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On Listening to the Kava


Kava Curious
I had a few shells this morning while I was doing some reading, and I felt compelled to share my understanding of what it means to 'listen to the Kava'. I have heard this spoken about often in the Kava community, and as I drink more, I see that there's truth in it.

In order to listen we must be willing to 'get out of the way' and let someone or something else speak to us. I think its helpful here to expand the meaning of something speaking to us so that it refers also to unspoken things. Some message may still be suggested in body language, swaying leaves, or the tone of a plant's effects. We are best able to listen, I find, when we are not initially assuming something positive or negative about our speaker's message. We pay attention without trying too hard to pay attention, as this effort can often be distracting rather than useful. We are also not asking for a particular state of affairs from our speaker, we must drop our expectation that their speech will reward us or punish us, instead remaining attentive and open to any possibility which we might have to face. Listening requires some courage in the face of vulnerability, as we don't know what to expect from our conversation partners.

Kava seems to say to me, it's good to remember that vulnerability and uncertainty, rather than try to control it to excess. This vulnerability and uncertainty is the stuff that tenderness in conduct with the world is made of. Getting out of the way to allow something to speak to us is a lot like allowing something alien to enter us, rather than keeping it at remove. When I drink Kava without expecting a high or trying to deny what I feel from it, the conversation opens up. This might be called surrendering to the message that Kava brings. I feel that in doing this the message is integrated more, the blockages that kept it at remove have been gradually washed away from placing myself in a position of kneeling before the kneaded drink. From here, it is easier to have a rich discussion, when the heart isn't asserted or assailed without question. Here our listening can become a conversation that's roughly equal parts listening and speaking, as the conversation doesn't reside in one of us, instead it forms between us. The Kava listens to us, and we listen to the Kava.

Just some krunk thoughts I felt like sharing. I though someone might get a kick out of it. Maybe this thread can be dedicated to talk about listening to the drink. Happy drinking! ::shaka::::KavaChug::


Kava Enthusiast
Very nice post, it was relaxing for me just to read haha. If i might add something, when you talk about that vulnerability in a conversation, Kava has reminded me that even if I am open to listening, I dont have to take everything to heart. I can listen and not take everything I hear as the absolute truth


Kava Enthusiast
For example, the Western civilization is currently characterized by mostly media induced polarization between conservatives and progressives. Conservatives and progressives have different dopamine receptor, DRD4.

Now this is food for thought whether hatred should be cultivated because of this. Of course, media and politics industry does this. It catches attention and is hence profitable but it wastes relatively valuable time of people who become polarized and join echo chambers or start hating unnecessarily. In the same time it is rather dangerous if both sides agree to approve more and more authoritarian measures that help to promote hatred and suppression.


Kava Enthusiast
I attended a weekend herbalism school a number of years ago that had a course called 'Plant Teachers'. We would sit and pass around an unknown tincture and with our eyes closed the students would begin to say what effects, feelings, and impressions the plant tincture was having on us- how the plant 'was speaking to us'. It was amazing to see how closely the students experiences compared to one another and fit together to finish a puzzle picture that closely compared with known information about the uses and overall experiences of that plant.

These experiences totally changed my life and spirituality by teaching me I could rely on my senses and open myself up by spiritually exploring the plant world.