We listen with intellect, interpreting words and identifying their meaning in the dictionary of our personal vocabulary.
Deeper emotions and hidden meanings in spiritual matters must be felt, sensed in your body. Knowledge cannot always be conveyed in words.
We must feel a sensation in our body induced by hearing the story or words. This is why we feel and sense emotions, getting a gut feeling. Through our sense organs of perception we can perceive hidden meaning and have deeper understanding.
Meditation prepares your body to become capable of perceiving the meaning of spiritual reality by practicing to quiet your mind and intellect and observing your breathing.
In conversation of more meaningful topics, you should be observing the sensations in your body as well as paying attention to the conversation rather than just trying to visualize or intellectually comprehend the words.
Often, people cannot express their feelings in words, simply because there are no words to describe what we feel. If you can understand what a person feels, or understand the hidden secrets in a parable, you will have joined on a pure emotional level.
To do this, we need to have an open heart and mind, and a tamed ego. Stop thinking you know everything, or that you understand anything. Know that there is always something more that you do not know about, and keep your mind open and quiet, while putting your awareness in your chest or stomach.
You will find physical sensations perhaps, but more importantly, you will find thoughts pop into your head that you never thought of before.