Attunement is Listening

“No, I didn’t.”

Keshava was asking me if I heard how I added a note to a solo I was practicing from Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio, Christ Lives!

Subconsciously, I was adding a note or two that were not written in the piece. I did not even notice the tendency until Keshava called it to my attention. Though it was evident to Dharmadevi and Keshava who were listening, I couldn’t hear it.

Why couldn’t I hear it? I’m not a trained singer and have never thought of myself as a musician. That simple self-definition of “not being a musician” limited my ability to attune more deeply to the song. Ironically, the name of the song was Thy Will. I was inserting my will into Thy Will!

Another block that led to my lack of attunement in that instance was dullness of mind. There was a part of me that simply did not want to listen. Why? It would require raising my energy level and awareness in order to attune more fully to the song. Part of me was lazy and didn’t want to do the work.

How did I learn to sing the song correctly? I had to actively listen. First, I had to listen to my friend. Then I had to listen to the song again. After taking time to listen, then I practiced it until I sung it correctly.

What I learned from this experience is attunement starts by listening. Only after listening could I hope to merge myself with the song.

I remember one time I asked Swami Kriyananda what was the most important quality on the spiritual path. He answered, “Receptivity.” He was encouraging me to actively listen to God and merge myself with His Song of Spirit.

To cultivate attunement, try the following exercises:

    1. Spend some time alone with God by holding silence. Remember as Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Seclusion is the price of God contact.”
    2. Listen to understand. When you’re having a conversation with someone, try listening to understand them, rather than hearing them so you can talk.
    3. Listen to the voice of saints. Try listening to Paramhansa Yogananda’s voice and attune to his consciousness that animates his voice.
    4. Listen to uplifting music.
    5. Turn off your TV and cell phone for an hour a day.
    6. Spend more time in nature.