So, yoga student Russ asked me, if we have a third eye (referring to the 6th chakra), do we have a third ear? His question, I believe, was more of a symbolic reference that if the third eye helps you "look" within, can you re-direct a "third ear" to better hear what your inner Spirit has to say. But yet, his question went on to ponder the idea of listening to sounds, such as music, outside the body as well as listening to our bodies. Here's what I've got...
It turns out there is a reference to a term called the third ear but not in the context of yoga. Quoting an article by Bruna Martinuzzi called The Third Ear: A Powerful Tool To Becoming A Better Listener, she writes,
"The "third ear," a concept introduced by psychoanalyst Theodor Reik, refers to the practice of listening for the deeper layers of meaning in order to glean what has not been said outright. It means perceiving the emotional underpinnings conveyed when someone is speaking to you."
Go back to the part where it says "what has not been said outright." In other words, can you read between the lines. The problem is that most of us aren't listening well enough in the first place to even hear what the lines were; forget about what they are inferring! In this context, one would have to develop their listening skills first. I write the word 'develop' purposefully. To develop something insinuates you need to practice at it, right? To develop the intuitive aspects of your third eye, one would need to practice meditating and being still, maybe some pranayama. You have to work at it. To develop this definition of the third ear, you need to work at hearing what is being said.
So, suppose you are eager and ready to start practicing but no one is around to engage in conversation. Close your eyes and focus in on the first sound you notice. After a moment, go beyond that notice to something else you hear in the background that probably isn't as loud as the first. Continue to expand your hearing until you hear it all. And I do mean all! Did you notice your own breath or heartbeat?
Besides references to psychologists trying to infer what their patients are telling them, I did come across another reference to this third ear idea that is a little more in lines with the third eye. It was more the idea that if you could tune in to this invisible hearing device, you can teach yourself to hear your inner thoughts (not to be confused with the millions of thoughts that run through your head each day!) as well as other's thoughts. I cannot legitimize this information off the internet but someone on a blog mentioned trying to focus on the triangle that connects your two ears and your third eye for a deeper way to meditate. In class, we meditated using the following technique:
You sit comfortably and close your eyes. Keeping your eyes closed, you shift your gaze to the 3rd eye chakra, the space between the eye brows and slightly above. Breath in and out. After a few moments, when you inhale, say the "o" part of OM in your head but see the vibration of that "o" coming in through the 3rd eye. After a few rounds of that, add the "mm" to your exhale. See the "o" energy coming in, the "mm" energy moving out. Lastly, say the "mm" part out loud like a hum. Namaste.
I give a cheer
I hear my ear
the one you cannot see
the one that knows
my inner soul
and who I aim to be.
This third ear
so very near
quotes my heart with pride
already deep inside.