How to Listen — iofC Version

HOW TO LISTEN

HOW TO LISTEN iofC version refomatted

There is a tradition of preparing for one’s day by getting quiet and tapping into the intuitive voice that resides in each of us. Here is a technique that has been used for more than 80 years by the members of the Oxford Group, which is now called Initiatives of Change.

Optional: Read the first 6 instructions prior to 2 Way Prayer, and then read the rest of the instructions prior to sharing written guidance.

1.Take time each morning

An orchestra tunes up before the symphony. We can tune up our lives before the day begins. Once we open the newspaper or turn on the computer most of us don’t stop until we drop wearily into bed. So wake up. Get your coffee or tea. Grab a piece of paper and pen.

  1. Relax

Sit in a comfortable position. Consciously relax all your muscles. Be loose. There is no need to hurry. There need be no strain during these minutes. We cannot touch the Infinite if we are tense and anxious. Prepare yourself by breathing deeply and relaxing for three to five minutes.

  1. Tune In

Open your heart to the Ultimate Reality. Either silently or aloud, say in a way that feels natural to you that you would like inspiration for this day. If you have a specific problem or situation you are facing, ask for the answer. Be definite and specific in your requests.

  1. Listen

Just be still, quiet, relaxed and open. Let your mind go “loose”. Let your intuitive self receive inspiration. Thoughts, ideas and impressions will begin to come into your mind and heart. Be alert and open and aware to every one.

  1. Write!

Here is the key to the whole process. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Everything. Writing is simply a means of recording what goes through your mind so that you can remember later. Don’t sort out or edit your thoughts at this point.

Don’t say to yourself:

This thought isn’t important

This is just me thinking

This can’t be inspiration

This isn’t nice

This is an ordinary thought

Write what passes through your mind:

Names of people

Things to do

Things to say

Things that are wrong that need to be made right

Write down everything:

Good thoughts – bad thoughts

Comfortable thoughts – uncomfortable thoughts

“Holy” thoughts- “unholy” thoughts

Sensible thoughts- “crazy” thoughts

Be honest! Write down everything. A thought comes quickly and it even escapes more quickly unless it is captured and put down.

how-to-test-thoughts-no-outline

  1. Test

When the flow of thoughts slows down, stop. Take a good look at what you have written. Not every thought is inspired. So, we need to test each thought by examining the written record.

  • Is it honest – pure – unselfish – loving?
  • Is it in line with our responsibilities?
  • Is it in line with my understanding of spiritual literature?

BREAK FOR WRITING MEDITATION FOR 10 MINUTES OF 2 WAY PRAYER.

meditation music share screen AND sound


AFTER MEDITATION LEADER WILL ASK YOU TO FINISH THIS READING

7. Check

When in doubt and when it is important, ask another person who is on the spiritual path. More light comes through two windows that through one. Someone who is interested in our spiritual growth may see things more clearly.

Talk over what you have written. Many people do this with their domestic partners. There are always three sides to every question- your side, my side and the right side. Inspiration shows us which is the right side – not who is right but what is right.

8. Carry out the thoughts that come.

You will only be sure of your intuitive voice as you go through with it. A rudder will not guide a boat until the boat is moving. As you follow, very often the results will convince you that you are on the right track,

9. What if no inspiration comes?

Generally, there is a reason. Here are some blocks:

  • Any wrong relationship in my life
  • Any wrong that I have not faced and put right.
  • Any compromise or indulgence I will not give up.
  • Anything I know I should do but have not done.

10. Results?

We will never know what swimming is like unless we get down into the river and try. We will never know how wonderful this technique can be until we sincerely try it.

Every person who has honestly tried this has discovered a wisdom, not their own, comes into their minds and a Power greater than human power begins to operate in their lives.

IT IS AN ENDLESS ADVENTURE!

This particular version of How to Listen was written by Jay Stinnett, and is reposted here with his permission.

As he said on his site: Pass this …. on to your friends, families and faith communities. Let’s be quiet together and see what comes across our hearts.