When you want to really “get” deep concepts, there is a deeper way to listen, a deeper value to listen from.
Most of our lives we spend in the mind, listening with a judge, rating what we hear as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white. If we’re deciding what kind of apple or soap to buy, this can be useful. But if we are listening to or reading a spiritual teacher, this kind of thinking will quite simply get in the way.
When the speaker is speaking of the depths of being but we are listening with the mind, we simply won’t hear. We’re not in the same room. The mind cannot grasp what is beyond itself. We need to shift into listening with the Self, listening from the silence. This is why such teachers will open a talk with some minutes of silence. To settle the mind and step into the habit of meditation, being silent.
Of course, the mind will come up again. But if we can just bring our attention back to the silence, then the conversation shifts from being an intellectual exercise into being a conversation of Self with Self.
And that can literally cause you to drop into Self, to wake up. The art of listening is the art of Being.