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"Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say."

The March Jivamukti Yoga focus-of-the-month essay is called "Clear Communication" and is written by Magali Lehners. You can read it here. When I saw the focus for this month, I directly went to two books by Sharon Gannon, my teacher and co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga: Eternity is Happening Now: Essays and Stories (Volumes 1 and 2). Sharon is one of the best communicators I have ever known, so much so that when one listens to her speak, one is inspired to elevate one's own speech. Something she says which I remember often is: "Say what you mean, and mean what you say."


In her essay called "Someone to Talk To," Sharon says of good communicators:


"Good performers and distinguished teachers are endowed with gifts of communication. They can engage an audience because they are masters of communication. Someone who is good at communication not only knows how to speak, but also how to listen, how to pick up on someone's reactions to what they are saying and adjust their own delivery accordingly. A master communicator is a channel for nourishment from a cosmic source. In other words, the best communicators do not toot their own horns and demand that others listen to them because what they have to say is more important than anything else; actually, they aren't even interested in expressing themselves. Good communicators are servants who serve the yearning for happiness in the souls of others. They always ask themselves before they speak, 'How will my words make people feel about themselves?' They then choose their words with care to bring about the most elevated experience."


About non-violent communication Sharon says:


"The key to effective spiritual activism is nonviolent communication. An activist is someone who actively works for change, and to be spiritual is to feel your connection to all living beings. Spiritual activism is working actively to further the conscious connection of oneself to others in a positive, life-affirming, mutually beneficial way. To be a spiritual activist is to be activated by spirit rather than by a skin-encapsulated ego. Through non-violent communication, a spiritual activist pursue liberation, or enlightenment, for the benefit of all."


Sharon says about OM and mantra:


"The sounds we utter matter; they help create the world in which we live, our moods, and our experiences of life. You can never go wrong chanting OM; you can never go wrong chanting the names of God--whatever divine names resonate for you. You can never go wrong chanting auspicious words like 'shanti', which means 'peace.' Positive uplifting words in any language can act like medicine itself if said with good intention. They can dismantle elemental forms that have been created through negative thoughts, words, and actions; and if you developed psychic vision, you would be able to see in the actual atmosphere around you a disintegration of dark clouds."


She continues:


"We can cleanse ourselves of a negative atmosphere through the power of sound, refining the way we speak, internally through the thoughts we have, as well as out loud...There is a sure sign you are making progress in yoga. It will come in the form of your voice. Your voice will become refined, your words will be sweet and uplifting. You will not use words to blame, curse, or defame others. The result will be that you will no longer create and unleash negative elemental forms that will plague yourself and others and pollute the atmosphere. Mantras are the most potent tools that a yogi has for counteracting negativity. Mantras are magical spells. Chanting the sound of OM is a potent magical spell that can wipe the slate clean and provide you with a fresh start."


I look forward to exploring clear communication with all of you this month.


Blessings and Love,

Sharada Devi (aka Jennifer)

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