A couple of weekends ago I was teaching an introduction to Thai massage class in Woodridge Illinois. There were around 25 students in the class all in little groups and as I was walking around after lunch I decided to really listen. Not to words or meaning particularily. But just to the sounds. Listening as if I didn’t know the language. The highs and lows, the way the sound ebbed and flowed as I moved around the room. I sat down and closed my eyes and just listened in this way for a few minutes. I tried to hear every sound without straining. Just allowing it to wash over me. It was like being at a movie theater with surround sound. I felt giddy as I sat there, letting the sounds play with my senses. I realized how so rarely do I listen in this way. Most of the time I listen as if in a tunnel. One thing at a time. Tuning everything else out so I can get meaning. But what I see now more clearly is that meaning comes in many forms. And by opening up my mind to just enjoy the cascade of sound like waves in the lake Michigan I found I connected more to where my students were at at that moment. I connected to the energy of the room.
So, to Thai it all together (haha), I think that when I am working on a person, by focusing so specifically on one thing, one problem, in trying to figure something out, I get that tunnel vision. And sometimes that is a good thing. But I am enjoying training myself to open up to hearing more and spending more time with the peripheral vision that all my senses are capable of. In this way, I end up feeling more connected to that person and what their body is trying to say. I probably miss 99% of it. But I’ll take that 1% and keep trying for 2%!