Building real, honest relationships with those around you is a blessing. However, the truth of the matter is that many of us do not engage with others on a true level. Thankfully, there’s a Kundalini Yoga method you can easily use in your everyday life. Let’s get started. Here’s everything you need to know about deep listening.
What is Deep Listening in Kundalini Yoga?
Before we delve into the benefits of this practice, let’s take a moment to look at the deep listening definition. The teacher Yogi Bhajan regularly lectured on ‘sunni-ai’ which means listening or hearing. This process is best thought of as deep listening — effortlessly hearing the sounds and words that are spoken while taking in their deeper meaning.
As we practice sunni-ai, we are in a state of alertness and consciousness. When you first start your Kundalini Yoga journey, this experience will feel new to you. It is not something that comes naturally to everyone. While it ought to be obvious that you should listen when someone else is speaking, so many of us are not fully present in conversation. For that reason, when you practice deep listening on a regular basis, you will find that it offers a broad variety of mental and social benefits.
Within this short guide on deep listening in Kundalini Yoga, we will look at the benefits of deep listening, effective strategies you can use, and how you can get started now.
The Benefits of Deep Listening
“The only thing you can do in your life to win the world is to be a kind speaker and a kind listener. That’s what makes the humankind. Kind listening and kind speaking. Passionately talk and compassionately act.”
– Yogi Bhajan
Deep listening (or sunni-ai) is a fundamental part of your Kundalini Yoga experience, so what benefits can you expect? Learning this method can improve your communication approach but it also creates a change in the way that you think, feel, and act each day. Here’s what you need to know about the powerful benefits of deep listening.
Clear and Honest Communication
When you speak to another person, are you truly listening to them or are you simply waiting for them to finish? If the answer is the latter, learning deep listening strategies will help you become a better communicator. Taking the time to honestly listen to someone else is a sign of respect for them and their time. You can learn about their experiences, opinions, and honestly understand all that they have to say to you. Rather than waiting for cues that let you know you can speak, attempt to engage fully with the conversation.
One of the main benefits of deep listening is that you create stronger connections with those around you. When people feel that they have been fully heard, it changes the way in which they feel about you. Believe it or not, people rarely experience this level of having a conversation, they are only pretending to listen to one another. Instead, they rely on social cues to know when to speak and when to be quiet. This type of communication is shallow and does not help you to build real, strong connections with one another.
Self-Love and Understanding
Rushing to speak and share your opinion with the world can be a mistake. Through the process of sunni-ai, we take a step back and listen instead. We are free to have that moment of clarity while they share their insights with us. Using deep listening strategy, we can develop a better sense of self-love and start to honestly understand who we are. When you allow your own voice to fall silent, you learn more about your inner self.
Effective Deep Listening Strategies
“Your communication should not be for you. Your communication should be a service vehicle to reach the other person. Talking is for the other person. Listening is for you.”
– Yogi Bhajan
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of deep listening, you may wish to use it in your everyday life. You don’t need to be in a specific place or dedicate a certain time to the activity of sunni-ai. Instead, this method is one that you should be using all of the time. Whether you’re in meetings or talking to a close friend over dinner, you can use effective deep listening strategies to help enhance and strengthen your relationships.
1. Practice Alertness
Are you alert when speaking to others? You may find that your mind naturally wanders or that you become distracted as other people talk. For most of us, these habits have been with us for our whole lives. When you’re practicing deep listening, you must step away from them. Focus your attention on what the other person is saying. When you realize that you are not being attentive, stop and bring yourself back into the room.
2. Wait Before Speaking
The moment a social cue arises and there is a break in conversation, you may find yourself wanting to jump in and speak. Wait. Take a beat before you answer the other person or interject with your opinion. Avoiding immediate reactions means that you have extra time to think. There’s no need to rush ahead. Give yourself the space to be honest.
3. Breathe and Relax
Relaxation is essential in becoming a deep listening. When you are plagued by troubles, anxiety, or other problems, you cannot give your full attention to another person or the world around you. Before you engage in conversation, take a moment to breathe and relax. You may even decide to use a sadhana—your personal meditation practice—to help you get into the right mindset. Be calm. Be still. Be open to the experience.
Start Deep Listening Sessions Today!
Embarking on a journey toward deep listening (or sunni-ai) can enhance all aspects of your life. Through your practice, you will learn how to engage better with those around you as well as how to understand your inner self. This transformation will mean that you boost your levels of self-love and overflow with confidence. Get started with deep listening practice today and see whether you notice a difference in how you feel. The more you practice this Kundalini Yoga method, the more powerful the results will become.