"Meditative awareness is more akin to hearing well than seeing clearly. When looking intently at a visual object, we tend to aim a narrow beam of attention onto something outside of ourselves. But when we listen mindfully, we open our awareness in all directions in order to receive the sounds that pour in. Just as one develops a meditative ability to discern ever subtler tones and harmonies in this polyphony, so one can refine an empathic ability to detect ever finer nuances in the other's plea. As the deafening chatter of self-centeredness subsides, one recovers that silence wherein one hears more sharply the cries of the world."
Stephen Batchelor. "Living with the Devil. A meditation on good and evil." Riverhead Books, NY, 2004.