Augustine's Listening Method of Clearing Your Mind

Find a private spot, close your eyes, and start making a mental list of everything that's bothering you at this particular time. It must be honest and thorough, right down to little things- maybe your shoes are too tight or you don't like your nose or a certain person, and so on. As well as more serious worries. Absolutely no analysis, no rumination, no whys or wherefores, just a list: one, two, three, four, etc.

Then, when the list is complete, put it away, mentally. Stick it somewhere off-screen, temporarily. You're not making any major decisions to stop worrying or anything dramatic. Just clearing a space in your mind, for now.

Then, eyes still closed, start listening: totally focused, intense listening, as if you were trying to record every possible sound within your reach - traffic, voices, sirens, birds, insects, wind, your own heartbeat and breathing, a dripping tap, anything. Just keep doing this precise, attentive listening for as long as possible and then open your eyes and go for a walk. If you've really done the exercise properly, something amazing happens. I don't want to say what it did for me because then I'm pre-empting your own experience. Just try it and see, then write down what it did for you.

courtesy of Natalie d'Arbeloff

Forget the audience and honestly record how you are feeling this December.


from AUGUSTINE'S TRUE CONFESSION by Natalie d'Arbeloff 1980/2003