I completed my mindful listening exercise at the Beans and Bread cafe. I sat at a table by myself with my notebook in hand. I wrote down noises as I heard them that can be described as clatter, laughter, silence, and a combination of these things. I didn’t sit for very long, but it was very busy when I first got there, most likely a break for most of the students in between classes. At first it was hard to focus on all of the different noises, but with a short breathing exercise, I was ready to go. The noises I could pick apart first, were the ones that were closest to me. A rowdy group of boys, as they laughed and picked on one another. They talked about their weekend and people that they knew. I could hear people behind me ordering their food at the Beans and Bread cafe. And the cash register as it flew open when they were ready to pay. I could hear the bustle of the cooks as they prepared each meal behind the counter. Just then, the sliding glass door whooshed open, and although far away, I could feel the new air filling the space almost instantly. After listening for a while, I picked up on a new noise. A woman was sitting very quietly amongst the crowd. She was not talking loudly or making a ton of noise. I could hear her turning the pages in the book she was reading. As she turned the pages delicately, I could locate where she was sitting at. She was to the left and sort-of behind me. I thought that it was fascinating that even though I probably would have eventually seen her even if I wasn’t practicing mindful techniques, I would have had to find out what she was doing with my eyes, but that day I found out with my ears.
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