In this excerpt (from the book Still The Mind and as heard in the animated video “Life Has A Voice” below), the philosopher Alan Watts (1915-1973) makes connections between deep listening, attention, and lack of self-consciousness:
“The first thing we have to understand is what I call deep listening. And very few people ever really listen. Because instead of receiving the sound, they make comments on it all the time. They’re thinking about it, and so the sound is never fully heard.
You just have to let it take over. Let it take you over completely. Then you get the samadhi state of becoming it.
And it also means that you abandon your socially nervous personality…One of the reasons why people don’t sing is that they hear so many masters on records, and they’re ashamed of their own voices and think there’s no point in singing unless I’m good at it.
But singing is of course very good for you, but we won’t mention that…It’s like a child will make noises because of the absorbing interest of making noises. It embarrasses the hell out of some people.”