Seeing with Our Ears
My Siberian Husky’s ears are like satellites. They turn, independently of his head, taking in his surroundings, picking up on sounds, keeping track of movement, knowing what’s going on around him without even looking. Our Golden Retriever isn’t this way. She hears something and she stares right at it. She prefers the visual approach to tracking, wanting to see what’s going on around her.
Wisdom teaches us that our physical eyes can deceive and aren’t to be trusted. We’re too easily swayed by the appearances of things and people. Shiny things distract us. Our perception is limited by types of clothes, styles of hair, the bling, or tats, someone is wearing. Too often we focus on political persuasions, color of skin, the results of our ever-growing litmus tests for those who are acceptable. We place too high a value on how one seems, the way they carry themselves.
A contemplative seeks to listen with the spirit, the ears of compassion and grace, empathy and love. We want to hear what’s beneath the surface, understand what’s really going on, an awareness that is deeper than language spoken, a life displayed, the person we see before us.
“Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” Zen Master, Obi Wan Kenobi
“You will never see God until you can see Him in every person you meet.” Saint Mother Teresa