The classroom is filled with the lyrical sound of classical music. The lighting is subdued. A group of people sit in a circle. They are not doing anything – just sitting, with their eyes closed, immersed in the flow of the melody.
It is rare that we listen to music just for the experience of Listening. We may listen to music while we are walking or engaging in household chores. There may be background music at our place of work. Music can be present in almost all areas of our lives – in shops, on answer phones, in elevators, in taxis.
Despite this pervasive presence of music however, it is unusual for us to simply stop and fully engage with the experience of Listening. The closest we may come to Listening in ordinary life is when we attend a music concert. Even here however, the focus is not entirely on Listening because there is also a visual aspect and the interaction of the audience that surrounds us.
In the relaxation technique of Listening, that is all we do – we listen. We do not listen and read a book. We do not listen and become fascinated with the contents of the room. We do not listen and analyse the structure of the music. We simply listen.
Relaxing into Meditation, Chapter 4, page 17