Step Seventeen



This painting by Peter H. Marshall is called "The Quiet Art of Listening."

Step 17. Today I Want To Hear The Truth.

The desire to hear the truth is something that is both a process and the result of true preparation. Developing the ability to hear and the desire to hear will yield to you that which you seek. The truth is utterly beneficial to you, but at first it can be quite shocking and disappointing to your other plans and goals. This you must risk if you wish to have the certainty and the empowerment that the truth will bring to you. The truth always brings resolution of conflict, always provides an experience of self, always gives you a sense of current reality and always provides direction for you to move forward.

Today, in your three 15-minute practice periods, practice listening to the truth, trying to listen beyond the mind and emotions. Again do not be concerned if all you hear is the rushing about of your own thoughts. Remember, you are developing listening. That is the most important thing. Like exercising a muscle in the body, you are exercising the faculty of mind called listening. Therefore, this day practice listening, taking these practice periods to devote yourself so that you may feel the truth arising within you.

Practice 17: Three 15-minute practice periods.


Here you will find the entire book free for download http://stepstoknowledge.com/

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

November 19, 2012 Round One: Yes, I want to hear the Truth, this is an ongoing need for me. And again I come back to what I realized yesterday, I get what I need and not what I want (the words of a song come to mind, hmmm seems Mick Jagger sang them, I remember them hitting me then whenever I used to listen to that song, and here they are again). This is what comes to mind from the words of this Step.

“The truth is utterly beneficial to you, but at first it can be quite shocking and disappointing to your other plans and goals.”

I feel as though I am ready to take the risk and ready for a truth that does not fit my preconceived conceptions. I am certain deep within that whatever the truth may be it cannot be bad, only beneficial.

July 16, 2014 Round Two: As I take the Steps to Knowledge for the second time, I continue to be amazed at how my step for the day is so in sync with what I am experiencing.

First practice – I continue to acknowledge my desire to hear the truth. The truth is something I have a deep and yearning need for. I understand that the truth may not always be what I want to hear or what I am expecting. It might be disappointing to my other plans and goals, it might go against my wishes, but I have absolutely no doubt that it will be beneficial to me, the very thing I need.

Second practice – I appreciate what this step says about how exercising the faculty of mind called listening is like exercising a muscle in the body. For a muscle to grow and become strong, it must be exercised. Nothing will grow and become strong without constant application. So to cultivate my ability to listen, I need to practice it, exercise it, devote my attention and energy to it.

Third practice – things surfaced that I have not paid much attention to before. I do not know if they are coming from beyond my mind, from Knowledge, warning me who not to be with, or just warning me to beware, not to be so open and gullible. I am asking to know the truth, to hear the truth, for I do not want to become caught in a trap I cannot extricate myself from. Listening requires discernment, being alert and aware, and then sifting through the thoughts that my mind produces to separate the chaff from the grain.

July 4, 2018 Round Three: Again the idea that the truth may be shocking and disappoint my plans rings loud and clear. The truth that Volodya is here for the duration is certainly a disappointment to my plans, the truth that he is actually seeing his project through. But I don’t know how long term it is going to be and what the final outcome will be. So far we are going along with it and tolerating as best we can. It is not really spoiling our enjoyment of living in the country and growing vegetables. We are free to continue our former way of life, only with the extra noise, intrusion and energy-depleting thoughts generated by Volodya’s presence. If he were a different person, someone whose company I enjoyed, someone who might enrich my spiritual life, it would be different.

I want to hear the truth. I will make a concerted effort to develop listening, exercise this faculty like a muscle, so that I can hear what I need to hear. I will practice listening today,

First 15-min practice - in the greenhouse (5.17-5.32). I imagined myself having a huge ear and listening into the space where Knowledge abides. I heard “Go,” but I do not know what this means. I have heard it before. I thought it was referring to Encampment, but that is not what it means. I do not need to go anywhere and be in that environment to fulfill my purpose. I do not need to spend a few thousand dollars to travel across the ocean just to see and be seen by the world community. That’s not what it’s all about. I do not know where I need to go, I will keep listening.

Second 15-min practice - 12.59-13.14 I got some time after Sasha left without me to go to our plot and continue cleaning out inside the structure. I did not hear anything specific. I realized after I was down in the basement of our house-to-be that this was definitely the place I saw in my dream several years ago, even before we moved to the village. In the dream, Sasha and I and some of the kids (Ursula definitely) were standing on some higher ground knowing that some natural disaster was about to descend. There were other people around too. I thought it was somewhere on a fishing trip. We found refuge underground in a concrete basement that was deep enough to stand in and had plenty of room. We survived whatever disaster was encroaching on us. The basement of our new house is precisely the place I saw. I feel it.

No third practice, since I could not find a quiet place where I wouldn’t be disturbed. The neighbors had their music on again. I feel that I spent enough time practicing listening today and developing listening, so I will leave it at that.

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