‘Man is born as an animal to listen. This is one secret which, if you will never learn, you will never have the essence of life. When you stop listening, you don’t want to listen. That is the time when you make the greatest mistake, because your constitution, your construction, your building, your faculty, your power is in listening.” Yogi Bhajan
‘’Each word we speak creates our world. Each word we hear informs and connects us to our world. Deep listening, like a radar, senses the shape and the momentum of the present moment. When we are listened to, we respect the person who listens. When we listen carefully, we can read the intention, the deeper meaning and the conflicts in the speaker. We feel the nonverbal messages and context of the communication.’
Normally we receive the essence of a conversation through non verbal cues rather than the words. Only 7% of what we say is understood through words. 38% is through voice modulation and 55% through body language. On the phone 23% is understood through words and the rest through voice modulation or feeling. On text, we lose most of the feeling, emotion and meaning of what is being said, leading to frequent misunderstanding.
Today “the mind is working at such a pace because of modern lifestyles that face-to-face communication is found to be slow and wanting” With SMS Texting, phones ringing, the low attention span influenced by our watching TV and playing computer games, cursory emails pumping out information . . . communication seems to be expanding, but the depth of communication is decreasing and devolving.
Not much of what is said is actually being heard. The art of listening to feeling and tone, which is the second mode of communication, is being sacrificed to the rapidity of information transmission and data. We are becoming data led, we are becoming information rather than wisdom, losing the feeling, the experience that created the information in the beginning. In losing touch with the source and the cause of what created life, we are becoming an effect.
Most people only listen to 7% of a conversation, becoming alert, listening and connecting when important cues that concern your interests and personal agenda arise. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. 
You are not concerned about the whole conversation as you are not interested in listening or being present to what doesn’t suit you, what doesn’t suit your agenda with that person, and what doesn’t suit your own ego and interests. You are not interested in that person –you are more interested in yourself.
Listening is a selfless presence. The main reason we do not listen is because we are self obsessed, do not really care about the other person, and are more interested in what we can get. We also have increasingly short attention spans due to electronic devices and cannot focus long enough to listen without worrying about something else. This Fear of Missing Out stops us from listening, stops us from being present to another person, and ourselves.
50% of the time most of us pretend we are listening. Maybe you are selfish, maybe you are bored, or maybe the theme of the conversation is not interesting. If this is the case, why not change the subject? Or express this? If the other person is genuinely not interesting, this is one thing. If the other person is sharing deep, personal issues and you still cannot listen, then you do not really care about them.
Excerpt from The Science of Sound, forthcoming book.
Copyright Padma Aon Prakasha
 The Aquarian Teacher: Conscious Communication. KRI International Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Research Institute. 2006.
 Priya Devaraj, Times of India, March 2005
 Stephen R. Covey