Online MBCT/MBSR Lesson 3

Being Mode and Mindful Hearing

In order to help you understand what we mean by being mode, now we're going to do a short mindful hearing exercise in which you'll be asked to listen to sound and experience hearing in a new way, as you operate out of being mode, rather than doing mode:

  • Instead of thinking about what you're hearing and naming or categorizing the sounds that you're listening to in order to make sense of, for example as "birds chirping," "people talking," "car driving by," "door slamming," or "dog barking," etc.
  • You're going to focus on your experience of the sensory quality of the sounds simply as patterns of pitch, volume, tone, timbre and duration.
  • Whenever you become aware that you're starting to think about what you're hearing and saying things to yourself such as "I'm hearing birds chirping," "people are talking right now," "a car just drove," "there's a dog barking," etc.
  • As best you can you're going to let go of those thoughts about the sounds, gently bring your attention back to simply hearing, and focusing on the sensory quality of the sounds simply as patterns of pitch, volume, tone, timbre and duration, without ascribing any meaning to what you're hearing.

Being Mode and Mindful Hearing

 

In this mindful hearing practice, we allow ourselves to experience sound simply in terms of what we are taking in through our senses in the present moment. We don't do anything with this sensory information such as analyze, categorize, give meaning to, or otherwise think about what we are listening to as we would if we were operating out of doing mode. We just allow sound to be there in our awareness however it is, and simply experience it as sound. This is characteristic of how we relate to our experiences when we are operating out of being mode.