What I mean by Tantric is the choice to accept and embrace all of life, unconditionally. 'Tantric' naturally marries and qualifies 'Listening,' which is the most essential skill a human being can master in order to relate to others. It nourishes the vision of mutually beneficial exchanges, where all parts are equally cherished, acknowledged and empowered.

1. Silence your mind.

Decide you won't speak until you are reasonably silent inside. Should your mind be running a marathon, commit to not engage in any conversation until you feel relaxed again.

2. Be a clear motivational listener.

What are your intentions, your motivations in engaging in a conversation? Do you have any agendas, any undelivered communication that could create friction? Do you have anything to prove? Choose to be happy rather than right.

3. Hear it: this is only a test.

Think of the next conversation as an exercise in self-mastery. Can you forget yourself for a moment, your needs, your wants, your desires, and really meet the other being as a beautiful expression of life, and his story as an awesome creation?

4. Exercise all your senses.

Listening is a deliberate action, where each sense is a gate to the message. Open to listening with your eyes, with your hands, with your nose, even if your communication happens on the phone. Literally taste her words.

5. Dance with your partner.

Think of listening as a romance, as the most generous gesture of love you could offer your date. Imagine your listening being the coat you lay on water for her to not wet her feet. Acknowledge what she says, as you move with her in a synchronized rhythm, by nodding, asking questions, and getting consensus.

6. Adopt an explorer mind.

See if you can stop assuming that you know what he is going to say, and truly listen, bringing the same attentiveness you would have to the whodunit movie whose ending you did not know.

7. Relax and have fun.

Enjoy yourself; you may be surprised how pleasant a conversation becomes, when you release your need for control. A breath of fresh air, indeed. Inhale the energizing flavor of such listening into your lungs, into your heart.

8. Respond and connect.

Practice response-ability, rather than emotional reaction. This is Tantra we are choosing, not tantrum! Do not take anything personally. Remind yourself that this is not about "you!"

9. Shift into compassion.

Imagine what it would feel like to be in her shoes. Stretch a little, and ask yourself where you might have done or been the very thing you are passing judgment on.

10. Appreciate. Appreciate some more. And again.

Experience the oneness of the giving and the receiving of your listening, the love making it is, the tremendous opportunity to merge with the sacredness of the being in front of you! Take the vow of supreme appreciation: "I am here (hear) with you now!"

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