My grand-mother and I were sitting on her couch. The television was on. She was talking. The conversation seemed to be somewhat trivial. She seemed to be simply looking to keep her mind occupied by telling me about daily routines and things I was trying to find interesting. My attention went between the television and my grand-mother as I examined my frustration about not being able to hear the television because she kept talking. My uncle (her son) was dying. I was visiting with the purpose of supporting her with this loss and to potentially see my uncle one last time. In a flash, all of my understanding of meditation and the deep forms of yoga came to serve me and I realized the preciousness of the moment I was letting pass by. I tuned out the television and paid attention to my grand-mother. The moment I started truly listening to her is the moment I started to see her for the amazingly resilient woman that she is. she must have felt my listening because she began to cry. She cried as she stroked the front of a flower catalog and said “these are the flowers I ordered and planted in front of Doug’s house. I don’t think they will bloom in time for him to see them.”. I had never seen or heard of my grand-mother crying: a woman who has lived in and out of mental health hospitals, was about to turn 89, and was losing one of her four children to cancer. She gave herself less than 2 minutes in tears and said “it’s so sad”. I would have missed that had I not tuned out the television and given her my ears. Through deep listening, I noticed and go to know my own grand-mother.
Thank you yoga for all that you teach me. Yoga is deep listening.