THE SIMPLE SENSE OF NOW
Sensing The ChangesAn open awareness to sudden changes and movements in our environment is a very practical way of being 'now'.
Listening has an immediacy which the other senses don't have. This is because sounds are sometimes very sudden and over in a split second. Smells and sights usually last at least a few seconds. Listening requires and stimulates nowness like no other sense.
Panoramic listening is far easier than seeing because it's related to how we normally listen.
Listening-outListening actively and openly to everything is a good first step; but regular background sounds, however pleasant they may be, are irrelevant for animals. Listen-out for the changes.
Listen actively for short sudden warning signs, such as bangs, cries, or barks; even quiet sounds, like a twig snapping, are important.
In its most sensitive form, panoramic listening is an active receptive presence, it is pre-emptive listening, always ready and waiting, a second before things happen.
Being alert to changes and movements in the immediate environment is vital to any animal's survival. And especially these days above the constant hum of machines, it is necessary for animals to listen-out.
Listening-out Nearby and Into The DistanceImagine how early man might listen-out for distant wild boar, buffalo, or horses; or nearby tigers, snakes, or tasty insects.
It depends on where you are and what sort of background noises there are, but i often listen-out for dogs and children; at night for hedgehogs and owls. I don't often hear them; that's irrelevant, listening-out for them is the vital part.
Listening-out for specific signals is a helpful step, but it inevitably limits a full panoramic awareness; so always check for any, especially quiet, or distant surprises. Listen-out for things which aren't there yet, but might happen anytime.
Meditations frequently practice listening to everything, or listening to something beautiful, or for silence. These ideas are explored and compared with panoramic listening in The Various Forms of Mindful Listening.