One of my favorite parts of Recording and Listening is the immediacy of it. I pick up the recorder, turn it on, start talking, and already I’m in a different place.
For me, Recording and Listening cuts through fuzziness and assists me to more consciously focus attention.
Recently, I’ve been making daily recordings using an exercise I learned on retreat. I ask “What is conditioning telling me?” and “What’s really true?”
Recording and Listening with this exercise takes me very quickly to a place of clarity. Simply asking out loud into the recorder, “What is conditioning telling me?” slices through identification with conditioned mind. I realize I have been listening to a conversation, a story.
When I answer the question, the story is identified. No blame. No shame.
Bringing curiosity to the process and using Recording and Listening to support the inquiry help me to see other, often more subtle stories, beliefs, and assumptions that I’m being told throughout the day. It supports growing awareness around the process of being present.
When I ask “What’s really true?” I sense the curiosity. What will the Mentor, the wisdom that is Life, say about this?
At first, I wasn’t so confident the Mentor would know what to say. Yet, stepping back from the story through this RL process makes it so clear that I am Awareness observing a conditioned story. Inviting the mentor to respond seems like the natural next step. With that, and practice, I’ve grown to trust the Mentor.
In response to the question, “What’s really true?” the Mentor often begins by reminding me that:
- I am here now, sensing my feet on the floor, the beat of my heart, the movement of breath through the body.
- Any conversation, or story, is an attempt to drain energy.
- I am loved, valued, and seen by the Mentor and by Life. This is inherent in the process of pausing to make the recording and listen to it.
I never tire of listening to these and other reminders of what’s true.
Choose a regular time —at least once a day— to do the following R/L exercise. (I like to do it in the morning because it sets me up to be more aware throughout the day.) Turn on the recorder and ask “What is conditioning telling me?” Respond with what you’re aware of in that moment. Pause. Take a breath. Then ask, “What’s really true?” Let the Mentor respond. Listen throughout the day.