There is a way of listening to Buddhist texts that is light but attentive, sympathetic without having to “believe.” It can be there when you are reading to yourself and you feel you “hear” the text. This kind of attention is quite simple. It occurs sometimes while you are hearing about something that has happened to a friend, listening to a good story on the radio or a podcast, or just going for a walk and hearing trees murmur like water: the listening can be quiet and receptive, yet active and awake at the same time. In my experience, it is just this kind of mindfulness that can be there when hearing a Buddhist text.
From The Art of Listening: A Guide to the Early Teachings of Buddhism by Sarah Shaw © 2021. Reprinted with permission of Shambhala Publications.