The Intimacy of Full-Body Listening

When I am empty and open to listening, the ideas and insights which arise in me are always far richer and more profound than anything my busy ‘front-mind’ ever comes up with.

If a friend is hurt and I am sitting with them as they pour their heart-break out to me, when I am truly empty and present with them, not in a mindy solution-orientated mode, but just totally present with them as they speak, then amazing wisdom will come out of my mouth. These pieces of wisdom will contain more amazing insights than I could ever have thought up. In fact, they are usually news to me too! When I’m totally present then the most pertinent and apt genius arises all by itself out of the space between us.

All our best parenting of our kids, and all our best love-making come from a listening and empty place. It’s here that our perceptions and sensitivities to the other are most heightened and therefore our responses are richer. As I am quieter and stiller, I receive and am present with more and more of you. As I listen, our intimacy grows and our sense of being connected arises effortlessly.

Let’s listen even deeper. When you next hear a baby cry or a dog bark try to listen beyond the actual sound of it to the impulse that threw that sound out, the root feeling that the sound sprang from. Grab your lover, or a friend, and try 6 minutes of unbroken, silent eye-contact with them or your own reflection. All sorts of feelings will bubble up but stay with it for the full six minutes being fully present with all the feelings and thoughts that arise in you and giving full-bodied, focused listening presence to the unique human who’s facing you.

Please write below what it was like for you, your levels of stillness, presence and listening. What does it feel like to fully give your attention to someone and to be given someone’s full presence? Please tell us how much you heard or perceived with all your senses.

What About Intimacy weekends at http://www.jamiecatto.com/about_intimacy

15 comments

  1. I definitely agree with that. Sometimes when that wisdom comes from my mouth, i say it as if I’ve been
    living that way my whole life. Meanwhile I’m learning from it as I speak. We all have Living potential,
    we actually just need to chill, We are already great!

  2. We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, remembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple-tree
    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half heard, in the stillness
    Between the two waves of the sea.
    Quick now, here, now, always–
    A condition of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of things shall be well
    When the tongues of flame are in-folded
    Into the crowned knot of fire
    And the fire and the rose are one.

  3. The open state of mind can really arise a lot of things – criativity, insights, deeper love, awareness of our souls and can brings us to a consciousness of belonging to all around us.
    When I work with art and try to solve empathy between the public and a painting for instance, I ask for silence. It’s been difficult to “conduct” silence nowadays. Silent observation seems to achieve stillness.
    When you observe a painting and just take several minutes in stillness, you begin to discover a lot of things beyond the surface. As you are making it, as it come from you, it brings self discovery.

  4. Jamie is responsible for one of the most precious moments of intimacy I’ve ever had in public. He and I were invited to a wedding lunch where I knew some of the people but not many, and not very well. He greeted me with a hug and then, amidst diners and waiters and children and wedding party-ers, as if intuiting my shyness or unease, he looked straight into my eyes and said ‘I see you.’ It rocked my heart, and I’ve never forgotten the moment, the feeling or the gift of his openness and presence. It realised, precisely, what you’re describing here Jamie. It was a moment of life. Capital L. Full of love.

  5. Its a lovely exercise – sitting and gazing at the other and what’s so beautiful is how quickly two become one……… with a common denominator of love. And in that space the uniqueness of other is recognised as a facet of the same diamond. Beautiful, different – whole………

  6. ( First time here on the blog and of course there was no coincidence I just arrived into this subject. )
    I do agree with you and I’d add that, that deep quality of the silence or stillness you’re expressing as an offering towards the others is also related with the availability that we allow ourselves in really listen inwardly. Beyond the judgment – again naked to see beyond the labels and characters we are so used to be seen as. The most powerful intimacy is the one we’re able to have with our own.

    I do believe that this space of Being is the major aspect of any true relationship that wants to serve the purpose of mutual growing – calling it friendship, partnership, lovers, parents, …
    I find it is not easy to find this potential, thou I’m really blessed to have that in my life – some really really far away, some we can only connect once a year – but the quality of the bound is so strong that we can feel its there – we can meet in that stillness regardless the space or time that is between our cells.

    Giving full attention also allows the other, as feeling truly heard and taken in consideration, to really hear himself and frequently to find him automatically gaining a new perspective towards something – discovering in himself the potential for his own solution/outcome. Like a self collective empowerment process – you listen, you’re there, and the expansion of the consciousness just happens! Magic bliss.

    Thanks Jamie for the reflection today, and also for all the work you’ve been doing. I ”only” knew 1Giant Leap and am now getting to know more of what you’re offering.
    Many blessings, is

  7. Ahh Jamie… Once again, thank you… Just to share a little around some of th encounter work I experience and witness in my classes. We use a lot of eye contact, especially a the end of our sessions and recently I have seen such depth of connection, such love shimmering between dancers as they meet in that silent space. For myself also I have witnessed the monke mind arise in the moment and fall silent as the encounter intensifies until tears flow and love blossoms in the space… Such a gift, such a lesson and such amazing variation as I mee different people in the group… Will continue to bring my awareness deeper into these encounters and will no doubt share more… Thank you, much love, Mila x

  8. I was visiting a prisoner who was interested in having a mentor. As i was talking to him through his cell door i was focused on him. I find the prison wings and environment difficult. My levels of stillness increased the more i was listening and was able to show my presence with a few questions and compliments. I heard someone share honesty and articulately. My senses were to listen from the heart

    Thank you to you and others who have shared your experiences.

  9. I love the spontaneous and unexpected mmoments of intimacy that happen when I’m really present. I find this easiest when there are no words, for example, eye-gazing, as Jamie mentioned, or in 5 Rhythms, dropping into the body and out of the mind completely, interacting with another’s energy such delightful playfulness, creativity and intimacy can arise. Sometimes that intimacy has happened so deeply with a complete stranger that I feel like we are lovers – such a delight. I also sometimes experience with hugging a feeling of something incredibly deep in me, beyond the person, meeting the same in them. There is an energetic melting together and a feeling just to stay there, like I could never move away – these hugs can last a long time if the other person is feeling it too! And then, there are the occasional fleeting moments of intimacy on London public transport – one of these can lift my entire day. Yes, intimacy, I love it!

  10. When somebody talks to me I can feel the energy right away, and for the most part there’s this hidden message of things not said and some type of fear
    Listening without interrupting allows the speaker to listen to their own self, which is what we usually dont do.
    Listening also minimizes the me myself and I distortion, cause it means caring, it means I love u, it means I’m here for you.
    HUGS change everything.
    If we would touch more, kiss more, listen more, and share feelings we’d live in a grounded unique nest of freedom of expression and love
    still possible
    ps one more thing, there’s nothing like reading eyes, connecting without words, winking and just knowing that both got the message…
    Life is quite interesting! 😉

  11. I took a moment today to click into the ISSSEEM link and found your discussion. At the last ISSSEEM conference I introduced the possibility of a previously unknown subtle energy system called the Voice-Ear-Brain Connection which resonates within each one of us and must stay balanced for us to pick up the awareness that you are mentioning. I share more on this in my current book called The Cycle of Sound: A Missing Energetic Link. When you tune into the silence around you, you hear your own sound vibrational needs more clearly. When we are ‘in tune’ we can also pick up on the vibrations of those around us. While it is a form of listening, the principle is also founded in physics. When we are balanced, we can pick up on the feelings, emotions, sensations, and messages that are often unheard. When we are balanced, we can better help those around us. Life is better when we are in tune and harmonizing with each other.

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