The Guide has been recommending that our Sangha take up the practice of Recording and Listening for years now, extolling the virtues of this practice and the extraordinary transformation that it offers. In spite of the Guide’s strong recommendation and the fact that it requires very little money, time, space, training, or effort, there still seems to be a great deal of resistance to starting a Recording and Listening practice.
Why do we resist this simple act of Recording and Listening about the life we want to have, the things we love, the insights we experience, the wisdom and clarity that comes through developing a relationship with the Mentor, the beauty we encounter around us, the way our heart opens to the innocence of a child, how we feel healthier when we eat and sleep well, and how good it feels to laugh and play?
Could it be that the level of resistance is proportionate to the potential for transformation inherent in Recording and Listening?
Perhaps egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate senses its potential demise in having the human attention that sustains it focused on Goodness, Light, and Love instead of the “something-wrong- not-enough” program that it offers non-stop.
If any of these obstacles are keeping you from beginning a Recording and Listening practice, we hope you’ll read the responses and reconsider!
Common Reasons/Excuses for Not Recording & Listening
“I’m not good with Technology.”
Fortunately, we are all adequate to our experience. AND the technology necessary for the R/L practice is quite minimal. Many folks purchase inexpensive digital recorders, which are fairly uncomplicated devices with relatively few functions that don’t take long to learn. Other folks simply use technology they already have on hand: smartphones, laptop computers, or electronic tablets.
“I prefer to journal. I can access my internal processes better through writing.”
Journaling provides wonderful clarity, but only up until we close the journal! R/L allows us to constantly access that clarity, internalize it, and make it alive in our lives.
“It costs too much. I can’t afford a recorder.”
A simple digital recorder can be purchased at electronic stores for about $40, reasonable when considering the possibility of transformation that comes with it.
You could check with family or friends to see if anyone has a recorder you could use that they are no longer using, or you might find a bargain at a thrift store/yard sale on a recorder that is still in good working order.
Many smartphones come with a voice recording application as part of the phone. If you already have a smartphone, you can check to see if it has a voice recording function.
If you already own a laptop or an electronic tablet equipped with a microphone, you can record on that device.
“How will I know it’s not just conditioning talking on the recordings?”
We don’t, but we get to find out! We have been listening to conditioning speaking inside our heads for a lifetime and have believed it is us. The good news is when we have an opportunity to hear it talking “outside our heads,” when we play back a recording of it talking, we can really hear it for what it is: boring, repetitious stories about “something wrong” and “not enough”; endless judgment and complaints; “he did, she did” tales of woe; and unkind and hateful things being said about us. It can be a rather shocking experience to really hear that conversation for the first time and also a major source of motivation to drop it and explore finding the voice of the mentor.
The second bit of good news is that if we keep practicing Recording and Listening, the Mentor will come through. How will you know? The tone and tenor of what is said will be different, and you will likely feel quite different hearing it. Often clarity, kindness, compassion, and love come through in what is said. Sometimes there is clear guidance in the form of a straightforward statement that cuts through confusion directly to the Truth. Always there is unconditional love, acceptance and support for the human practicing to end suffering.
“I don’t like the sound of my voice.”
Many people who experience this initial resistance to the sound of their voice report that through R/L practice they learned that their own voice is the only voice that can deliver the information they need to hear in the way they need to hear it.
“I already have a relationship with my Mentor. I don’t need a recorder.”
All relationships need attention to blossom and flourish! A recorder assists us to keep our relationship with life and our mentor alive and fresh.
Listening to our recordings allows us to live in wisdom, love, kindness, and support instead of the habitual conversation with conditioned mind. Worth it to get a recorder for that!
“I will look weird going around talking to myself on a recorder.”
In this digital age, folks are often seen walking around talking into their smartphones, recording notes on laptops, or dictating to themselves. With your recording device in your pocket you will look like everyone else walking around with earbuds, talking on a cell phone.
“I already do lots of other practice activities. I can’t do them all.”
“I don’t have time to add any more activities to my schedule. I’m already too busy.”
Is there anything more important than waking up and ending suffering? Fortunately, Recording and Listening doesn’t require adding a time slot of its own in the daily schedule. It can be very easily incorporated into what you are already doing. Many folks create recordings throughout their day and listen while walking, driving, cooking, or cleaning.