciousness, to listen. The consciousness is responsible for providing for the Organism but you can’t provide anything unless you know what it needs.
If your stomach has ever grumbled or if you’ve ever had a craving, you know that the Organism can “talk to you.” When we satisfy our cravings, we are listening to and fulfilling the requests of the Organism.
Unfortunately, it’s become common in our culture to ignore the requests of the Organism and merely dull the symptoms. We use medicines and drugs to fight natural tendencies like hunger or sleep because it helps to keep with the culture.
You are a self-sustaining organism and you don’t need anything beyond food and water to survive. Listen to the Organism, it knows exactly what you need.