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A teaching I’ve been given over and over and over and over again from my Guru, is about listening and learning. Its one worth paying attention to.

It says there are five faults in the way we can listen, when we’re not being mindful. As a result, what we learn can be affected, reduced and/or limited.

The analogy is a pot you’re trying to pour water into. The water represents knowledge on offer. For example: a friend telling you something about their life; formal study; or, listening to a yoga teacher.

These are five ways that make it hard to get water into the pot:

  1. It’s upside down!
    So, you’re trying to put water in the pot, but you’ve failed to realise its upside down. The opening for the water is just not available.
  2. The lid’s on tight!
    Sorta like the first one, although the pot’s the right way up. But the lid has been firmly secured. Nothing can get in or out.
  3. Crack in the pot!
    Yep, we can put the water in, but whoops, there’s a crack/hole and its going right out again, not being retained.
  4. Already full!
    You wanna put water in, but it’s just spilling over the sides. The pot’s full up and there’s no room for any more water!
  5. Poison in the pot
    The pot’s open, there’s no holes in it, it’s the right way up… but a drop of poison found a way in. So no matter what you do, the water is tainted.

Now, I’ve just spent a really lovely evening with a girl I used to work with. We haven’t seen each other since before I went to Thailand in July last year. But we’ve been in touch via email, text etc.

Never mind that we were sitting in a rather lush little wine bar, with delicious and expensive wine on the menu (everything’s good there) and some equally delicious and tasty cheeses to nibble on… we had such a fantastic conversation.

Completely open, say-anything-you-like discussion on life, the universe, everything.

Listening to her story (where she ended up quitting her job after attracting the attention of an aggressive crazy dude in the office and taking off to travel for a month in India), I could see the whole hey I don’t have a job or an income thing, from another angle.

I can choose to be annoyed at losing my job before I was ready, and stressed about getting another one. Or, I can do everything in my power to find work (including setting myself up as a freelancer), and then the rest of the time… enjoy myself! Yeah, why not, eh?

Which brought to mind the plants I’ve been re-potting lately, and thoughts about gardening in general. Y’know, about how you need to replenish nutrients in the soil for healthy plants, ensure they have enough water, light and so on.

And thinking about that brought me back to the story about the pot… and listening and learning, but also, making sure the soil I’m renewing at the moment is fresh and not poisoned. And… giving myself optimal conditions for thriving.

Makes sense, eh?