Mindful Listening | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Mindful Listening

Mindful Listening

An Elegant Closing for the Mindful Writers Workshop

The Writing Meditation Method (WMM) has come full circle. The Method followed by the Mindful Writers (MW) teaches how to tap into the infinite wisdom and unlimited potential dormant in all of us. This unique and proven practice combines mindful meditation, free writing and mindful listening to maximize their writing potential and live a wholesome life.

I began developing the WMM in August, 2010. It is rooted in my twenty-years of meditation, writing and teaching experiences. But it was not complete until this July when a closing session was added to the four-hour workshop. The meeting begins with fifteen minutes of body, heart or mind meditation, followed by fifteen minutes of free writing and up to four hours of working on each writer’s current project. But when we are done writing we do nothing to thank our muses and bid goodbye until the next day.

In other words, the workshop did not end as gracefully as it started. At the sound of the timer we stopped  rather abruptly and after a few minutes that took us to emerge from our fictional dream we began to fragment again. Exhausted after hours of writing we stretched, smiled and ordered lunch. And we talked. Observing this made me a little uncomfortable. I watched as the our concentration fizzled. It had taken hours to integrate and focus. Hours of writing made our creative flow reach a crescendo. Our writing flow was at its pinnacle when we stopped. The vitality, the creative energy that was stimulated through meditation and writing dissipated in no more than ten minutes. It seemed to me as if the creative flow lingered aimlessly and then shut itself off because it no longer had a medium through which it could express itself.

I thought how could we tap into the residual vitality that remained when we stopped writing. As mindful writers when we work we became conduits of creative flow. It takes a while for it to stop after we stop the act of writing. So for a short time the flow has no medium to express itself. How could we use this precious energy to close the session as elegantly as we opened it? I racked my brain. What other powerful manifestation does written words have that is relevant to writers but we tend to ignore? … Listening!

Yes, listening. MW listen attentively when we meditate and write. An inner soundless voice whispers intuitive ideas, gives us cues and clues about our subject matter. We wouldn’t receive these insightful ideas if we were not listening. But this listening listens to a silent voice. More mindful we are clearer it becomes. Why not make this silent listening as part of the workshop by listening to the spoken word of each one of us?

Why not close the meeting with a round table listening? So we decided that before ending the session each writer would get an opportunity to speak while others listen. So now one participant speaks maybe about a deeper truth behind the small truths, a psychological issue that may have become an obstacle in writing or maybe how one of us was able to resolve it, or maybe something else related to writing, reading, imagining, overhearing. An attentive listening session, as poised as the beginning, now graces the workshop ending.

Listening strengthens writing skills. Whispers of intuitive voice inspire thought and improve imagination. As simple as mindful breathing, attentive listening is a skill that helps penetrate deeper into secret garden of our writing voices and is thus an elegant part of the Mindful Writers Workshop.

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