Q: Is Sacred Listening similar to other spiritual approaches?
A: We have a different focus to many other approaches and traditions. We are not so interested in particular realizations, enlightenment or any particular state. Our focus is not on being happier, on fixing or improving ourselves. In fact we are not outcome focused at all and it is our contention that to fixate on a future outcome is the source of the very unhappiness and suffering we are attempting to get rid of.
Instead of focusing on what we may become we bring our attention into where we are currently, right now. We bring attention to the “golden thread” of our spontaneously unfolding inner reality…that is the truth of our experience as it is allowed to unfold itself moment by moment.
This golden thread is alive and spontaneous, it has its own direction and is richly steeped in meaning. As the word thread implies it is continuous and flowing, it brings with it a deep sense of in-touch-ness to our life and once experienced becomes more and more alluring and attractive…we become like the merchant in this parable from Thomas’ gospel.
Jesus said, “The Father’s kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.
So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys.”— Gospel of Thomas 76, Patterson/Meyer translation
With our focus on accompanying, being with our experience and not meddling with it, not trying to change it or get rid of it, we discover an inner acceptance, a rich aliveness, and our fixations with particular states is revealed as a counterproductive grasping based on ignorance.
Once we experience the possibility of being with ourselves in a way that supports whatever is there be it joy, happiness, bliss or commonly confusion, sadness, anger, hatred, jealousy and so on, we grow in trust that our experience as being just what is required in that moment. We come to see our attempts to alter it causes a loss of essential contact with our very being-ness. Less and less do we get side tracked looking for particular states and more and more we are curious about what is actually happening now.
So this approach is quite different to many others with its focus not on self improvement, not on fixing ourselves but on coming into relationship with what is already the case…leading to a life long journey of unfolding and discovery.