Saturday, 3 September 2011

Quality of Listening

I came across this beautiful story narrated by the prominent Buddhist teacher and Psychologist Jack Kornfield. It touched my soul and I felt I needed to share it with my blogging friends.

"In Africa. There is a story that illustrates the quality of listening that can come through meditation.

In a particular East African tribe or village when a child is born they don't count the birthday of that child from the day the child comes from its mother’s body or even the day it is conceived as in certain other cultures, but rather from when that child was first a thought in its mothers mind, that is the real birthday.

And as soon as the mother realizes that she would like to have a child with this particular partner, she will go off and sit out in a field under a tree, and listen, and wait until she can hear the song of the child that wants to be born in her heart that will come from the wedding or the coming together with this particular man.

And when she hears this song, she sings it to herself, and then returns back to the village and teaches it to her partner so that when they make love together, joined together in love, they sing this song and invite this child to be born.

And later as she is pregnant. She sings the song to the child in the womb and teachers it to midwives so that when the child is born the first song or sound that it hears is those gathered around singing its own unique song.

And as the child grows the people of the village learn the song of this person so that when he falls or she falls and hurts herself someone picks her up and sings her song to her, or in the rites of passage or rituals of the village the song is sung, the wedding ceremony where both songs are sung until finally even at the end of life, the song of this child now as an old man or women is sung for the last time, and say their last words...

When I first heard the story in it touched in me a longing to live in a place where we heard one anothers songs, where we were so in tune with ourselves and with one another that we could greet each other in that way, to meditate allows us to hear the song within ourselves and to be respectful and hear the song of those around us."
~~ Jack Kornfield

Do you know your song? Can you hear the song of others?

Take the time to listen.

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When we really listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other. We are constantly being re-created."
~~ Brenda Ueland

My gorgeous friend Joseph, one day old - August 2006. We sing his song together every week.


Cinderella11pm said...

Joseph is a lucky baby to hear his song of love every week:)

Your masthead picture is beautiful, Peggy!

Christine said...

Joseph's beautiful! It's an interesting story Peggy.

HappyOrganist said...

oh I have a great comment - but I'm too shy to post ^^

McMGrad89 said...

"And you can tell everybody, this is your song. It may be quite simple but now that it's done, I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is while you're in the world." Sir Elton John must have heard this story.

miruspeg said...

Cinderella - I feel I am the blessed one having Joseph in my life and sharing his song and love.
The masthead photo is probably my favourite photo and brings back wonderful memories of my time in Norway.
Thanks for regularly stopping by and commenting.xxxxxxxx

Christine - Joseph was a beautiful baby and IS a beautiful 5 year old both inside and outside. Glad you liked the story too. xxxxxx

HO - No need to be shy over here my friend, no one will make fun of you or laugh at you......we will laugh with you....come on spill the beans! xxxxx

Annemarie - That is a great Elton John song I will add it to my playlist! xxxxxxx

Mike Smith said...

Great words, Peggy - where do you find these gems? Speaking of gems - Joseph is, as we Scots say, a wee belter!

miruspeg said...

Mike one of my Facebook friends is reading a book written by Jack Kornfield so I did a bit of research on him and came across this story on a youtube clip.....I love researching, you never know what gems you will find.

I love your Scottish word for Joseph, he is a bonnie lad.
Lang may yer lum reek!

Cameron said...

I got misty there at the end....

I don't know if I've ever heard my song, though the love of my parents always rang true in my heart and mind growing up. Learning to love myself like they do is still a challenge....
One that I hope my daughter will master and outshine my greatest efforts in :)

What a sweet picture that is of Joseph....

miruspeg said...

Cameron I am over at your blog reading your latest post about lists right now. How about that for synchronicity!

You will learn to love yourself unconditionally one day my sweet friend then the world will be your oyster! And as for your daughter she will always shine.
Warmest heart hugs.
Peg xxxxxxx

Chapter Forty said...

As you know I had a lot of trouble getting pregnant and had to do IVF to achieve my motherhood.

If only I had known about hearing the child's song maybe that would have helped me sooner.

However when I first laid eyes (via a microscope) on B as an embryo when he was only 5 days old, as he got implanted in me, I thought gee that looks kind of like a pizza. That embryo that then grew inside me got nick named "little pizza".

When he was born we stopped calling him Little Pizza, but I used to sing a song about my little pizza to him. Even now, 7 years later he asks to hear that song sometimes, it goes like this...

You are my Little Pizza
My little chicken
My little man
and you always will be
will be will be

You are my Little Pizza
My little chicken
My little man
and you always will be
will be will be
a dancing baby
yeah yeah

So your post resonates with me dear Peggy.

miruspeg said...

CF you are a treasure for relating your song story. Isn't it wonderful that B, now aged 7 still remembers the song and wants to sing it occasionally.

The first song I sang to Joseph when he was only a few days old was "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"

By the time he could talk he could sing the first two verses with me and still does aged 5.

"Swing low, sweet chariot
Comin' for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot
Comin' for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan and what did I see
Comin' for to carry me home
A band of angels comin' after me
Comin' for to carry me home"

Lilly said...

Wow what a beautiful header photo - you are a gifted photographer. You have an eye for real beauty.
What a lovely spiritual message from Jack Kornfield. Joseph is indeed a sweet boy - he is lucky to have you too.

miruspeg said...

Hi Lilly!
I love my Norway header photo too!!
It was raining slightly when we were walking around this area but it was so eerily beautiful we hardly noticed it was raining.

Pleased you liked Jack Kornfield's message, although I am not surprised as we both love music.

Regarding Joseph, I believe I am the fortunate one having him in my life. xxxxxx

Jennifer said...

Dear Peggy,
thank you so much for all your wonderful supportive messages on my blog. I have heard this beautiful story before. I love hearing about your special relationship with Joseph. You are both so lucky to have each other!

I have to tell you that ever since you wrote me an email telling me about 11:11 that I see it ALL the time and I always think of you and send some love your way and then whoever else I happen to think of. : )

miruspeg said...

Jen it is my pleasure to be a supportive friend to you. I love reading about your family, it melts my heart and puts a smile on my face.

Oh what a joy that 11:11 is part of your life. Three friends and myself are planning a special day on the 11/11/11 to pay homage to this most important day.

Take care dear friend. xxxxxxx

Marja said...

How great it would be to have your own song that guides you through life, comforts you, a song that identifies you. You always have such original thoughts and stories which makes you think. You are a unique person. Joseph is gorgeous and great that he has his own song

miruspeg said...

Hi Marja!
I feel we have many songs that guide and comfort us through life. What a sad life it would be without music.

We are all unique Marja and it is our differences that make us special. We just need to learn to accept and respect each others' differences and then we can live together in harmony.

Next time we meet up we must sing a song together. xxxxxxx

Can-Can said...

Exquisitely moving and important post. Thank you.

miruspeg said...

Candelaria I am so pleased this story moved you too. Music has such an important place in our world. :-)