Nourishing and Letting Go. When the rain falls on the earth, the soil knows how to absorb the water, making seeds sprout and flowers spring up. When the bird sings, a free-minded person knows how to enjoy and become relaxed. When a cup is full it cannot receive more, not even one drop of water. When our ears are veiled by the din of our own thoughts, it is hard to hear the bird’s song. We need to empty our mind, and be free of thoughts, ideas, and perceptions in order to listen to a Dharma Talk (Buddhist teaching). Comparing what we hear with something we already had in mind, and drawing “right” or “wrong” conclusions is a mental habit that limits our capacity of listening. To agree or disagree with what is said does not help us learn anything new. To listen deeply, we do not engage our intellect while listening. Sitting straight in a solid and comfortable position, we allow the Dharma rain to fall and allow the soil of our consciousness to do its work. Taking notes or trying to memorize may limit our capacity to receive. The practice of mindful breathing is the sun shining continuously helping the fruit of understanding to grow.